Mapping out the Blueprint for a Saints Super Bowl Run in 2013-2014

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Mapping out the Blueprint for a Saints Super Bowl Run in 2013-2014
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The NFL is a copycat league, and reaching the Super Bowl in 2014 will come as a result of copying some of the blueprint that the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens followed this season, while also adding a slight blend of your own style.

For the New Orleans Saints, that style will not require huge schematic changes—though, to some extent, the team is prepared to do that with the impending move to a 3-4 defense. It will, however, require a slight change in overall mentality.

Yet it will not require a huge personnel shift. The Saints already have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL, and Will Smith, Jonathan Vilma, Brodrick Bunkley and Jermon Bushrod should all be allowed to walk, primarily for salary cap reasons.

Even without those four “star players”, the Saints will remain an immensely talented team. And if Smith is willing to cut his salary by about 75 percent, then the Saints will be even better off.

It is obvious that the team needs a great young outside linebacker to get after opposing quarterbacks, and it needs an elite nose tackle to occupy blockers. Also, it will need a young offensive tackle to keep Drew Brees upright and unabated on his blindside if Bushrod is allowed to leave.

Aside from that, the team does not have too many needs heading into next season. Most of the team’s needs center around depth and building for the future.

The team's mentality, though, must change. Production in key areas will determine if the Saints are able to make it to New York for the Super Bowl in February 2014. 

Here are four guidelines that the Saints must follow in order to accomplish that goal next season.

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