Mr. Arrogant strikes again!

As if it weren't enough that the Saints kept 10 rookies on the 53-man roster, including 6 who were undrafted, and another two redshirt rookies on top of that, then they turn right around and sign perhaps the biggest free agent bust of 2012. And the question on everybody's mind is "Why???"

Here's why: Because he can, bitches.

Not that there aren't more substantial reasons for bringing Pontchartrain Meach back into the fold. Short term, while we're all justifiably excited about Kenny Stills and Nick Toon and The Great Andy Tanner, those three guys have a combined zero regular season NFL experience. It's not like they've been bringing veteran wideouts in all summer just for the hell of it. It's pretty obvious that there's a security blanket factor in play here. Turns out Steve Breaston, Patrick Crayton and Preston Parker just weren't "the right one."

But there are all kinds of reasons why Meachem very likely is. Familiarity with the playbook (I can't imagine it's changed all that radically after one whole Sean Payton-less season.) Familiarity with the "culture" of the Saints. Familiarity with Sean Payton, Drew Brees, Marques Colston and Lance Moore. Willingness and ability as a downfield blocker. A history of timely big plays. As security blankets go, that's about as good as it gets.

I also think there's a long game going on here. No, not "taking the top off the defense" via posts and streaks and fly patterns, though hopefully there will be plenty of that as well. I'm talking about the long game of reinforcing the already existing notion that Saints wideouts are "system players" and signing one in free agency carries a significant bust risk.

That notion has already been beneficial to the Saints over the last few years, allowing them to hold onto Colston, Moore and Devery Henderson at relative bargains without much in the way of attempted poaching. But Meachem is the first "true test" of whether or not that notion is actually legitimate, and it's in the Saints' best interest to "prove" it so. It'll help them to hold onto the next wave (Stills, Toon) at similar bargain rates once they've established themselves and potentially hit the open market.

Devery wasn't really a candidate for that, because he's 31 and was already declining significantly before the Saints declined to re-sign him. But Meachem left for greener pastures at 27 and signed a big contract to be "The Guy" in San Diego, which is a whole other thing. He busted. Spectacularly. That was phase one, and that in and of itself might have been enough to "prove" that "Saints wideouts are bad free agent investments." But phase two, bringing him back and resurrecting his career, will really solidify it and have GMs all over the league a few years from now going "Kenny Stills? Fuuuuuck all that."

Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton: Three steps ahead of your chump ass once again.

Downside? None. So relax, it's not like he took a roster spot from everybody's favorite white wideout. And there's no risk of the move backfiring, because everybody (Saints fans included) has already bought into San Diego's story that he's washed up and broken down. Everybody's convinced he's a chump at this point. So if he doesn't contribute, well, he's just another failed reclamation project. They gave it a shot, didn't work out, happens to every team every year. No big deal. No harm done.

But that's not what's gonna happen. Because that's not how the Saints do business. Olin Kreutz notwithstanding, Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton aren't in the business of signing washed up, broken down chumps. That's really more of an Atlanta thing. (The Saints sign guys and then they break down.)

Message Board Guy is acting like they just signed him for the sake of 2009 nostalgia or some bullshit. But it's not like they didn't make him take a physical, have him run a few 40s, quiz him on the playbook, get his take on why it didn't work out in San Diego, all that due diligence type shit. If he really were a washed up, broken down chump, he wouldn't be here.

And it couldn't be more obvious at this point that "2009 nostalgia" couldn't be less of a factor. If it were, Scott Shanle and Sedrick Ellis and Courtney Roby (among others) would be on the roster rather than 10 rookies. Ten!!! If there were any lingering doubt as to whether or not Sean Payton and company are still running a meritocracy around here, that alone ought to put the ole kibosh on that particular misconception.

It's not about "recapturing the magic" of damn near a half decade ago. This is a whole other thing. A brand new thing. That much should have been made perfectly clear when the cuts to 53 were announced last weekend, if not far earlier than that. "We're not carrying the sins accomplishments of those old teams forward. This is our deal."

But that doesn't mean there's not room for a 28 year old veteran wideout who went all 40 for 620, 15.5 yards per, and scored 6 touchdowns for this very team just two short seasons ago, for crying out loud. At worst, it's a safety net. At best, it's an embarrassment of riches. I'm betting on the latter. Because Sean Payton will see to it, if for no other reason than for the sake of the long game.

And perhaps even more than that, just because he can. After all, it is Sean Payton's Revenge Tour. What's a revenge tour without a healthy dose of Fuck You? (And your eyebrows!)

Ten rookies on the roster? Fuck you. Six undrafted? Fuck you. Two redshirt rookies, including a white wideout who's been cut 98 times? Fuck you. Signing the biggest free agent bust of 2012 less than a week before the start of the regular season? Fuck you. Three outside linebackers on the roster while running a base 34? Fuck you. Five tailbacks? Fuck you. Josh Hill? You're goddamn right, Josh Hill. Fuck you. We're still gonna kick your ass.

That's our Coach Heisenberg right there. The guy who's smarter than you, luckier than you, and has far bigger balls than you.

Seems most people are pretty much discounting the notion of Meachem actually playing this weekend against the Falcons. And that's probably where the smart money is, but I think it's just as likely that he does play and goes all 3 for 107 with it. Why? Because it would amuse Sean Payton. Because heads would explode. What more reason do you need? What more reason does Sean Payton need? Exploding heads is what this thing is all about in the first place.

And it's all so perfectly set up to do precisely that right from the jump, is it not? The win will do just fine in and of itself, thank you very much. But the potential is there for it to be far more than that. A "statement" something along the lines of the 2009 Patriots game. A righteous beatdown. At home. In week one. Against their most hated rival and the presumptive NFC South favorite. Talk about setting it off right, and in a big way.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Everybody's pretty sure the Saints aren't nearly good enough to pull something like that off, and the Falcons are way too good to get blown out of the Dome. Even the majority of Saints fans seem to be soiling their pants and just crossing their fingers that the Saints can manage to pull out a close W. And if that's the way it plays out, well, that'll just have to do.

But I've got a hunch that the Saints are gonna hand them their asses Sunday afternoon. Just a hunch. The Falcons have looked like dogshit over the last month. Their offensive line is being held together with duct tape. #MartyIce has been sacked 5 times in only 43 dropbacks, or one per every 8.6. He's only thrown for one touchdown and the Falcons have only scored six touchdowns overall. Steven Jackson is rushing for a fairly pedestrian 4.0 yards per. Defensively, they only produced seven sacks in the preseason. I'm pretty sure Glenn Foster had more sacks on his own. And they're gonna be starting either two rookie corners, or one rookie and 66 year old Asante Samuel.

Buy into their continuing general-purpose mightiness if you like, but I'm just not seeing it right about now. They look like they've regressed, which isn't surprising, considering that they had a four-leaf clover up their ass all of last year. Oh, and there's also that little matter of the Sean Payton/Drew Brees Saints straight owning them over the last seven years.

Meantime, the Saints' preseason was pretty much overwhelmingly positive. Drew Brees is in midseason form and the offense as a whole has been as deadly as ever. They've got that "quiet confidence" thing going on once again, you can see it on their faces and hear it when they speak. Drew's got that look in his eye, and Sean Payton's got that tone in his voice. I think we can all tell at this point when it's real and when it's not. Right now, it's real.

And then there's that chip on their shoulder which was conspicuously missing last year. That fuck you factor. As Reid pointed out last week, lately Sean Payton has been giving us the occasional peek behind the post-suspension humbled good-boy veneer and revealing that he does, in fact, have scores to settle. That chip on his shoulder is, in fact, bigger than ever. There's a hunger to reassert himself, to set things right after all the wrong of last season.

And it's not just Sean Payton. It's Drew Brees, after having signed the (then) richest contract in NFL history and following it up with a down year. It's Rob Ryan after having been fired last year. It's everyone on defense after having been dubbed the "worst defense in NFL history" last year. It's the tailbacks, after having been so ineffective last year. And on and on like that.

In short, all the "intangibles" seem to stack up in the Saints favor. And yeah, I know, "intangibles" are a pretty weak foundation on which to base assertions. Sue me. All I'm saying is that the Saints tend to be at their best when they have that "bat game" mentality going on, and it's pretty clear that they do have that mentality going on in full force right about now. It's about reasserting themselves. It's about serving notice. 

And to that end, I'm pretty sure that to whatever extent they're able to, they're gonna pour it on Sunday afternoon. Hell, you know they're loaded for bear and champing at the bit when even Drew is indulging himself in a bit of arrogant dickishness:

Like a boss. That's good stuff right there.

Be scared of it if you must, but it seems to me that it's all set up for one of those "Oh shit, that just happened!" type of games where the Saints blow some shit up and just roll to a degree nobody saw coming. One of those "How you like me now?" type performances. A punch to the face of the whole damn league. Crushing the Falcons' souls (yet again) in the process is just lagniappe.

Time to meet the Sean Payton/Drew Brees Saints Mark 2, bitches. Better get ready to deal with it, because they ain't fucking around. And they're about to prove it.

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