Aaron Brooks is inconsistent--he makes a great athletic throw and then makes a boneheaded play--but they've got some serious offensive weapons. Deuce McAllister has speed and can make plays on his own.... Donte' Stallworth has unbelievable ability, though whether he'll put it all together is a question. He can run, he can change directions--he could be a star, but he's got to be more dependable. Joe Horn has some left in the tank.... On the offensive line LeCharles Bentley will be an upgrade over Jerry Fontenot at center, but Kendyl Jacox is nothing special, and Victor Riley will always have a weight issue.... Their defense is an enigma. They have a lot of potential, but who knows how they'll play? I don't know that they have a cover corner. Ashley Ambrose was a hell of a player, but at 33 how much does he have left? Fred Thomas isn't fast enough.... At linebacker Orlando Ruff and Derrick Rodgers are nothing special.... I assume they drafted Will Smith to replace Darren Howard, whom they apparently don't want to pay next year. Howard and Charles Grant are good, but Brian Young is small.
"Cover corner Ashley Ambrose was a hell of a player, but at 33 how much does he have left?"
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP with 2003 statistics
2003 RECORD: 8-8
NFL RANK (rush/pass/total):
COACH: Jim Haslett; fifth season with New Orleans (34-30 in NFL)
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]