Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Saints Nation: At 4-0, Saints can go into Bye Week to Nurse Injuries with No Regrets

It's hard to say you can want anything back from the first 4 games when you've won all of them by a minimum margin of 14 points. The Saints have won all their games convincingly, while staying mostly solid in all phases of the game. While there's always things you can improve upon and correct, the Saints enter their bye week with the ideal scenario. The only possible disappointment you could point to thus far is the loss of Pro Bowl left tackle Jammal Brown for the season due to injury. While that's a key injury to a key player, everything else is falling into place. Believe it or not, the Saints should come out of this bye week better.

Nursing injuries that should be healed in time for a week 6 matchup against the New York Giants are Kendrick Clancy, Mike Bell, Jermon Bushrod, Darnell Dinkins and Malcolm Jenkins. Add Lance Moore to that list, who while active last week hasn't been right all season between his shoulder injury in the offseason and his recent hamstring pull. Consider these benefits:

1. Having Bushrod back will create more depth and competition with Zach Strief, who filled in admirably against the Jets. With Brown out it's a good thing we have to pick between the two as oppose to going with the healthy one.

2. Having Bell back will create more depth at running back and give the Saints a good problem to have in deciding who's more performant between he and Pierre Thomas. Both have run the ball so well it may take reps away from Bush.

3. Having Clancy back is arguably most crucial. Remi Ayodele has filled in well, but Clancy is a performant starter that enhances the Saints' run stopping ability. They'll need him facing a premiere bruising back like Brandon Jacobs.

4. Having Darnell Dinkins will enhance the Saints' run blocking and allow Zach Strief to focus on his position at tackle.

5. Malcolm Jenkins has been the biggest playmaker on special teams. The Saints need him in there, and I think he can make a difference on defense later in the season too.

6. Lance Moore needs to come back healthy. The last two games we've seen Colston struggle, and while Henderson and Meachem are good players - they're field stretchers that are a little one dimensional. Moore is a terrific route runner with terrific hands, and he's deadly against the zone (whereas the other 3 are better man to man receivers). Moore excels at finding the soft spot in a defense, and Brees will only get better with him on the field and healthy.