The New Orleans Saints turned in a very solid season in 2010 after winning the Super Bowl the previous season. Their season ended on a pretty sour note, as they were upset by the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
This team still has a very good core of players, and I expect them to continue to challenge for another Super Bowl title in the next few seasons.
Drew Brees had another extremely good season, throwing for 4,620 yards and 33 touchdowns. As long as Brees is still at the helm, the Saints are going to be a dangerous team in both the regular season and playoffs.
The Saints had a revolving door at running back in 2010, and there are serious questions heading into 2011. Pierre Thomas is a free agent, and Reggie Bush is owed $11.8 million so he may not be back. Chris Ivory looked good as an undrafted free agent, and he could enter the season as the starter.
The wide receiver group the Saints have is one of the best in the league. Marques Colston is the top dog, but Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem, and Lance Moore give Brees a nice stable of weapons.
2010 rookie Jimmy Graham will most likely take over the tight end spot, since Jeremy Shockey was released after the season.
The offensive line has a ton of talent, led by Pro Bowl guards Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks. Jermon Bushrod and Jonathan Goodwin are free agents, and if they leave this line could become a problem area.
The defensive line has some talented players on it, but it could be an area the Saints target early in the draft. Will Smith and Alex Brown are both solid players, but Brown isn’t much of a pass rusher so he could be replaced. Sedrick Ellis is an anchor on the inside of the line, and Remi Ayodele played pretty decent in 2010.
Jonathan Vilma is a playmaker at inside linebacker, but the outside linebacker position could use some help. Scott Shanle is an adequate starter, but look for the Saints to upgrade the Danny Clark and Jo-lonn Dunbar tandem.
The secondary is the strong point of the defense. Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter are very good starters and 2010 first round pick Patrick Robinson has a lot of potential. At safety, Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper are a young starting tandem that performed very well in 2010. Darren Sharper missed the beginning of the season, and he didn’t make a big impact. He most likely will be elsewhere in 2011, so the depth could be addressed either in free agency or the draft.