You can check out my convo with Dave over at their SB Nation blog site and see what He asked Me and what I answered, as well as checking out their comments!
Here we go...
Niko: Its pretty well accepted the Saints of 2009 are better because of improved defense. What do you think are the biggest changes on defense that have helped?
DAVE: Most of it has to do with Gregg Williams. He has completely changed the culture of this defense as a whole and gets a lot more out of the defense than former coordinator Gary Gibbs ever did. Williams' defense emphasizes blitzing, turnovers and populating the ball; all in an aggressive manner. Former defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs ran a very plain scheme but Williams has proven these guys are capable of so much more, and runs many different schemes including both the 4-3 and 3-4.
That's not to say the off-season acquisition of players like Darren Sharper and Jabari Greer haven't proved to be genius. Those two alone have made a huge difference. But I still think the coaching and culture change is the more overriding factor.
Niko: How has Reggie Bush's role changed over the last year or two?
Dave: It's been a roller coaster to say the least, even up to today, and it's a controversial subject among fans. The first two seasons he usually saw a fair number of touches on a very regular basis. I would often complain that the offense was built too much around Reggie. Earlier this season, however, his role was greatly reduced with the emergence of Mike Bell and Pierre Thomas, leading many to wonder whether he was being phased out of the offense. But he's stepped it up the last few weeks, culminating with his two touchdown performance this past Sunday. But even then, in a game when he's playing incredibly well and the Saints are in need of offense, his touches were curiously limited. He is also used as a punt returner but hasn't been as effective as in years past.
Niko: How do Saints fans feel about TE Shockey? What does he do for the team?
Dave: I think they like him. My wife loves him and he's her favorite player. I like him but I'm a Drew Brees man myself. Shockey brings great energy. I have season tickets and sit two rows behind the Saints bench. Shockey is always standing on the bench, waving a towel and trying to get the crowd pumped. After last year I think fans were a little pissed and would rather have kept the draft picks they gave up for him. Now I don't think as many fans would say that.
From an on-the-field standpoint, he does all the things you always hear the TV announcers saying. Shockey is a threat in the red zone. He's a better-than-average run blocker. He opens up the field for Drew Brees and the other receivers. All that stuff.
Niko: After the NFC Championship appearance in 2006, The Saints have been average at best. Now they are undefeated at week 10. Do you think they are more liekly to be the 07 Pats; undefeated and a trip to the Superbowl ? or 98 Vikings whos high powered offense got them a 14-1 record and homefield advantage but a loss in the Championship game?
Dave: Neither. Both of those teams failed to win a Super Bowl. The Patriots lost that 2007 Super Bowl; certainly nothing I want to see for the Saints. The one goal for every single Saints fan is to see the team win a Super Bowl. As for going undefeated the entire way, I think that would be cool but only as icing on a Super Bowl championship cake. Maybe made by Duff from Ace of Cakes or the dude from Cake Boss.
Niko: My standard no.5 q- Who on the Bucs would you like to have, and who would you be willing to trade to get him if you could?
Dave: Barrett Ruud. I know he plays the inside of a 3-4 but if he was versatile enough to play in the Saints system, I think he would really round out the defense. If I have to be serious about a player I would be willing to trade I guess it would probably be a receiver. Saints have enough talent there to afford. Choosing one is the difficult part. You can have anyone but Colston. But I'll throw in Randall Gay just to sweeten the pot.