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Old 04-30-2007, 04:55 PM    (permalink
Mr. Myogi
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I share your concerns, and in the end this Draft will be the ultimate test for the coaching staff and their ability to develop players. They felt confident enough to take the small school guys with potential and develop them.

Are there some things I would've changed? Definitely, but I'm not a scout and don't do nearly as much research as the pro scouts do.

I guess now it just becomes a waiting game. In the end though I think we did upgrade the Offensive line significantly and we should be reaping the dividends of it in a few years, and we added athletic youthful CBs as well that can learn for a while.

If Poz turns out to be a stud LB, or Houston turns out to be a premier CB. Then yes I will have big time regrets, but right now no one has proven anything. In the end I think the coaches chose to Draft for the future, rather than come away with immediate impact talents as they felt the current roster was sufficient enough with the Free Agency upgrades. I don't quite agree, but the FO hasn't done anything to make me think they've set the franchise back yet. I wouldn't rule out Meachem having a big time impact either, WRs coach Curtis Johnson sounded very high on him in interviews.
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Ask Meachem about Chris Houston and watch him start to tear up like a little baby. Can't beat him off the bump and run (225 - 27reps) or deep (40 - 4.32). Get Ready cause its on this year baby.
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:14 PM    (permalink
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Yeah, I'm going to have to agree with diabsoule...way too heavy on the small schools. I would also like to state that we went WAY too heavy on offense. I thought that we would be heavy on defense. The Pittman pick was a shock...I thought that we would be moving up for a quality Lb.

I'll give a C- on our draft. We passed on a lot of position players that could have contributed immediately in improving our defense.
I agree 100%. I dont mind a few small school selections, but we had more than any other team. I think payton likes the small school kids because they work hard and play like they have something to prove. i like the character of the guys we are getting, i think we had a huge problem with attitude for so many years.

still not sold on meachem - would have loved Poz with that selection.

In Payton we trust
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:18 PM    (permalink
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whats the word on the UDFAs?

i would have loved for us to bring in Leak, but he already went to Chi. who else should be on our short list
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:54 PM    (permalink
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I'm really warming up to the Pittman pick. He's talented and versatile enough to play Deuce OR Reggie's role in our 2-back system should either go down. I have a feeling he will see the field a fair amount, even with our RB situation. In my opinion, it was our only pick in the draft where we actually took the BPA. Pittman's really talented and can do a lot, and if there's anybody in the league who can properly utilize three talented RB's, it's Sean Payton.
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Old 04-30-2007, 06:35 PM    (permalink
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Ouch.. that was a bad time for the forum to turn sigs back on.

and I'm starting to warm up to the Pittman pick as well. From reading some of Payton comments it was a very good depth pick he should be an instant upgrade over an aging Stecker. He might come in handy if either Reggie, or Deuce miss some time with an injury as RBs often get dinged up, and he should be able to make an impact on special teams whether it's returning kicks or doing something else.
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Old 04-30-2007, 06:43 PM    (permalink
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Jermon Bushrod Baby
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Old 04-30-2007, 06:44 PM    (permalink
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Jermon Bushrod Baby
You know it. He's going to be a beast.
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:35 PM    (permalink
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WALTER THOMAS signs with Saints!!
Best part of draft so far!!
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:39 PM    (permalink
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http://draftdaddy.com/prospects/TexasNation.cfm

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Old 04-30-2007, 09:43 PM    (permalink
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April 25, 2007
For N.F.L. Draft, the Biggest (XXXXXXL) Sleeper
By LEE JENKINS
GALVESTON, Tex., April 21 — On the edge of the Texas Gulf is a 370-pound football player who can execute a perfect forward flip.

When he lands, the ground trembles.

The player’s name is Walter Thomas, and as he kicked his size 16 feet overhead Saturday morning, onlookers studied the sculpted giant with curiosity and awe. It was the kind of reaction Thomas usually elicits from professional football scouts.

“I feel like I’m a big secret,” Thomas said. “The secret of the draft.”

The National Football League draft, which begins Saturday, does not really have secrets anymore. Prospects are timed and tested, interviewed and investigated, over and over again. Entire dossiers are prepared for second-string players.

Thomas is as close as modern football can come to an old-fashioned sleeper. In the past two years, his only playing experience was at Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia, Miss. He played in two games, both losses. Then he was arrested on a charge of conspiracy to commit robbery, according to the Tate County (Miss.) Circuit Clerk’s office, and never played college football again.

Judging by his credentials, perhaps Thomas should not be drafted. Judging by his dimensions, however, Thomas has to be drafted.

Big Walt, as he is known, is a 6-foot-5 defensive tackle who wears a size XXXXXXL jersey. He bench presses 475 pounds and squats 800 pounds. Weight lifters at the Galveston Health and Racquet Club stop their workouts to watch him.

Football teams everywhere are filled with big men, but many of them can barely move. Thomas has run the 40-yard dash in 4.9 seconds, faster than some N.F.L. tight ends. He is the rare tackle who can catch a running back from behind.

“The guy is a dadgum Russian gymnast,” said Randy Pippin, the head coach at Northwest Mississippi.

Thomas’s flexibility has become part of his lore. He does handstands and handsprings, broad jumps and cartwheels. When he gets excited, he will do a back flip.

“I never thought a body that big could flip in the air,” said Ron Holmes, who coached Thomas at Ball High School in Galveston. “I wouldn’t have believed it unless I’d seen it with my own two eyes.”

Three months ago, Thomas was little more than a novelty act. He declared for the draft as a 21-year-old junior, but unlike most underclassmen heading to the N.F.L., he had no highlight reel to send scouts and few statistics for them to analyze. The Web site nfldraftscout.com ranked him as the 74th-best defensive tackle.

“It was a different situation,” said Martin Magid, Thomas’s agent. “He was coming from the basement.”

Magid, who represents several professional football players, lobbied for Thomas to be included in a predraft all-star game called Texas vs. The Nation. When the workouts for that game began, Thomas was an afterthought. When they ended, he was an Internet phenomenon.

Draftniks found a new darling. Bloggers were breathless. Draftdaddy.com reported that Thomas was “unstoppable” and “nimble” and “drew reactions ranging from gasps to smiles to a simple shake of the head in disbelief.”

In the draft evaluation process, workouts are nearly as important as games, and Thomas is a workout wonder. He was invited to Mississippi State’s annual Pro Day and seized much of the attention, even though he did not attend Mississippi State.

N.F.L. scouts, always on the lookout for that unique blend of size and agility, were seduced by a dancing goliath. This month, Thomas was ranked as the 15th-best defensive tackle in the draft. He hopes to pattern himself after the N.F.L. tackles Ted Washington (6-5, 365 pounds) of the Cleveland Browns and Jamal Williams (6-3, 348) of the San Diego Chargers.

“He is definitely a topic of conversation right now,” said Gil Brandt, former vice president for player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys, who is now an analyst for NFL.com. “A lot of people are talking about him.”

Thomas represents the hard choice that every team faces at some point on draft day — to pick a player with supreme physical ability and a questionable past, or to go with a player who has limited talent but a proven track record.

Thomas would not be such a secret in the draft if he had not buried himself in college. He played at Oklahoma State as a freshman in 2004, but failed out of school before his sophomore season. He spent 2005 trying to regain his academic eligibility and went to Northwest Mississippi in 2006.

“People like to tell me, ‘As big as you are, you’ll always get another chance,’ ” Thomas said. “But I think I’ve used up all my chances.”

Thomas acts contrite and gentle, but his behavior can still be erratic. An interview for this story was scheduled for Friday morning in Galveston. Thomas arrived early Saturday, apologizing profusely that he confused the dates.

Thomas was accompanied by Martha Overton, a 54-year-old whom he calls his second mother. Thomas went to school with Overton’s daughter, Elizabeth, and steadily ingratiated himself in her family. Now, he appears in all of their Christmas pictures. When he leaves Martha Overton’s sight, he gives her two bearhugs.

“Walter has a lot of people who care for him very deeply,” Martha Overton said.

Thomas needs the support system, especially in the new N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell recently announced a personal-conduct policy that threatens teams for repeatedly signing troublemakers. When Thomas visited the Jets, the Dolphins and the Browns, they grilled him about his arrest, he said.

He might as well have answered in rhyme. Thomas stars in a Galveston hip- hop group called Tre Side, and he recently wrote a rap about football, the mistakes he has made and his desire to correct them.

From the stereo of his first car, a Ford Expedition that he picked up Friday, Thomas blasted one of his raps. He repeats the same line in a husky baritone: “I’m tired of wasting time.”

As a prospect, Thomas is intriguing because of both his baggage and his potential. In the two games he did play last season, his numbers were mind-blowing: 16 tackles, 9 tackles for a loss and 4 sacks.

“You absolutely cannot run at him,” said Les Miles, the Louisiana State University coach, who recruited Thomas to Oklahoma State. “You have to go in another direction.”

Thomas cannot expect to be picked until the second day of the draft — rounds four through seven — but he should immediately become one of the biggest players in the league, and probably the biggest player on his new team.

Thomas has always been the largest guy in the room. In the fifth grade, he was barred from Pop Warner games in Galveston because parents felt he had an unfair advantage. By the time he entered Austin Middle School, he was pushing 300 pounds.

“He took up a whole side of the line,” said Jim Yarborough, a Galveston County judge whose son played against Austin Middle School.

More than any specific game, Yarborough remembers the first time he shook hands with Thomas. “It was like he swallowed my whole hand,” Yarborough said.

Growing up, Thomas was somewhat self-conscious about his size, so he befriended the smallest kids in school. They played a game called “Cut the Cake,” in which they found the biggest building in town and raced each other around it.

Today, Thomas still has many of the same friends, and few of them weigh more than 150 pounds. He could bench-press three of them at a time.

“That’s where I got my speed,” Thomas said. “I had to keep up with all those little guys.”

To demonstrate, Thomas took off his size 16 sneakers, slid into a white tank top and did one of his forward flips on the grass next to a beachfront apartment building. He stuck the landing. The expression on his face was part grimace and part grin.

A man watching from his apartment balcony came running. The man wore an Ohio State T-shirt and had many questions. Who is this specimen? Does he play football? Would he be interested in going to college at Ohio State?

But Thomas was already in his Expedition, driving down Seawall Boulevard, blasting music by the rapper Slim Thug, another performer who is not particularly slim.

For a few more days, Thomas can still keep himself a secret.
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Old 05-01-2007, 03:08 AM    (permalink
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So far I'm happier about our UDFA signings than I am for our actual draft.
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Old 05-01-2007, 01:15 PM    (permalink
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Walter Thomas looks like he has unlimited potential. Hopefully he has a good work ethic and can develop the tools he has. For a man his size to have that much latent athletic ability is rare..hes got a shot to be really good.
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Old 05-01-2007, 01:17 PM    (permalink
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Walter Thomas looks like he has unlimited potential. Hopefully he has a good work ethic and can develop the tools he has. For a man his size to have that much latent athletic ability is rare..hes got a shot to be really good.
He has a great shot to be a future star but he needs to keep those character issues in check.
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Old 05-01-2007, 01:19 PM    (permalink
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Yeah, thats true. Payton apparently doesn't see it as that big a deal or he wouldn't have even touched this guy.

We'll see how it turns out I guess.
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Old 05-01-2007, 05:37 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Sveen View Post
Anyone know which numbers our selections will wear? :)
Robert Meachem will wear #85. Roster

other rookies:
Andy Alleman, 65
Jermon Bushrod, 74
David Jones, 30
Antonio Pittman, 24
Marvin Mitchell,50
Usama Young, 38
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Old 05-01-2007, 05:40 PM    (permalink
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24 - Antonio Pittman
25 - Reggie Bush
26 - Deuce McAllister

Ouch. :)
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Old 05-01-2007, 05:51 PM    (permalink
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Thanks Auron.
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Old 05-02-2007, 08:09 PM    (permalink
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A short little read on Palko from the local newspaper

http://www.theadvertiser.com/apps/pb...705020338/1006
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Old 05-02-2007, 11:59 PM    (permalink
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I could've sworn we re-signed Fife, I forgot where I read it.

and I do hope Palko makes it as a backup, I'm pulling for him.
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Old 05-05-2007, 02:52 PM    (permalink
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Q & A interview with Robert Meachem, from the Saints official website.

Reading this piece just reaffirms every good thing I already know about Meachem, high character guy, hard working wants to start learning the playbook as soon as possible, overall great person and I'm happy to see him a Saint.

Quote:
Q: How long were you watching the draft to see when your name would be called?

Robert Meachem: I watched it from first to 27th. I thought my name would be called at nine with the Dolphins, at 19 with Tennessee, at 22 with Dallas and at 24 with Kansas City.

Q: Were you surprised when the announcement was made and had you had much contact with the Saints?

Meachem: I had contact with the Saints. I came down there for a visit with them.

Q: Do you know much about the Saints and their offense?

Meachem: I know they had the top offense in the league and I know they had a young receiver just like me, a young Reggie Bush, a great quarterback and a great offense.

Q: What will you bring to that offense?

Meachem: Just like Reggie Bush, yards after the catch.

Q: Do you hang your hat on that?

Meachem: Yes, I used to play running back just like him. For me, I changed over to receiver. Yards after the catch is something that is very important to me.

Q: Did you consider committing to LSU?

Meachem: Yes, I was considering going to LSU.

Q: Were your final college choices between LSU and Tennessee?

Meachem: Yes.

Q: What was the deciding factor there?

Meachem: Tennessee was called "Wide Receiver U"

Q: Are you ready to pick up the slack that Joe Horn left in every area?

Meachem: I'm ready to pick it up tomorrow if I can.

Q: Will you be as flashy and as entertaining as Joe was?

Meachem: I'll do my best.

Q: Did you watch the Saints in particular at all?

Meachem: A lot of people got excited by their offense. I watched a lot of their games. For me, watching them was real exciting because I got to see how powerful their offense really was.

Q: What NFL team did you grow up rooting for?

Meachem: I grew up rooting for Jerry Rice and Barry Sanders, wherever they played.

Q: You mentioned two of the classiest guys in the league and the importance of character. Do you think that is a plus mark for you?

Meachem: That is a plus mark. I haven't been in any trouble. I haven't had any off-field issues. That's a big plus for me.

Q: Was there something that caused your numbers to sprout last year or was it a matter of opportunity?

Meachem: In the 2004 and 2005 seasons, we rotated receivers. In 2006, we didn't rotate. Whoever started, played. For me, the year before, we got our (wide receivers) coach fired and I was real disappointed he had to leave. I felt like I wanted to step up and had to step up to make the plays that had to be made.

Q: What was the name of the coach that was fired?

Meachem: Pat Washington.

Q: Did you have any contact with the Saints yesterday and any inkling that they might choose you?

Meachem: Not until they called. That Louisiana number popped up. I looked up at the screen and it said New Orleans. I figured it was time to go.

Q: Who called you?

Meachem: The personnel guys, the head coach, general manager and wide receivers coach.

Q: What is your impression of Sean Payton?

Meachem: He's a real exciting and emotional guy who loves the players and loves to help them on and off the field as well.

Q: Have you gotten a call from Drew Brees yet?

Meachem: Not yet.

Q: Have you ever met Donte' Stallworth?

Meachem: Yes, I've met Donte'.

Q: Did you come a couple of years after he left?

Meachem: Yes.

Q: Can you discuss how you are looking forward to playing with Drew Brees?

Meachem: It's an honor to play with Drew Brees. He's a smart quarterback who's not going to throw a ball that gets you killed. He's a smart guy. Playing in this offense is a dream for people to play for.

Q: Can you discuss your downfield blocking abilities, as well as your ability to play hurt?

Meachem: For me, downfield blocking is a big part of my game. Why should Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister take a shot they shouldn’t have to take? Growing up on a farm, you learn how to play hurt and not show you’re pain. If you’re breathing and can play, you’re going to play.

Q: Can you discuss when you will come to New Orleans are and what your plans to workout with the team are based on what the NFL allows rookies?

Meachem: I'm trying to do whatever the Saints ask me to do. I'm waiting for coach (Curtis) Johnson to call me back to get me a playbook.

Q: Can you discuss the learning curve in learning the offense as a rookie in being able to contribute?

Meachem: You want to be able to understand the plays and learn every position. That's how you help the team and that's what helps you get the ball.

Q: Can you discuss your combination of size and speed?

Meachem: You must use your size and speed to your advantage. If you saw my brothers, they were the tallest ones. Growing up to keep up with them, you had to be fast.

Q: Can you discuss your familiarity with the West Coast offense?

Meachem: At Tennessee we ran a variation of the West Coast offense. We needed to know every position as a part of it. It helped us get to the line quickly.
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:30 PM    (permalink
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lookin forward to seein what meachem can do. big potential here
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:15 PM    (permalink
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I lovin' the selection of Meachem more and more as the days go by.
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Old 05-10-2007, 08:29 AM    (permalink
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I'm looking forward to seeing what he can bring to the offense. The two people I'm most looking forward to seeing playing are Andy Alleman and Usama Young.
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Old 05-17-2007, 12:19 AM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diabsoule View Post
I'm looking forward to seeing what he can bring to the offense. The two people I'm most looking forward to seeing playing are Andy Alleman and Usama Young.
I was going to say the same thing, but you took the words right out of my mouth...! :)
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:46 PM    (permalink
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Kind of got lost in the mix but Scott recently put up his Saints Draft review. Link

Quote:
All in all this group doesn't appear to be anything special but you almost have to give Sean Payton and Co. the benefit of the doubt after their 2006 Draft Day showing. In terms of immediate starters the Saints might strike out with this class but they are nearing the point from a talent perspective where it is hard to break into the lineup so it's tough to evaluate them in that regard. Long-term this classes' prospects are much brighter but even in a best-case scenario it will likely pale in comparison to their 2006 haul, although that will likely be the case for a long time to come because that group was just so special.

GRADE: B-
Thoughts? At this point it's hard to argue with his assessment but like it was mentioned you have to give the coaching staff the benefit of the doubt. They seem to know exactly what they are doing and they Drafted coachable players they feel they could develop.

It's doubtful that this Draft class has the sheer impact short term that last years did, but also it wouldn't really be fair to compare this years class to last years. Last years Draft was amazing, getting that many contributors right off the bat happens very rarely.
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