During the first 2 years under the Haslett regime, the Saints played in the same division with the St. Louis Rams. Jim Haslett and Mike McCarthy got to see first hand the most explosive and high scoring offense of all time twice per year.
There was very little any team could do to slow down, much less stop the potent Ram's offense. With imitation being the most sincere form of flattery, I think Haslett and McCarthy knew with the Rams being in the same division as the Saints, they needed to try to put an offense together that resembled the St. Louis Ram's offense, if they were to have any chance at defeating them.
When Mike McCarthy came to the Saints he brought with him a West Coast Offense that he learned under Mike Holmgren. This offense was a slight variation of the Bill Walsh west coast offense that used a controlled passing game.
The Saints offense does not resemble the offense that McCarthy learned under Holmgren, instead it most resembles the Rams offense under Mike Martz.
While the Rams did win one superbowl and appeared in another, the Rams were able to acheive something other teams had not been able to do. Win it all primarily because of a high scoring offense. Some like to point out that the Ram's defense was ranked in the upper part of the defensive standings when they were going to the Superbowl, but the Rams offense, because they were able to put points on the board so quickly and consistantly, completly took the opposing teams offense out of their game plan and forced them to thow quickly and often, therefore, the Rams offense had a dramatic influence on how the defense fared statistically.
Throughout history teams who tried to win with quick stricking offenses such as: The Huston Oilers and the Atlanta Falcons with their run a shoot offense, quickly learned that this was not effective when you ran into teams with good defenses and ball control offenses. A more recent team to look at would be the Minnesota Vikings, who put an incrediable amount of points up a few years back, but were quickly booted out of the playoffs.
The Saints might well be able to duplicate the Rams success when they won it all, but to me they would be better served using more of a true west coast offense that has proven over time that it has been successful at getting teams to the big dance.
[Edited on 26/7/2003 by BillyCarpenter1]
Yeah, a very good post indeed Billy. The old saying that defenses win championships is true. But you must have at least an average offense to go along with a great defense to get you there. Teams with great defenses that have won the superbowl such as the Bears, Giants, Ravens, and Buccaneers have only needed their offense to play adequate enough for them to win on the way to the big dance. Teams like the Dolphins, Redskins, Steelers, Cowboys, 49ers, and Packers have done so with a bit more balance and known somewhat more for the ability of their offense. You are 100% correct in that the Rams did it with an offense that scored so much that it didn\'t matter what their defense did. There have been several offensive teams over the years such as the Chargers under Fouts and the recent Vikings explosive unit that could not overcome weak defensive play and were outed in the playoffs. Other defensive minded teams over the years including even the Saints, played great defense but could not overcome the inept play of their offense.
As for as a TRUE west coast offense, there is always an original idea and then there are variations of it. Even Holdgrems WC was modified from the one he learned from inovator Bill Walsh. June Jones Atlanta run and shoot is not even the same concept.
Your point is well taken though in that the WC under McCarthy to date has relied a bit more on the vertical down field big plays that resembles the attacking style of the Rams glory, more so than the dink and dunk, take what the defense gives you, ball controlling methodical time consuming WC style of play that the 49ers and Packers displayed. I would like to see us use all of McCarthys WC which we haven\'t due to the lack of TE production during the past three years and also missing some other pieces to the puzzle at times. We now have the players in place to utilize his playbook from cover to cover. This year this system will show just how diverse it can be.
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