The Jeremy Shockey trade made me notice something about the New Orleans Saints' offense. They are beginning to look a lot like the Dallas Cowboys. Intentional or not, there appears to be more of a parallel going on than the similar latitude for Dallas and New Orleans.
We all know that Sean Payton has a history with the Cowboys' offense. He ran the thing, right? Now, I'm not talking about the X's and O's being the same. I'm talking about the makeup of the talent in the skill positions. With the Cowboys' recent offensive success, this should have the Saints' fans drooling a little bit.
The Saints had a little drop-off last season in points (from fifth to 12th) and yards (from first to fourth) from 2006. With the addition of Jeremy Shockey, we could be looking at that going up, if things like the running game hold up.
Last season, Eric Johnson was brought in to be Payton's Jason Witten. Yeah, it didn't work out so well. This season, he could have his Witten.
Back to the talent parallel. Let's look at the positions.
We know that both Drew Brees and Tony Romo are pretty damn good. Both are going into their third year of starting (yeah, the first was a partial year for Romo, but it was enough for the Pro Bowl) on their respective teams.
Both are two time Pro Bowlers. Both averaged about a 65 percent completion percentage over the last two seasons. They throw TDs. They throw for a lot of yards, and the list goes on.
Terrell Owens is hands-down the better talent here, but Marques Colston is just getting started...and is off to a much better start to his career than Owens. The point here is that they both have a sure-fire No. 1 WR lining up on Sunday.
On the other side of the field, they both have question marks at WR. Who is going to step up? Is it going to be a committee thing? Can this guy handle being the No. 2? Does this guy have anything left in the tank?
This is the position that brings us here today. As mentioned, Eric Johnson was supposed to be Sean Payton's Jason Witten. Why does he want a Jason Witten, you ask? Because his offense used a Jason Witten when he was in Dallas...and it worked pretty damn well.
Do I think that Jeremy Shockey could have had similar success in that offense? Hell yes! In fact, he had a pretty decent showing his rookie season in Payton's offense (before Payton was stripped of his play-calling rights). Shockey and Witten are both tough mofo's that bring the same type of threat to the field.
Just on a side note, they both have the exact same yards per reception career average of 11.4.
This is where things get tricky in the comparisons. Two years ago, the Saints had their version of a Marion Barber III in Deuce McAllister. You know, that guy that will run you over if he has to. There are still questions regarding whether or not Marion Barber can be THE guy, or if he is best in a running-back duo.
There are questions if Deuce McAllister will ever be able to be THE guy again, or if he will be better off in a running-back duo. Both have averaged about 4.5 yards per carry over their careers.
The other guy. We don't know much about Felix Jones, on a professional level, yet. We expect that he will be in a similar change-of-pace-type position that the Saints hope they can use Bush for in their attack (thinking McAllister is whom they would like running the ball and not taking into consideration trick plays and passing game).
Both have the speed and ability to burn around the outside. Both have been questioned about their ability to run inside. Both can do hell for the kick-return game. Again, we don't know for sure on Jones quit yet, but these are things observed in his time at Arkansas.
There you go. Call me crazy (seriously, if you want to, just throw it down in the comments), but not only should the Saints offense bounce back this year; you may see a mirror-like result running along the 30th Parallel.
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