New OrleansSaints Coaching Staff Comes in with Proven Track Record
When a team switches both its coordinators in a single offseason, usually the head coach is making a desperation move to save his job and do whatever necessary to deflect the blame for past seasons failures from himself.
In the case of the New Orleans Saints, Sean Payton is not quite under the hot seat yet. He just felt the coaching staff needed a bit of change in order for the team to continue going forward to go along with filling in a vacant position.
While there was a change at the offensive coordinator position, it was only because former coordinator Doug Marronne was named the head coach of the Syracuse Orangemen, leaving an open position. Ultimately though, this will have little effect on how the team runs its offense.
Sean Payton has always been an offensive coach, and it cannot be more apparent on the Saints. Even as head coach, Payton still calls the plays for the Saints and is involved in the weekly game-planning.
Payton is known for spending hours upon hours studying game film, which is where he mastered his offensive schemes that he used to help out the New York Giants and especially the Dallas Cowboys, where he helped coach three different quarterbacks to 3,000 yard seasons.
In New Orleans he has continued to show his offensive prowess, working extensively with Drew Brees to help build an offensive powerhouse; one that was ranked first in the NFL last season and saw Drew Brees nearly break the record for passing yards in a season by throwing for 5,069 yards, just 15 yards short of Dan Marino's record.
So despite the fact that Payton promoted Peter Carmichael Jr. from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator, it really is not going to be much of a change in terms of how they gameplan for teams. Expect to see a heavy does of Drew Brees as he goes out yet again to try and break some records.
Defensively, Gregg Williams promises to bring a new style of play to the New Orleans defense. Under Gary Gibbs the Saints were follow the bend-but-don't break philosophy - in other words, just limit the team to field goals for the most part and hope everything else holds together.
With Williams under the helm, expect to see the Saints D bring it to the offense instead of waiting for the offense to come to them.
Williams has shown his aggressive style and play calling before on the defensive side of the football, whether it was with the Titans, Bills, Redskins, or Jaguars. While he has had varied success with his teams, the one constant was his steady diet of blitzing and attempts to put pressure on the quarterback.
When executed properly though, his defenses have had astounding results. All of his teams at one point have had a top-ten ranked defense, including his famed Titans team, which ranked third all-time in terms of points given up. His Redskins teams also found extraordinary success, once finishing as high as third in the league in total defense under Williams' watch.
While both Williams and Payton have taken different paths to get to where they are today, both have gotten to their respective points with innovation and aggressive play-calling that always demands more from their players, but is not overly aggressive.
While Payton is clearly known for being an offensive innovator, despite the Saints success through the air it is not as if the Saints are a totally vertical team.
Brees does not have the strongest arm and Payton knows this, which is why the Saints run a west-coast offense, utilizing Brees' supreme accuracy and timing, and ultimately trusting their receivers to break plays in open space and gain extra yards.
It is similar to how while Williams is an aggressive play-caller by nature, he does not just send all-out blitzes on every down. His team and player personnel will determine how much Williams decides to blitz; there is no set in stone magic number of blitzes for him.
This means that despite Williams being brought in, the Saints should not just expect to suddenly be one of the best teams in terms of sacks in the league. Both coaches know how to work with the talent given to them at hand.
And this will be crucial for the success of the Saints. The coaches have to adapt their systems to the personnel. They cannot try and adapt the personnel to the system.
Payton has done a good job of this over the past few years, and is something Williams has to and should for the Saints this year. Ultimately both coaches want to put their players in a position to succeed.
When looking at the coaching in place, ultimately what stands out is that the Saints sport two experienced play-callers, and neither like to call a bland game.
So while the coaches cannot go out and perform and assure the execution of the plays, the one thing the Saints fans can expect from the coaching staff is lots of excitement with a new edge and plenty of aggression.
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