The New Orleans Saints at the moment are sitting on top of nine draft picks later this month, when the 2015 NFL Draft gets underway in Chicago.
The last time the Saints had this many draft picks was nine years ago; following the disastrous final season of then-head coach Jim Haslett — whose 3-13 record in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina led to the team holding a total of 6 six picks in the upcoming 2006 draft.
What happened next is what cream puff, starry-eyed Disney movies are made of.
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New Orleans picked up Reggie Bush, Roman Harper, Jahri Evan, Rob Ninkovich, Josh ‘Bernard’ Lay, and Zach Strief in the 2006 draft. They put all these pieces together, along with free-agent QB Drew Brees from San Diego, and rocketed to the playoffs; eventually reaching the Super Bowl with those core group of players in 2009.
To this date, the players from the Saints 2006 draft that they kept have over the years since played 348 games, 24 playoff games and three of those players won a Super Bowl ring.
Feb 7, 2010 ; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates after his team defeated the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Now the Saints are looking to complete a team that many say are too talented to not make the playoffs.
In 2014, the Saints lost five games by a touchdown or less. If the Saints had even won two more games they could’ve won the laughingstock that the NFC South was last year.
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Forget missing the playoffs by a play or two, the Saints missed the playoffs by a few players.
Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton are looking to put that in the past and come back up from the depths with a draft class that would rival the 2006 draft class.
It’s all hands on deck as no one has been spared from getting on a plane and scouting the in coming draft class. Sean Payton’s frequent flyer miles total should be able to get him to Hawaii and back.
No — I’m not hinting at anything. But what I am doing is making a point:
In 2006 the Saints were concentrating on offense and defense equally. Now the Saints are trying to shore up a defense that hopes its’ 2014 numbers were a fluke.
Oct 5, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and outside linebacker Junior Galette (93) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The expectation that Drew Brees will be able to will the Saints way to a playoff berth is pure fantasy. Drew Brees is still tops in the league, but he’s a few seconds past his prime. You can’t expect him to do it alone.
That old cliche’ that “defense wins championships” still rings true. If you don’t believe me then ask Marshawn Lynch or any Seahawks fan. Speaking of fans, the Saints fans are hoping for a revival of the Dome Patrol or something similar for the 2015 version of the New Orleans Saints
The Saints, their fans and players are placing their trust in Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton one more time. If its’ of any consolation the Saints have nine draft picks to do it in.
The number nine has been a magic number for the Saints in recent history. It’s been nine years since the Saints were able to pull off the one of the best draft classes in franchise history.
Chris Reis, who recovered the onside kick in the beginning of the third quarter in Super Bowl XLIV was #39. Drew Brees is number nine and a future Hall of Famer.
Now the New Orleans Saints are hoping the magic found in the number nine hasn’t gone by the wayside and the Saints can shake what magic is left out of it for one more run into the playoffs, in 2015………………