New Orleans Saints Offseason News and Suggestions

Chris ReedContributor IJanuary 7, 2009


This picture sums up the Saints defense this year: the defensive backs out of position and chasing a receiver down the field.

Since Coach Sean Payton came to the New Orleans Saints, there are a few things you can know for sure about the team: they will be able to pass, pass, and pass some more.

The offense has been the staple of the team.

If we have learned anything from the Payton School, it has been that a great offense plus a poor defense equals a mediocre team. 

Need No.1: Aggressive, Disciplined, Defensive Coordinator

The Saints' defense under Gary Gibbs had been described as a "bend, but don't break defense." While this was true in 2006, when the Saints ranked 11th in the league, since then it could more accurately described as a "bend, fall over, miss your assignments, and put almost no pressure on the quarterback defense."

This move will be the most important offseason move for the Saints.

The defense played inconsistently all season, and needs a complete overhaul.

The safeties consistently blow coverages and leave the corners without any help. The defensive line consistently showed up only to collect an exorbitant paycheck.

Need No. 2: Free Safety That Can Cover

Kerry Rhodes is the top ranked free safety that will be on the market this offseason.

Another suggestion is the possibility of moving Mike McKenzie from corner to free safety.

McKenzie has been a consistent tackler with good instincts, and the move to safety would help him keep up with his diminishing speed after numerous knee problems.

Need No. 3: A New Play Caller

Sean Payton has said that the offense is not the problem with the Saints.

He is right—for the most part.

The Drew-Brees-led offense ranked first in almost all categories except one glaring hole: time of possession.

The Saints rank almost dead center in the league—15th—in time of possession with 30:23 minutes-per-game. With all the offensive prowess, they can barely control the ball for longer than the opposing team.

Until they show that they can consistently run the ball on opposing teams and control the clock, they will not go back to the postseason. Sean Payton needs to get over his man-crush with Reggie Bush and run more with Pierre Thomas. (In 2006 the Saints were third in the league in time of possession with 31:53.)

Tune back in after a Defensive Coordinator is picked for more suggested players that will fit the new scheme.