It's no secret that I have been very critical of New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton's game management. He has called trick plays,abandoned the run, and challenged more calls then John McEnroe's. Not to mention his tendency towards cutesy finesse football that drives the people of New Orleans fans crazy.
one example has to be in the fourth quarter of the game on Nov. 30, 2008 when the Saints were tied with Tampa bay 20-20. Brees had just completed a pass for a first down with about 2:55 remaining. So instead of playing it safe by staying on the ground Payton elected to go for the quick TD and Brees threw an interception to seal the game.
While it was the most successful part of the Saints offense last year, Brees was having an off day and not dominating as usual. Brees finished 25-of-47 for 296 yards. He had two TDs and three INTs. With a 60.2 passer rating.The Saints only attempted to run 18 times that day!
Another example is 2006 Championship game. Saints were playing the bears in horrible snow type conditions. Payton refused to give the ground game a chance and the Saints broke the hearts of thousands of championship starved fans. Payton's excuse was that the Bears were playing the run all day with eight in the box and so forth. Well coach, traffic is heavy in the morning but somehow people still get to work in the morning!
But, Sean Payton is a very unconventional coach. We all know that. lets give credit where credit is due. He did after all have the number one offense last year. And he says all the right things after his mistakes. He admits that he has to improve his play calling after losses.
He's making some popular off season moves this trying to improve an anemic defense. They picked up corners Jabari Greer and Leigh Torrence and safeties Darren Sharper and Pierson Prioleau. They also drafted defense with Malcolm Jenkins and Chip Vaughn to add some youth.
They added Paul Spicer and Rod Coleman for depth on the defensive line. Stanley Arnoux could end up replacing Scott Shanle.
So if Payton can just keep his cool this year, this will be a great shot at a championship. If not, it could be another long year filled with stupid mistakes...