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Friday September 5, 2008 10:48 pm

NFL Preview: New Orleans Saints




Posted by Kevin Moore Categories: NFL,

The New Orleans Saints Drew Brees can throw it

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
2007 RECORD: 7-9

Overview: Two years removed from the “fumble fest” of the 2006-07 NFC championship game, the New Orleans Saints had a disappointing ‘07 season. Starting that campaign 0-4, the entire team seemed to be out of sync, but went on to a respectable 7-5 the rest of the way.

Offense: The Saints offense is by far their greatest strength. The offense was ranked fourth overall.  At the top is QB Drew Brees. All he did was throw for over 4,000 yards (done in both of his seasons with the Saints).  The offense has talent at receiver with Marques Colston, who finished with eighth in the league in receiving yards, Lance Moore, Devery Henderson, and veteran David Patten.  With the addition of TE Jeremy Shockey, added with Eric Johnson, they can legitimately use an effective two tight end set. Their aerial attack will give defensive coordinators nightmares. The number of formations they can use boggles the mind.  On the ground they hope that Deuce McAllister can return to his old form as the team was ranked 28th at the run.  As for Reggie Bush, the verdict is still out.  Maybe, the play of Adrian Peterson will light a fire under him. They were often compared in their collegiate days. Or the inspiration may come from his break-up with Kim Kardashian. Whatever it takes, he needs to show that he can match the hype. Also, Pierre Thomas looks like he may be able to step up to the number two spot.

Defense: While the offense has few issues, the total opposite is true for the defense.  The defense played the old matador scheme, where they allowed teams to do whatever they pleased, in hopes that the opposition would fatigue by the fourth quarter. The biggest improvement came with their offseason signings. First with Randall Gay, often the forgotten New England Patriot due to the presence of Asante Samuel, can be a lockdown corner.  Gay and Mike McKenzie will prevent the Saints from ranking 30th in the league against the pass.  They strengthened their run defense with the signing of Jonathan Vilma, the ex-New York Jets linebacker who has great football smarts and big play ability.

Rookies: In the draft they took two defensive tackles - Sedrick Ellis (USC) and Demario Pressly (NC State). They also bolstered their secondary with the drafting of Tracey Porter (Indiana).  Thus far all rookies have played well, especially Ellis who seems to explode at the snap, has good feet, and can hit.

Predictions: The Saints go into the ‘08 season with high hopes and are confident they can deliver.  I look for the Saints to return to the NFC championship game. They can easily go 11-5 and take over this division. 

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