The New Orleans Saints are going to pose quite a story in 2012. It simply remains to be seen whether this is going to be a story of triumph or tragedy. Obviously this is not the ideal situation for an NFL team. Having to head into a season with a coaching carousel, suspended players, and plenty of bitter feelings between themselves and the media isn’t what you’d like. The funny this is that this whole situation could create enough determination and drive to push the New Orleans Saints into another NFC Championship and Super Bowl. Or it could destroy the 2012 NFL season for Saints ticket holders.
On our side we tend to think the New Orleans Saints are going to simply keep rolling along. What may be being missed is the leadership of Drew Brees, who will take on the figurehead role in an even greater capacity in 2012, and the quiet but significant change on defense.
The Saints offense is going to continue to function like a machine. Brees is under center, Carl Nicks has been replaced by a lineman of equal ability, Jimmy Graham will be even better, Darren Sproles will have the benefit of a complete training camp and pre-season, and the vaunted New Orleans receiving corp may have been improved by the addition of Nick Toon. At worst, it’s as good as it was in 2011, which is saying it’s very good.
You have to look at the other side of the ball, on the New Orleans Saints defense, to begin to see the real picture. The Achille’s heel of the New Orleans Saints has alwyas been their tendency to give up big plays, a weakness bitterly exposed in their playoff loss to the 49ers. That’s probably not going to happen under Steve Spagnuolo. The architect of the Giants Super Bowl defense and former Rams Head Coach is very subtly putting together a solid but not flashy Saints defense.
That being said, New Orleans has a huge task in front of them just dealing with the NFC South where the Panthers and Falcons are lurking. Toss in schedule that includes the 49ers again, the Eagles, Green Bay, Denver, Dallas, and the New York Giants, and Saints ticket holders are in for one heck of a ride. We think it’s going to be a good one.Eric Drouant