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WhoDat!656 07-10-2013 02:49 PM

Saints Team Report
 
When the Saints completed their offseason program in mid-June, they had a chance to sit back and take stock of what they were able to accomplish -- especially after last offseason -- and they liked what they saw.

After all, what's not to like? They had coach Sean Payton back from a bounty suspension and a fresh outlook on the upcoming season after a miserable 2012 campaign.

With Payton back in the saddle, the Saints had their first "normal" offseason since before they won Super Bowl XLIV in 2009 and they believe they're primed to get back on track after a seven-win season that followed 41 victories in the previous three seasons.

Of course, there is more reason for optimism than just having Payton back.

A record-setting offense that had Drew Brees on the field for the entire offseason after he missed last year's workouts while negotiating a new contract returns virtually intact with the exception of two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jermon Bushrod. Replacing him is still a question mark going forward.

While the loss of Bushrod was the biggest one the Saints suffered this spring, there are enough reasons to believe they can again be among the NFL leaders in total yards -- especially with a renewed emphasis on running the ball.

Defensively, the Saints have a new 3-4 scheme and a new outlook under new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

With an influx of talent in cornerback Keenan Lewis, defensive end Kenyon Coleman and two draft picks in safety Kenny Vaccaro and nose tackle John Jenkins, the Saints should be able to put the 2012 season, in which they set an NFL single-season record for yards allowed (7,042) behind them, and make some positive strides to help their offense.

Strengths: The offense has finished in the top six in total yards in all seven seasons since Sean Payton took over in 2006 and there's no reason to believe they won't be able to do it again.

With Drew Brees returning, along with tight end Jimmy Graham and wide receivers Marques Colston, Lance Moore and Joe Morgan, the Saints have all the ingredients they have had in the past -- not to mention a close-knit offensive line that annually is among the league leaders in fewest sacks allowed.

The Saints could also benefit from a stable of running backs that will be asked to produce more after they ranked 25th in rushing last season. Payton will emphasize the run in the hopes of getting the same results he did when they ranked sixth in both 2009 and 2011 and won 13 games both times.

Weaknesses: Until they prove otherwise, it's the defense. After giving up an NFL single-season record 7,042 total yards in 2012, it would have been easy for Payton to completely blow things up and start all over.

But he took a different approach. He fired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and announced he would switch to a 3-4 scheme, then hired Rob Ryan to implement the new alignment.

There was little turnover in personnel, however, which means Payton is confident the players who were around for last year will benefit from a new leader and a new scheme even though they brought in a few new pieces like cornerback Keenan Lewis, safety Kenny Vaccaro and nose tackle John Jenkins.

New Orleans Saints - Team Report - NFL - Yahoo! Sports

Rugby Saint II 07-10-2013 03:29 PM

Re: Saints Team Report
 
That is a pretty fair assessment.
Did we bring in enough new blood? Can Vacarro become the leader that Sharper was in '09? Just how cohesive will this unit be? This waiting thing sucks.

|Mitch| 07-10-2013 03:59 PM

Re: Saints Team Report
 
I'm not as worried about the defense as some seem to be... Going back predominately man coverage with the same basic principles as Williams' defense.

Only difference, is we're in a base 3-4, except Ryan favors 4-3 personnel in short yardage situations...

I can't help but to be excited with the idea that our run defense will be better; according to RR that's where it all starts...

FinSaint 07-10-2013 04:03 PM

Re: Saints Team Report
 
It's really a shame that Victor Butler suffered that injury - he would've been an interesting newcomer to watch in the preseason.

Danno 07-10-2013 06:00 PM

Re: Saints Team Report
 
We did just about all we could considering we were bumping the cap every week.

We blew up this defense about as much as we possibly could.

saintsfan1976 07-10-2013 06:55 PM

Re: Saints Team Report
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Danno (Post 510748)
We did just about all we could considering we were bumping the cap every week.

We blew up this defense about as much as we possibly could.

And upgraded CB, FS, DT, DE.

RT and LT we'll know by week 3.

WR will be a weekly rotating wheel of emotion IMO.

RB position is the most dynamic in the NFL.

Besides, there's no team you fear more than a vengeful Sean Payton team

st thomas 07-10-2013 09:41 PM

Re: Saints Team Report
 
we need someone to step up and get in some faces. thats what we need in a leader. remember 09, just do your job. and things will fall into place.

jeanpierre 07-10-2013 09:55 PM

Re: Saints Team Report
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by WhoDat!656 (Post 510725)
Weaknesses: Until they prove otherwise, it's the defense. After giving up an NFL single-season record 7,042 total yards in 2012, it would have been easy for Payton to completely blow things up and start all over.

But he took a different approach. He fired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and announced he would switch to a 3-4 scheme, then hired Rob Ryan to implement the new alignment.

There was little turnover in personnel, however,
which means Payton is confident the players who were around for last year will benefit from a new leader and a new scheme even though they brought in a few new pieces like cornerback Keenan Lewis, safety Kenny Vaccaro and nose tackle John Jenkins.

WTF?!?

That's Exactly What He Did?!?

Another Columbia School of Journalism Grad We Have Here Lads...


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