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The Falcoholic: Could the New Orleans Saints present a bigger challenge than expected?

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Could the New Orleans Saints present a bigger challenge than expected? The New Orleans Saints are in dire need of a winning season. Might they get one? by Allen Strk@Allen_Strk Jul 6, 2017, 12:00pm EDT The NFC South is starting ...

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Old 07-07-2017, 01:29 PM   #1
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Could the New Orleans Saints present a bigger challenge than expected?

The New Orleans Saints are in dire need of a winning season. Might they get one?

by Allen Strk@Allen_Strk Jul 6, 2017, 12:00pm EDT



The NFC South is starting to gain recognition as the toughest division in football. Based on the last two NFC champions and NFL most valuable playerís coming from the division, it deserves great respect. Every team has an excellent, franchise quarterback as their leader. There are countless explosive playmakers between all four teams. Notoriously bad defenses (excluding Carolina) are showing signs of improvement, as well.

Atlantaís stacked roster makes them clear favorites, but repeating as divisional champions, much less win the conference. Tampa Bay had another productive off-season for the umpteenth year. Unlike previous seasons, they are ready to challenge for a playoff spot following last seasonís success. Carolina isnít far removed from being a Super Bowl caliber team. They will command plenty of attention led by Cam Newton and their stout front seven.

That leaves one team falling under the radar. The New Orleans Saints had an eventful off-season, which has left their fans cautiously optimistic. Spending in free agency and adding more draft picks bolstered their roster on both sides of the ball. Unfortunate injuries may have altered some plans, but it shouldnít drastically change expectations. This is a playoff-caliber team, if their defense progresses and Drew Brees continues to play at an elite level.

Traditional offensive powerhouse

Despite relying on a more balanced attack rather than a high-octane passing offense, the Saints should remain as an efficient unit. Brees is starting to lose some arm strength at 38 years old. It hasnít affected his production, but they canít keep putting him in unfavorable situations. Facing double digit deficits on a consistent basis will eventually take a toll on any quarterback. The front office has been committed to adding weapons and strengthening their offensive line.

Trading away Brandin Cooks shouldnít be a significant loss. His role in the offense deteriorated over the last month of the season. With Michael Thomasí rapid emergence, it made the speedy playmaker expendable. For all his shortcomings as a pass catcher, Ted Ginn Jr. possesses game changing speed that fits well in Sean Paytonís offense. Brees has built a strong rapport with Willie Snead over the past two seasons. The former undrafted free agent is the perfect possession receiver for Brees at this stage in his career. Brandon Coleman and Coby Fleener are decent complimentary pieces to Breesí arsenal.

After several forgettable off-seasons, the Saints made some wise personnel decisions. Signing Larry Warford could prove to the biggest of them all. One of the main elements to Breesí success consists of having a top-tier interior line. The duo of Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans did wonders for him. With stout pass protection, it allowed Brees to feel comfortable in the pocket. Allowing a future Hall of Famer the opportunity to survey the field usually never ends well. Warford isnít quite on the level of Evans (in his prime) or Nicks. Itís still a significant upgrade to a once problematic position.

Max Unger is expected to be healthy before the regular season. A trio of Warford, Unger, and Andrus Peat should provide much-needed stability. Losing Terron Armstead is a notable loss, but itís not an insurmountable one. Brees has plenty of experience without the outstanding left tackle. Rotoworldís Evan Silva posted an impressive stat about New Orleans averaging more points per game without Armstead last season. Whether Khalif Barnes or Ryan Ramczyk starts at left tackle, they will inevitably experience some issues. Brees has endured these problems before and still managed to be productive.

How they incorporate Adrian Peterson into the offense is the most glaring question. It was a puzzling, albeit low-risk signing. Pairing a two-down running back with Mark Ingram seems confusing on paper. There is still upside in this move. Donít rule out Paytonís knack for getting the most out of limited offensive weapons. The offensive mastermind may not know how to find a defensive coordinator that can improve his teamís defense. He does know how to utilize one-dimensional players such as Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem. Tim Hightower turned out to be a pleasant surprise as well. If Peterson can stay healthy, he should find a role within the offense.

Slowly rebuilding defense

A once perennial playoff team transformed into Jeff Fisherís worst nightmare. From horrific personnel decisions to underwhelming free agent signings, a porous defense has been the main reason behind three consecutive losing seasons. They have become the biggest punchline in the NFC South. It takes something remarkable to keep an elite quarterback out of the playoffs for an extended period. The Saints managed to achieve an unfortunate feat.

The defense simply lacked talent at every level. Cameron Jordanís excellence couldnít make up for a mediocre defensive line. Jonathan Vilma was their last above-average linebacker. A mixture of two-down players and journeymen created one of the worst linebacker units in the league. The same can be said at cornerback, where they havenít had two capable starters since 2013. Keenan Lewis and Jabari Greer proved to be a formidable starting duo for that one season.

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Old 07-07-2017, 04:05 PM   #2
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Re: The Falcoholic: Could the New Orleans Saints present a bigger challenge than expected?

I didn't know Jeff Fisher was in the NFC South!?
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Old 07-07-2017, 05:09 PM   #3
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Re: The Falcoholic: Could the New Orleans Saints present a bigger challenge than expected?

Originally Posted by NonieT View Post
I didn't know Jeff Fisher was in the NFC South!?
If you read the article it has a link on that statement. It refers to all of Fisher's 7-9, 8-8 and 9-7 teams over his career. The writer probably lost many at that point. Bad construction on his part.
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Old 07-07-2017, 09:25 PM   #4
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Re: The Falcoholic: Could the New Orleans Saints present a bigger challenge than expected?

basically it was a fair write up

under the radar baby
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:27 PM   #5
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Re: The Falcoholic: Could the New Orleans Saints present a bigger challenge than expected?

Originally Posted by AsylumGuido View Post
Another encouraging move comes in the secondary. The Saints were signing cornerbacks off the street last September.
And here's the thing, now we're gonna have guys backing up with starting experience for the next two-three years!

Side Note: The Falcons showed pay these guys for the rights to their logo, only Falcons logo I've been impressed...
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Last edited by jeanpierre; 07-07-2017 at 10:46 PM..
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:44 PM   #6
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Re: The Falcoholic: Could the New Orleans Saints present a bigger challenge than expected?

Originally Posted by jeanpierre View Post
And here's the thing, now we're gonna have guys backing up with starting experience for the next two-three years!
Yeah I get a little bit giddy thinking about the possibilities. Trying to temper my expectations since a few are coming back from injuries, but it's an exciting group.
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:44 PM   #7
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Re: The Falcoholic: Could the New Orleans Saints present a bigger challenge than expected?

Falcoholic, what a dumb name.
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:48 PM   #8
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Re: The Falcoholic: Could the New Orleans Saints present a bigger challenge than expected?

Originally Posted by Seer1 View Post
Falcoholic, what a dumb name.
Not really. Think about it - your team is up 28-3 at the end of the third quarter and you lose the Superbowl! I see alot of alcohol in that fanbases' future...
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:51 PM   #9
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Re: The Falcoholic: Could the New Orleans Saints present a bigger challenge than expected?

Yet another article totally glossing over the new coaching staff. So because of that, just another pos article written by a moron.
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Old 07-07-2017, 11:47 PM   #10
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Re: The Falcoholic: Could the New Orleans Saints present a bigger challenge than expected?

Originally Posted by CharityMike View Post
Yet another article totally glossing over the new coaching staff. So because of that, just another pos article written by a moron.
Dude, it's a Falcon fan. Nuff said there. Lol.
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