New Orleans Saints Preview: Defense? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Defense!
I had to go back to the Daily Sports Report archives (which is hard, because the original site doesn’t exist anymore and was pretty much wiped off the face of the Internet), but I found what I said when the Saints lucked into Reggie Bush in the 2006 draft.
"Everyone seems to agree that Reggie Bush is the best player in this draft. I’m not so sure. Put it this way, the world may see the next Marshall Faulk. I see the next Kevin Faulk."
Nothing has happened in the last two years to change my mind. If anything, I’m even more convinced that we’re looking at a glorified third-down back.
Don’t get me wrong; he’s extremely fast. He’s a dynamic player at times. He’s a tremendous weapon. He’s just not a great running back.
Which is why Deuce McAllister’s recovery from his multiple knee surgeries this offseason is critical to the 2008 New Orleans Saints.
The Saints are going to need to run the ball between the tackles, and Deuce McAllister is the one guy on this team that can do that with consistency.
I like Deuce, but I’m always weary of running backs that are recovering from knee injuries.
Running back aside, offense is not likely to be a problem for the Saints. Drew Brees is a top-five quarterback in today’s NFL. He does a lot of things well, a few things great, and he’s a tremendous leader.
His weapons are almost as good as he is. Marques Colston is a stud at wide receiver. We’ve already talked about Reggie Bush, who’s a great weapon in the passing game. Devery Henderson may be ready to break out this season.
Jeremy Shockey adds a toughness that was missing from the Saints last season. He may have become expendable in New York, but he’ll quickly become an indispensable part of the Saints’ offense.
The offensive line is solid, if not spectacular. Jammal Brown and Jahri Evans are among the best at their positions.
This team can put some serious points on the board. The question is whether than can prevent anyone else from putting up even more points.
The biggest addition to this crew is Jonathan Vilma, and he might be the best defensive addition anyone made this offseason. He’s back in a 4-3, which he’s far better suited for than the 3-4 the Jets tried to force on him in New York. If he’s healthy, he’ll be fantastic.
Will Smith is among the better defensive ends in the NFL. Rookie Sedrick Ellis should be able to step in and give them some good play inside.
To keep Saints' fans sane, I’ll refrain from mentioning the hopefully soon-to-be-cut Jason David. Mike McKenzie and Randall Gay make up an underwhelming cornerback tandem. Roman Harper is a nice player. Josh Bullocks is Josh Bullocks.
Once again, the secondary is a big-time question mark. This team will have to outscore the competition week in and week out—and they may just have the offense to do it.
How many undrafted free agents have thrown a touchdown, run for a touchdown, and caught a touchdown pass all in the same game?
Just one. Former New England Patriot great David Patten.
Fighting for draft picks, fighting for the playoffs, or contending for the Super Bowl?
The New Orleans Saints will be contending for the Super Bowl. I’m not sure they can win one with that secondary, especially if they find the Colts or the Patriots waiting for them. But they have as good a chance as any in the NFC to get there.
A solid 12-4 record. More like the 2006 team than the 2007 one.
Sean Crowe is a Senior Writer and an NFL Community Leader at Bleacher Report. You can email him at email@example.com. His archive can be found here. You can find everything he writes, including articles for other publications, here.
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