As training camp approaches we take a look at every team NFL team in the South. So, today let’s look at the New Orleans Saints.
New Orleans Saints
Last year’s NFC South winners, should have played in a Super Bowl match for the ages. Brees v. Brady. Instead, they went home, beaten by a botched commissioner and an even more botched call.
But, that was last year. This is now. Brees is back under center. Bridgewater and Barrett, carry his clipboards.
Gone is Mark Ingram to Baltimore. But, Kamara will have help in the form of veterans Latavius Murray and possibly Javorius Allen. I say possibly Allen, because, I expect him to be pushed by Nebraska rookie Devine Ozigbo. Ozigbo is 6’0 and can catch the ball out of the backfield. He won’t threaten Kamara, but, he could give the other 2 something to think about.
Michael Thomas is still the go to guy. It’s who wants to step up behind him that is a little fuzzier. Ginn Jr seems at the end of his career. Tre’quan Smith hasn’t lived up to potential. Cam Meredith can’t get past injuries. After Thomas competition is wide open. Watch 6’4″ UDFA Emmanuel Butler from Northern Arizona as a possible sleeper.
Jared Cook, the tight end who just won’t go away, gets his opportunity to earn Brees trust. Expect 7th round pick Alize Mack of the Fighting Irish to have an opportunity to make the team.
The offensive line is pretty much set at center and guard. The addition of some veterans and a couple of draft picks have set up a solid depth that will be competed for at training camp. Starting tackle position seems set. It’s a competition as to who the backups will be. Going into camp, there are 15 listed o-linemen, and probably only 9 spots available on the roster. It’s a good problem for the Saints to have. Bad for some of these players.
On defense, the d-line just needs to play smarter. Penalties, and especially personal foul penalties happened to often. The DB competition bears watching.
New Special Teams co-ordinator Darren Rizzi will have to decide whether Veteran Marcus Sherels or rookie return sensation Deonte Harris will be returning punts this year.
Prognosis : Wouldn’t be shocked to see the Saints back in the NFC Championship game. But, the key is Brees. Keep Brees healthy and they should look to repeat a run to the Super Bowl. As long as Goodell doesn’t screw it up.