My journey down South

Maybe it was the mumbles that drove me out of the North.

Four years of listening to Bill Belichick grunt, growl, and grumble through news conferences is enough to make any man hop on a highway and drive until there is nowhere left to go. You might not believe me, but trust what I’m telling you.

So, that may or may not be how I ended up at The Advocate as your new Saints beat reporter. I hear that things are run as tightly down here as they are in New England. I refuse to listen to believe it. Sean Payton has to have at least a little bit of personality.

New Orleans Saints fans dress as defensive coordinator Rob Ryan cheer in the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) ORG XMIT: NYOTK

New Orleans Saints fans dress as defensive coordinator Rob Ryan cheer in the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) ORG XMIT: NYOTK

In all seriousness, I’m excited to start this journey. It was a pleasure watching the Patriots operate the last few years, and Belichick was a fascinating figure when he decided to open the curtain a little bit. And watching Tom Brady efficiently lead the New England offense each Sunday was stunning to witness.

But I’m excited to see how two different limbs from the Parcells tree run their operations, and it will be nice to watch a quarterback who can consistently throw the ball down the field. Brady has to be appreciated as a complete body of work. Drew Brees, on the other hand, can drop your jaw with one pass..

And, of course, there’s Rob Ryan’s defense. Some of the best games up in New England came against Ryan’s defense. My first year on the beat, the Patriots went into Cleveland and were handed a 34-14 loss in what was supposed to be a ‘gimmie.’ That was the first time I saw Ryan’s vaunted ‘Amoeba’ defense, which, at the time, was a completely foreign concept to me. It’s going to be awesome to see what he comes up with each week.

A little about me: I’m a Pennsylvania native, I’ll be living in Uptown with my wife, and I love football. There isn’t much more to know.

The approach I’ve always taken to my job is to try and learn as much as I can and to always be curious. I’m fascinated by the strategy of the game, and I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what happened each week by watching film and asking questions. I won’t pretend to ever have it all figured out, but I do like to share what I gather along the way.

I look forward to getting to work and eventually getting to know New Orleans a little bit better after returning from training camp. As far as the team goes, looking at the roster, I have to agree with Archie Manning. This team looks stacked on paper.

It should be a fun year.