The Saints didn't fire Jim Haslett this off-season. In my mind, the only real explanation for this is because that owner Tom Benson expects the team to move, and he is setting up the next owner to be able to bring in his own coach rather than inherit someone who may only be in the first or 2nd year of his contract. This occurred with us with Smith-Reeves-Blank, in MInnesota with McCombs-Green-Tice, and seems to be the common practice when teams are up for sale.
But I'm looking at this Saints team, and I sorta feel sorry for them. This current roster is very old and underachieving. They have a bunch of starters that at 30 or older, and whomever inherits this team in 2006 or 2007 after Haslett is going to have to totally rebuild the roster.
Unless Aaron Brooks makes huge strides in 2005, he's got to go. He seems to be on the same page as Jake Plummer was in his final years in Arizona, and needs a change of scenery if his career is to jumpstart.
McAllister is one of the few players worth a damn down there, but his contract expires after this year, and he needs to return to his former form if he wants a big time contract. Aaron Stecker outplayed him this year (which happened to be one of the FA targets I wanted us to get this year
Horn too is a FA, and Stallworth has been a virtual bust. Their O-line has a few solid players like Bentley, but the rest of the unit is pretty average, and unless Jon Stinchcomb steps it up this year, they will have to rebuild that unit as well.
Really the only thing that makes you smile about the team is their DE position, with Howard, Grant, and Will Smith (the guy I would have taken over DeAngelo). But they have a decision to make this year, extend Howard's contract or possibly trade him after the season with hopes that Grant and Smith are just as good (and I think they are). The LB is pretty much a bunch of scrubs, and their secondary is improved, but Mike McKenzie is the only one to write home about. Tebucky Jones has been a major disappointment.
That's just a team that is going to need to be overhauled in the next few years, and I feel a bit sorry for the coach & GM that are stuck with the job. But it may not be so bad, with the Los Angeles Saints (or Angels?)....