Oct 19, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions free safety Glover Quin (27) runs back an interception during the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Ford Field. Detroit won 24-23. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
3. Tough and Smart
The Saints didn’t just lack physical toughness in 2014, but mental toughness as well especially when it came to closing games out.
At times the team was dominant in games like against the Green Bay Packers then blew big leads against other teams like the Detroit Lions.
In the Lions game the Saints had a 13 point lead in the fourth with a little over five minutes left to play, then lose 24-23 after a complete collapse.
Being physically tough is no doubt a focus on the offensive and defensive line after Brees was constantly harassed with zero protection, while the Saints defense couldn’t even get close to opposing quarterbacks.
Of course brawn with no brains is a bad mix, so being smart is going to be equally important for the Saints.
That includes not only knowing your plays on the field but not giving into horrendous penalties that just absolutely cripple the team in a game like the huge scrum against the Carolina Panthers on December 7th at home.
Off the field smarts will be hammered into the team with the Saints wanting to get back to having high character players and following legal incidents with outside linebacker Junior Galette and cornerback Brian Dixon.
In 2015 players will need to balance both attributes of toughness and making wise decisions in order to reach their goals.