Saddle up.. the Saints have not rested on a Brees Legacy and instead set out to prove that the New Orleans Saints organization was serious about delivering winning football. Team leaders on offense and defense have been replaced with team leaders on offense and defense. And big commitments to underscored the obvious commitment to winning football. What is not obvious?
I remember when Drew Brees signed the mega contract for $25million. Cam Newton was ROY that season. Now Cam is out of football and the Saints are signing Jameis Winston to what amounts to $21million. Yeah, we could argue about the QB salary schedule and how the deal was team-friendly, but no one can argue what salary cap room can contribute to and produce for a culture of winning. That's obvious.
At QB, it's obvious that the Saints brought back Saints quick-strike offense with Winston's arm, In pre-training camp life, Winston is never filmed delivering deep balls on a bad leg. But you still see Andy Dalton and Ian Book regularly stretching the field and practicing the WRs on deep ball routes. These days, Jameis rests his arm, but it won't be long before Winston syncs up with the WRs on deep route reps. It's obvious, the deep ball is back in the bayou.
Secondly, it's obvious that media has forgotten the weekend shoot outs in the NFC-South. Saints fans could marvel weekly at Brees and his ability to lead 33-second scoring drives at the end of a half. But no one should forget the two-minute drills on the other side of the football that would force those tight window drives. Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston were consistently delivering on "clock-management" drives. From what we have witnessed, it's obvious that the Saints have the plays and Winston has the skill to deliver game winning drives.
One of the biggest elements of winning football is delivering big plays that flip field position. Thomas and Landry get open underneath and either WR has the savvy to turn 15-yard passes into 25-yard gains. And defenses must face the threat of Hardy and Olave who have the speed to challenge DBs and deep zones. It's obvious that it will be hard for defenses to stop this passing attack.
Finally, it's obvious that the Saints want to throw the football, but just as obvious that the RBs and OL are central to the success of the Saints offense. The play-action pass helps time in the pocket, that's ovious. With big RBs and big OL, the Saints are suiting up to be a mauling, dominate OL that can run the football on any team. Defenses will need to respect the running game, that's obvious. With Doug Marrone coaching and a seasoned group of run blockers including Hurst, Peat, Ruiz, Ram and McCoy; it is obvious Saints look to get significant production and ball control with running the football. And this would be a good year to have a great year under Coach Marrone.
The media is missing the obvious. Good offenses and defenses are the hallmark of playoff teams. Cam Jordan, Demario Davis, and the Honey Badger will make the Saints remain a top-5 defense. Jameis and the WRs will make the Saints a potent offense. And the OL and RBs can make this a ball-control team. Those game elements are the cornerstones of playoff teams aand that's obvious.