The New Orleans Saints: The Right Ingredients For A Super Bowl Season

Robert LewisAnalyst IJuly 28, 2008

One of my life long friends is a chef, he went to culinary school, and now is very successful, having appeared on the Food Network, he spends all his time perfecting his craft. I asked him once what does it take to be one of the best?


His answer was quite simple, “The right ingredients and balance makes all the difference.”


He then proved it by making a ham sandwich. First using only bread, mayo, and some ham. It took only a minute to make. He then asked me to have a bite. Not surprising it tasted just like any other ham sandwich.


Now he said, "I will make you a real ham sandwich."  It took over 15 minutes to make, and just the appearance and the set up, alone I was not sure if I wanted to eat it or take a picture. I then tried it, and it was the greatest ham sandwich I ever had.


You see he said, “The right ingredients and balance make all the difference.”


Now that I have made all of you hungry, I will get to the point of this article.


It got me thinking why some teams, year after year are successful, and why some are not.


The Saints wooed Jason David away from the Colt’s in 2007. It was felt that he could fix the left side CB issue. The mistake was that Jason David is better suited in a cover two scheme, not man to man. Jason is a very talented player if used in the right scheme, so don’t hate him for getting burned so much.


If there is a finger to be pointed, it should be at Gary Gibb’s.


1 Stick Butter:


 It takes the right skill set to play man to man, and the Saints second round pick this year Tracy Porter has those skills needed. As long as he picks up on the schemes, I do not see why he will not be the CB2 starter when the Saints host conference rivals the Buccaneers on September 7.


1 Teaspoon Sugar:


To play middle linebacker in a 4-3 defense, you have to be athletic, Jonathan Vilma is that guy. He will be the missing link that the LB core has needed since Coach Payton took over in 2006. 


Vilma suffered when the Jets changed defensive schemes, his skills were not used to their full potential, and I believe also lead to his injury. He will be completely healed, and ready to go in September.


4 Tablespoon Salt:


Smith, Grant, McCray, Ellis these guys will be a force to reckon with. Last year teams were double teaming Smith, and Grant, what was missing was a fleet footed rusher. In come McCray, and Ellis. 


Sliding over Grant next to Ellis will make offensive lines adjust, creating one on ones with McCray and Smith. I expect to see allot more pressure put on the QB’s this year creating more turnover opportunities.


As far as the offense is concerned, the right ingredients have been there since 2006, it was the balance in which they are used that is in question, and with the addition of Jeremey Shockey, I feel everything will start to blend together nicely.


I am sure Coach Payton has already addressed this issue after watching the game film from 2007, and I think we may even see the formation of a new offensive scheme, not just the spread, that will be used by more teams, just as Bill Walsh’s West Coast offense did in the 80’s.


If there is anyone poised to do that it’s Coach Payton.


So we can only wait now, as the 2008 season nears to see if we have the right ingredients and balance to return to Super Bowl contender form. As for me right now, I think I’ll make me a ham sandwich.


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