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papz 09-04-2013 08:03 AM

Forecasting the New Orleans Saints' 2013 season
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Sean Payton is a better coach than he was in 2009 when his Saints won the Super Bowl.

Does that mean his 2013 Saints will win another Super Bowl?

Of course not.

It just means he may have a football team good enough to make the playoffs. I'm predicting it will be good enough to finish the regular season 9-7, better than the 7-9 finish a year ago when Payton was watching from the sideline, courtesy of Bountygate.

That's what makes what lies ahead so appealing.

Will the arrival of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan help turn what was maybe the worst defense in NFL history into one that helps the offense win a few games?

It's just one of many questions.

Will the offensive line make life easier for running backs Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and Darren Sproles, along with lifting some of the burden off Drew Brees?

Last year, while Brees was throwing for 43 touchdowns and more than 5,000 yards, the defense was giving up more than 7,042 yards, the most in a single season in league history.

While the offense was ranked No. 2, the defense was ranked No. 32.

In Rob Ryan, the Saints have a coordinator who was fired from three jobs in five years. They also got someone who is up front.

"When you get fired like I did,'' he said, "it has a way of humbling you. I've got a lot to prove, I've got to earn my respect. I'm fortunate to be here. I know I can coach."

As for Payton, he leaves you with the impression he's enjoying working with someone like Ryan at a time the head coach is in charge of a team that's flying under the radar.

It's quite evident, Payton realizes, so long as Drew Brees is taking snaps, the Saints have a shot at making their presence known with a quarterback who will be 35 by the time the season has ended.

The other day the Saints had to deal with the loss of linebacker Will Smith for the rest of the season, placed on injured reserve after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.

Injuries are only one reason Payton says "every year is different because things happen you cannot predict.''

"I'll never talk about a Saints team being like the one we had in 2009 because they're all different,'' he said. "There is nothing promised. It's all a process of working hard, hoping for the best. Some things you have no control over.''

What does Payton say of his quarterback?

"He's a better quarterback now than he was when he raised the Vince Lombardi trophy.''

What does Drew Brees say about himself?

"I feel as good now as I've ever felt. I'm still at the stage of my life where I feel like I can play forever.''

What do other quarterbacks say?

Kurt Warner: "The guys who play really well at the end of their careers are in offense they're comfortable with. That's what great for Drew. Most people you hear '35' and you think a guy should be in a downswing, but that's not true of a quarterback in general and Drew in particular. Drew has the mental ability to play the game without having to think, without having to hesitate. Drew is a guy who plays from the shoulders up. I don't see his skills diminishing anytime soon.''

Pro Football Hall of Famer Len Dawson: "Age has a way of doing things to all of us. But Drew's in shape and he's always been in shape. There's no reason he can't play until 40 and at a high level.''

Forecasting the New Orleans Saints' 2013 season |

foreverfan 09-04-2013 08:37 AM

Re: Forecasting the New Orleans Saints' 2013 season
What? Me worried?

Rugby Saint II 09-04-2013 06:05 PM

Re: Forecasting the New Orleans Saints' 2013 season
Drew is going to throw for over 5000 yards a few more times.

homerj07 09-04-2013 07:36 PM

Re: Forecasting the New Orleans Saints' 2013 season
I don't care if he only throws for 2500 yrds as long as we win.

That being said it would suck for my fantasy team. :doh:

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