The Saints Are Back!
By Mario Jerez
Click aqui para español- >¡Regresan los Saints!
This has been a long football offseason in New Orleans. It feels even weird to say this after the Saints made it all the way to the NFC championship game last year, but we all know what happened that night.
A blown call cost the Saints a trip to the Superbowl. And the clip of the Rams’ Nickell Robey-Coleman illegally hitting Tommylee Lewis has haunted all of us in our nightmares ever since.
However, if there’s one team in the NFL that can bounce back, it’s the New Orleans Saints.
Led by head coach Sean Payton and legendary quarterback Drew Brees, this team has character. It also has championship-quality talent on both sides of the ball.
I’ll start by mentioning the defense because the culture on that end has completely been transformed under defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.
The days of no.9 having to bail the Saints out every game are over, and this team is capable of winning games on defense. The Saints have star defensive players on every level, with Cam Jordan, Demario Davis and Marshon Lattimore producing at their position about as well as any other player in the league.
On offense, Saints fans better enjoy watching Brees and Payton’s unit operate while they’re still around. Entering their fourteenth (!) season together, the duo still leads the most electrifying offense in pro football.
The Saints did lose two key players this offseason. In center, Max Unger and running back Mark Ingram, and it’s yet to be seen if the Saints can replace their production. However, Payton has lost contributors before, and he’s rarely had problems replacing them.
New Orleans signed Latavius Murray to fill Ingram’s role, and he’ll be running behind a much better offensive line in New Orleans than the one he leaves behind in Minnesota. The Saints also took Eric McCoy in the second round of the 2018 NFL draft, and the talented rookie is in the lead for the starting center spot.
But what I think could really put the Saints over the top is the addition of tight end Jared Cook. Armed with a 6’6 frame, an elite quarterback and multiple weapons sharing the field with him, Cook can be the most productive tight end in the NFL this season.
This team has the talent, experience and mental toughness to win another championship. If they can get a little better luck (and officiating), the Saints will have a great chance.