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New Orleans Saints: What To Expect from the 2009 Offense

Joe GerrityCorrespondent IJune 5, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 28:  Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints pumps his fist during the game against the Carolina Panthers on December 28, 2008 at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Last season, the Saints had the No. 1 offense in the NFL in both yards and points per game. As we look at the 2009 team, it’s likely that they will be able to replicate, if not exceed, that performance.

There isn’t a single major player gone, and returning from injuries that severely limited their 2008 season are both Reggie Bush and Marques Colston.

Robert Meachem has shown drastic improvement this offseason and is starting to resemble the guy drafted out of the first round in 2007.

Pierre Thomas averaged a whopping 4.8 yards per carry, making him the sixth most effective runner in the NFL with over 100 carries.

Adding to that, Pro Bowler Jeremy Shockey is back and healthy for the first time in New Orleans.  

All things considered, barring injuries, we could be looking at one of the greatest offenses in football history. Defensive coordinators are going to have to pick their poison against an offense that not only has no apparent weakness, but in fact is strong in every single aspect.

Do you leave Reggie to a single spy knowing that on any play he could turn a routine five-yard game into a 70-yard touchdown?

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Can you trust a single corner in man coverage on the speedster Devery Henderson?

Is there a linebacker in the league who can stay with Shockey on short in-routes?

This is more of a statement, but you have to put two guys on Colston to have even a chance of stopping him.

If Pierre can keep up his nearly five yard-a-carry average, you can't afford to put only five or six guys in the box, which means that someone is going to be left open.

Drew Brees is the master at finding the open man and cutting up zones. If the defense leaves someone open, he will make you pay.

Lastly, even if you can stop all those talented play-makers for a few seconds then who in the world is going to be pressuring Drew Brees?

The guy was sacked a measly 13 times last year, and with the same line back this year, it’s unlikely to be much different this time around. His release is just too fast and his football IQ too high.

What’s even more encouraging is the average age of the four best receivers. Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas are only 25 years old, meaning that instead of slowing down, the offense may just be hitting its prime.

Defensive coordinators: Feel free to change your pants at any time.

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