Sunken. Disappointed. Let down. Crushed. Speechless.
These are all feelings that New Orleans Saints fans have once again become familiar with.
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If you’re a Saints fan, that feeling of disappointment following the end of a season that promised more than it delivered has left the building with Jimmy Graham and several other players who departed the Saints this off-season.
It’s not a slight against Graham or any other player in particular but, the facts are facts.
In 2014 the rest of the NFL was double and triple covering Graham in his routes. Even with this type of coverage Brees more often than not tried to squeeze the ball into ping pong ball size windows.
Dec 8, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) throws a pass against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Panthers 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The Saints entire offense it seemed at more times than not ran through Graham. This wouldn’t have been a problem if other teams weren’t wise to this.
One thing Jimmy Graham did was limit the Saints offense by becoming the almost exclusive target for Brees on third downs.
Drew Brees went from a quarterback who would throw to whoever was open, to throwing the ball only to Jimmy Graham.
You’ve heard it here first, Saints will not go 7-9 next season.
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They won’t go 8-8 either, they’ll end up with at least a ten win season and a playoff berth. Now that the Saints have been able to get back to basics, the future looks brighter.
The New Orleans Saints will not have another season where they will find themselves sitting out the playoffs and staring at a dismal record. Now that the Saints have in many terms reset the bar to zero Drew Brees will be able to do what Drew does best.
That is of course spreading the ball around to everyone of the field. Hike the ball, drop back and look for the open man. The completions will be more often and the interceptions will fall off.
Now its back to business as usual for the NFL’s best offense in 2014. Except this time there won’t be any distractions or any poor attitudes.
Sean Payton has cleaned house and let everyone know there’s no one more important than the team and the goals of the Saints.
This is the Sean Payton we all have come to know and love: No b.s. will be taken — only orders will be given.
Nov 16, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton against the Cincinnati Bengals during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Bengals defeated the Saints 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The rest of the NFL may think Payton is off his rocker along with Mickey Loomis; but, the Saints know that the time is now; and this season is huge for Payton and Loomis.
The Saints have been too talented to be sitting on the couch in January.
The cap space may be a driving force for the Saints to dispense of some really good players but, its not the only one.
There have been rumors of players who felt they were better than what they actually were. Poor attitudes have been reported to have been allowed to fester and the integrity of the locker room was crumbling beneath a Hall of Fame foundation built by Drew Brees.
There won’t be Jimmy Graham looking soft this season on the sidelines. There won’t be a Kenny Stills popping off at the mouth in the locker or burning down the sideline. There won’t be Kenny Vaccaro sitting at 84th out of 86 ranked safeties in the league.
The Saints are looking to get back to basics and more than anything that means winning. Now that the distractions and players that were considered undesirable are gone the weight of that falls on Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis.
From the here the Saints look primed to make all that was wrong in 2014, turn out right in 2015…….