Here's my 5 player watch list for 2011:
5. DE Junior Galette: I was so pumped to hopefully see Galette play last season after the monster preseason he had that ultimately cost Bobby McCray his job. Only, after Galette sent McCray packing he never saw the field in real games. The few times he did, he went remarkably unnoticed. Galette's main strength was the Dwight Freeney like speed off the edge that in theory should make him a devastating pass rusher. We never saw that after the preseason, though, and a guy many of us were really excited about ended up a flash in the pan. It didn't help that the staff barely trusted him in almost any situation last year. In year 2 I fully expect Galette to get more chances, develop his game, see the field more, and make plays.
4. HB Mark Ingram: This may be obvious to most of you, but I truly believe Ingram will make an immediate impact on the team. By season's end I fully expect him to lead the team in rushing yards ahead of both Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory. I could be dead wrong there, but I just have the feeling the Saints will ease Ivory and PT back into duty as they nurse their offseason surgeries and progress through rehab. That will mean leaning more heavily on the rookie early on, and I believe he will impress from minute one. He is that good.
3. LB Jonathan Casillas: I'm terrified to put him on this list again because I fear this may be the kiss of death in ruining another promising season for him. If he can stay healthy, though, the coaching staff loves his potential. He could start and make an immediate impact. Here's to hoping he can turn his career around this season. He's a really promising player if he can avoid major injury again.
2. WR Adrian Arrington: that 7 catch 79 yard performance was very impressive, as was Arrington's team leading preseason performance. Despite never really getting a chance, Arrington proved last year that he was ready to step into a more consistent role. We're still not sure if the Saints will keep Devery Henderson or be able to re-sign Lance Moore. Arrington is hoping to step into an opening spot on the team that either of their players could afford him. If they both come back, Arrington will have to beat them out. Based on Henderson's performance last year, it may be time he got his shot. Arrington is 25 now and not getting any younger. He's been a pet project for long enough so this is a make it or break it year for Arrington.
1. TE Jimmy Graham (pictured): Graham caught 31 passes last season and 5 touchdowns in what most everyone considered an incredibly impressive rookie season. Jeremy Shockey's release this offseason communicated everything we need to know about what the coaching staff thinks of this kid. The starting job is his for the taking now and with the increase in reps on offense Drew Brees is only going to look his way more often. Let's not forget the kind of numbers Antonio Gates put up with Brees as his quarterback. If Graham can stay healthy, he'll be headed to the Pro Bowl. Mark my words. He's going to be a dominant NFL player in a hurry.
the saints team is so powerful now with graham and my favorite colston, mechum, moore,brees don't even have to practice, just throw it up.then running the ball ivory looked real good and pierre played outstanding, mark ingram is going to be super being around those guys,and drew bbbbreesis going to have another outstanding season,why because great leaders and outstanding person will have good things happen to them or for them.He's a great example of what a real nfl player should be on the field and off.I am so looking forward to the up coming season I don't care if it;s half a season or one quarter of a season I get the direct package in howell new jersey and I love my saints saints players follow your team leader drew brees and keep out of trouble and the team will be in the next superbowl go saints