Monday, May 11, 2009

Saints Nation: It's Now or Never for Robert Meachem

Robert Meachem is entering the 3rd season of the 5 year, $11.3 million deal he signed as a rookie. As a promising 1st round pick when he joined the Saints, Meachem has amassed 12 receptions in two seasons and has done very little to justify where the Saints picked him. Granted the Saints have had some very productive receivers in the past couple of years, so competition has been tough. That being said, if Meachem doesn't improve this year and start making more plays, he may fall out of favor with Sean Payton and Drew Brees forever. Meachem showed some flashes last year finding the end zone 4 times (3 receiving, 1 rushing), but his once again erratic performances did little to gain the trust of the Saints coaching staff. Much documented is how little confidence the staff must have had in him when they decided to re-sign Devery Henderson to a long term deal. What that basically said publicly was that they didn't have the confidence that Meachem was ready to fill Henderson's role as the deep threat. Meachem will start training camp as the 4th receiver on the depth chart behind Marques Colston, Lance Moore and Devery Henderson, but he'll have to be careful because 2nd year man Adrian Arrington is a threat to his playing time. Barring injury, I can't see Meachem bypassing any of the three guys ahead of him. The good news for Meachem is that he won't have to battle David Patten this year, who is no longer on the team. The Saints also have not added a veteran receiver this offseason via free agency, so Meachem's roster spot looks pretty safe. What he does with his roster spot beyond that is anyone's guess. Time is running out for Meachem to show what he can do. We saw the potential he has last year with his playmaking ability, but the key for Meachem this season is to perform more consistently. Less mental mistakes will get him on the field more, earn the trust of his coaching staff and teammates, and boost his currently meager stat line. Good luck to Robert, and GEAUX SAINTS.