NOLA.com- "I mean, c'mon, who are you talking about?" He asked, laughing."The guys that replaced them are better than they were."
Galette, of course, was talking about departed veterans like Will Smith, Roman Harper, Malcolm Jenkins and Jonathan Vilma.
"Here, the guys that replaced them are better than the guys we had. It's not even close. Across the board," Galette said. "I'll take Kenny Vaccaro any day over any safety. And I'll take (Cam Jordan) over any defensive end. Jairus Byrd over any safety."
Is Junior Galette right? Are Jordan, Vacarro, Byrd, and Lofton better, talent wise, than their predecessors? In most cases, he is probably correct. I don't want to tear into Junior too much here. No one expects him to be politically correct. No one expects him to give a cliche answer. He has always, and will always, say exactly how he feels. That, among other variables, is the reason he is a leader and a captain on this team. Galette is a captain of THIS Saints team. The guys that wear the black and gold in 2014. So he shouldn't have to mince words to spare feelings. However, this still wasn't the right path for him to go down. In fact, it is an unbelievably stupid path to go down.
The Saints are a franchise with one Super Bowl win. One. The players that played on that team will forever be remembered for that piece of history. Until there is a second Lombardi Trophy in New Orleans, the 2009 team will always be better than any team that graced the SuperDome turf in a Saints uniform. That's why Junior needs to shut the fuck up. It would be slightly different if this team were anywhere close to living up to it's expectations. No one wants to hear an outside linebacker on an underachieving defense talk about how good his unit is. Especially in comparison to a defensive unit in 2009 that drastically overachieved. If anything, his opinion on the members of this team make those very same people look worse. If the players that I have watched miss tackles for the better part of 12 games are better than the guys that rode floats down Canal Street then they certainly aren't proving that when and where it matters.
The NFL, like all professional sports, is a 'what have you done for me' business. I love Junior Galette. I love has passion. I love his openness to say what he feels. However, when it boils down to it, he hasn't won shit. Until he has, I don't want to hear him speak poorly of those that have. Even if/when he does, I want to believe that the former players responsible for the winning culture of this franchise would be thought of in a positive light. It's possible to stand up for your teammates while simultaneously respecting those that came before you. Make no mistake, this Saints team would be facing far more criticism if not for the accomplishments of those players on that fateful February night in Miami. I'm not sure how Jonathan Vilma would react to these statements, but I would imagine it would be something like this, "Talent fades, Championships last forever". I don't care if Galette sets the all time sack record. It won't make a goddamn difference to the city, or the fan base, if it doesn't result in a Super Bowl ring. I can speak for everyone when I say that I don't care if they are better players if they aren't a better TEAM.