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Shockey brings balance to Saints

7/21/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

The New Orleans Saints went from having a pretty good offense to having a great one this afternoon. The trade for New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey makes New Orleans' offense complete.

The Saints already had a very good No. 1 wide receiver in Marques Colston and the potential for a strong running game with Deuce McAllister, Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas. They also have one of the smartest quarterbacks in the league in Drew Brees.

With Shockey, they've tied everything together. New Orleans needed someone to take some of the attention away from Colston. Defenses won't be able to roll the Cover Two on him all day because Shockey will take coverage away and cause matchup problems for safeties and linebackers.

He's a natural fit in the New Orleans offense because he can make things happen over the middle and down the field. That will open things up for Colston along the sidelines and it should help whoever is playing the No. 2 receiver spot (Robert Meachem and David Patten are among the candidates). Shockey also is going to make Brees much more effective because he gives him a tight end who is as dangerous as most wide receivers.

Shockey isn't noted for his blocking, but his presence still will help the running game. Defenses are going to have to account for Shockey with linebackers and safeties and that's going to open things up for Bush and McAllister. Opposing defenses won't be able to use eight men in the box and they won't be able to devote all their coverage to Colston.


ESPN analyst Floyd Reese breaks down the Jeremy Shockey trade to the New Orleans Saints.