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Tyler Norris’ All-Saints team of 1998-2012

When making an All-Star team, you gotta start at the top. And no better place to start than Drew Brees.

When drafting a New Orleans Saints All-Star team, you have to start at the top with quarterback Drew Brees.

I was born in 1991, the son of a longtime New Orleans Saints fan, but I didn’t really start watching football until 1999. Over the years of watching bad teams, learning about teams of the past, enjoying great success over the last few years, and pretty much living Saints football, I’ve gotten to see or become familiar with pretty much every players in team history.

Just for fun, I want to unveil my All-Saint team, with the roster picked from players who have been with the organization since I started watching the game. I will start the period of eligibility back to 1998, not only because it was a season I consider something of an “introduction to bad football,” but also because it makes the sample size an even 15 years.

The players named below weren’t all necessarily the best at their positions. Some of them were simply my personal favorites. This is my slate of nominees. If you don’t like it, by all means write your own.

All-Saints Team

Willie Jackson was a decent WR opposite Joe Horn in the early 2000s.

Willie Jackson was a decent wide receiver opposite Joe Horn in the early 2000s.

Offense

  • Quarterback: Drew Brees
  • Running back:
    • Deuce McAllister
    • Pierre Thomas
  • Fullback: Mike Karney
  • Wide receiver:
    • Joe Horn
    • Marques Colston
    • Lance Moore
    • Willie Jackson
  • Tight end: Jimmy Graham
  • Left tackle: Willie Roaf
  • Left guard: Carl Nicks
  • Center: LeCharles Bentley
  • Right guard: Jahri Evans
  • Right tackle: Kyle Turley

Defense

  • Left defensive end:
    • Darren Howard
    • Joe Johnson
  • Left defensive tackle: LaRoi Glover
  • Right defensive tackle:
    • Norman Hand
    • Grady Jackson
  • Right defensive end:
    • Will Smith
    • Charles Grant
  • Outside linebacker:
    • Mark Fields
    • Scott Fujita
  • Middle linebacker:
    • Jonathan Vilma
    • Charlie Clemons
  • Cornerback:
    • Mike McKenzie
    • Jabari Greer
    • Tracy Porter
    • Ashley Ambrose
  • Safety:
    • Sammy Knight
    • Darren Sharper
    • Roman Harper
The always-charismatic kicker John Carney makes the All-Saints team.

The always-charismatic kicker John Carney makes the All-Saints team.

Special teams

  • Kicker: John Carney
  • Punter: Thomas Morstead
  • Returner: Michael Lewis
  • Steve Gleason
  • Kevin Houser

Personal favorites

Here are a few players who didn’t make the cut but  were always favorites of mine.

  • Wide receiver: Keith Poole
  • Tight end: Eddie (“Boo”) Williams
  • Tight end: Cam Cleeland
  • Safety: Rob Kelly
  • Running back: Fred McAfee

Evaluation

There aren’t too many shockers on this list, especially on the offensive side of the ball.

The defensive team is where the fun started. Very few players lasted more than four or five years in New Orleans. Some, like Joe Johnson, were already near the end of their careers by 2000. Others, like Darren Sharper, had only a brief stint with the Saints but were good enough to be memorable. Still others are on the team but joined after 2006.

"Big Wiggle" (Norman Hand) tries to eats Sammy Knight after an interception.

“Big Wiggle” (defensive end Norman Hand) tries to eat Sammy Knight after an interception.

Safety and outside linebacker were the hardest spots to fill.

At the safety position, Knight was the lone longtime vet, Sharper was a one-hit wonder, and the much-maligned Harper, who was merely serviceable, was one of the best defensive backs the Saints have fielded in a long time.

Outside linebacker is easily the weakest slot on the All-Saints roster. For some reason, New Orleans hasn’t been able to find a truly good one since the Dome Patrol of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Now that the Saints have switched to a 3-4 scheme, they would love to have Norman Hand or Grady Jackson back.

Unfortunately, general manager Mickey Loomis passed on the opportunity to draft Texas outside linebacker Alex Okafor in the 2013 NFL Draft. Hopefully Malcolm Jenkins can finally live up to his potential as a linebacker — or at the very least, jump Roman Harper on the safety depth chart.

One last note: Imagine what the offense would have looked like had Brees been able to play behind that line. The scary thing? All those players did come within three or four years of playing as a unit together.

So now that I’ve laid this out, what changes would you suggest? Yes, I know that no NFL team — least of all the New Orleans Saints — is as good as your favorite team, but constructive criticism is always welcome. The floor is open for your nominations and counterarguments.

490 comments
504 N.O. EZ
504 N.O. EZ

Mike Ditka & Master P Screwed The Saints w/ Ricky Williams. Gave dam near all the draft picks away. Including future picks.

JVince 11
JVince 11

That is actually a pretty damn good group for the Saints... I personally would put Ricky Williams as my favorite RB but that is just my personal favorite.

G & G
G & G moderator

Titus , Titus...

bp.
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So, Macklemore is a real thing?

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

"Also, careful saying Bron is 270 around these parts.  Some fuckwad will go look at his listed weight and pretend he has not changed since he entered the league at 19."

If they're dumb enough to think that this kid:  http://i.imgur.com/KGXGHSL.jpg

weighs the same as this man:  http://imgur.com/MQmAA28

...then there is no helping them.

In the Heat picture, his arms, shoulders, torso, legs, etc are all bigger...

bp.
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KD is a man.

JVince 11
JVince 11

Shockey would also be my TE.

JVince 11
JVince 11

@Green And Gold  "I just wanted my black mustang back guys.... I was gonna pay for it totally legally... I just needed to climb over your fence to look for it first"

JVince 11
JVince 11

@niemerg1 What what what what what what what what what what what what what what

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@niemerg1 He seems to work very hard on standing.

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@niemerg1 This is how I learned of this man's existence.

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@tmonson78 Wish you had been here when I dared to suggest he was a superb athlete for being able to move the way he does at his size.

JVince 11
JVince 11

@___bp___ @Damn! Bears can't win fucking shit I feel like a WR is missing.. but I can't figure out who... my brain keeps wanting to say Devery Henderson but it isn't..... the guy was a WR for the Falcons first and then went to New Orleans... not Ashlie Lelie.. who the hell was it.

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@tmonson78 @jwoude23 Bear Down But, ironically, is just a piece.  Like Barea for the Mavs.  He will get paid by some dicey team and toil away as a loser.  He'd be better off staying a piece.

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@jwoude23 Bear Down @tmonson78 Thunder hanging tough despite no Westrbook, Bulls without Rose.  Comparable players (yes, I know, Rose is better), but the difference is that the Bulls don't have KD.  Thibs is fantastic.

FalconsFan0125
FalconsFan0125 moderator

@jwoude23 Bear Down The Bulls vs Heat one was awesome. Bulls showed a lot of heart out there, but that wont last long. For whats its worth, im rooting for yall. 

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@tmonson78  He's two inches taller.  That would be in the training.


Obviously, it is basically beyond speculation.


FWIW, I think Bolt's best race is that 9.58.  He didn't slow down because Tyson Gay was up his ass.  Fastest race ever, for sure.

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

@___bp___ I dunno man, Bolt still hasn't run his best race.  He ALWAYS slows down at the end.

And I don't think Lebron's stride is big enough to match Bolt.

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@jwoude23 Bear Down His speed is what gets me.  Flat out sprinting, no one is faster in the NBA.  Dude tears down the Court.  

A US track coach famously said he thinks he could get Bron to the point of challenging Bolt, and while that might by hyperbole... it might not.

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@jwoude23 Bear Down @___bp___ I am sure he has visions of bouncing the Heat in his head.  At this point, though, the team has its groove and needs to live and die by the guys who have made that groove happen.

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

@___bp___ His driving layup was beautiful.  The Heat looked lost, like they never expected him to be able to drive that deep in the lane.

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

@___bp___ I know, and really no one can stop Lebron, only slow him down.  Deng will do that (when he's back), and Butler is doing a decent job of it for now.

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@tmonson78 @___bp___ Also, careful saying Bron is 270 around these parts.  Some fuckwad will go look at his listed weight and pretend he has not changed since he entered the league at 19.

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@tmonson78 @___bp___ I am not talking about the future as in next year - I mean in this series.  LeBron started to find success against him, then was bottled up again in the fourth.  I just think he gives away too many pounds.

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

@___bp___ It's his second year, and I think he's 22?  He also only weighs 220, but could put some more on his frame.  Especially to contend with all 275 lbs of Lebron.

EDIT:  was wrong, Butler's 23.

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@tmonson78 I don't like Butler's odds of keeping it up.  Just a little too light.  Deng being down hurts in more ways than one.

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

@jwoude23 Bear Down 

Memphis has Tony Allen that they could use on one or the other, but it would probably be Wade.  I don't think he's big enough for Lebron.

That's the advantage the Bulls have with Butler (6'8") and Deng (6'9").  Hell, even Gibson can take Lebron for stretches.

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

@___bp___ There are better shot blockers than Noah for sure (Dwight, Chandler, probably even Hibbert).  I just think Noah does better than all the others at just about everything else.  But yeah, Marc Gasol is another dang good C.

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@jwoude23 Bear Down @___bp___ @tmonson78 I really thought Memphis would sink OKC.  This is not to their credit.  KD is great, but you have to come up with a way to stop him.  The lack of the wign defender, as you noted, is looming large.  


But KD is almost worse for them because he is such a great shooter.  And when I say that, I mean SUCH A GREAT FUCKING SHOOTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Lebron is at his best going to the hoop, where the Hippo Man would be waiting.

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@tmonson78 @___bp___ Before Dwight stopped being Dwight, I think it was Dwight.  This year I don't hate the vote for Marc Gasol, but that is mostly because he played so many minutes.  


Dude for IND is good too.

tmonson78
tmonson78 moderator

@___bp___ It may come off as homerish, but I think Noah is the best overall defending C in the game.  Footwork, speed, shot blocking, rebounding, etc.  He has it all, and more hustle than every other big man.

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@jwoude23 Bear Down @___bp___ @tmonson78 Indeed, though I would be very interested to see Memphis against Miami.  I think they would give MIA all sorts of trouble.


I should also mention: great defending big men are horrendously underrated in the NBA.  Gotta give Noah much love.  Completely impacts the game without ever scoring.  All points are just a plus.