The New Orleans Saints enter a new era in 2021. Drew Brees swapped the football field for a broadcast booth, leaving the Saints going forward with a new quarterback. The Saints also lost a few members of their coaching staff. Assistant head coach Dan Campbell and defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn left the Bayou for Detroit.
The cap constraints forced the roster to get trimmed. Veteran names also left in free agency as the salary cap wrapped the Saints in a vice-like lock. As such, the Saints are no longer in a Superbowl window. After four successive years chasing the ultimate prize, the Saints are aiming their sights slightly lower. However, these are the New Orleans Saints. Sean Payton’s team is always well-coached and ready to compete. Write the Saints off at your peril.
Best Position Group
The offensive line room in New Orleans features brilliant players. Ryan Ramczyk, Andrus Peat, and Erik McCoy are the headline acts. Depth pieces such as Calvin Throckmorton and Garrett Griffin admirably back up the starters. The Saints offensive line ranked in the top ten for run-blocking and pass-blocking success in 2020. It is an elite unit.
They also play a significant role in maximizing Alvin Kamara’s production. The Saints’ offensive line is brilliant at zone-blocking and angle blocking. That means they can run an array of run plays because their linemen are so good at zone blocking on stretch concepts, but they are also competent at pulling and trapping for inside zone runs. The multi-dimensional element they provide is a boon for the offense.
Worst Position Group
The Saints wideout room is a difficult one to examine. Michael Thomas is a superstar; sadly, he will miss the early portion of the season. Therefore, the rest of the names are entirely unproven. Marquez Callaway and Tre’Quan Smith are exciting talents. However, they are relatively inexperienced, and they are not number one wideouts right now.
As the Saints start life under a new quarterback, the uncertainty and inexperience in the wideout room are a concern. Depth is another concern. Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Deonte Harris are unknown quantities, and the Saints signed former Patriot Chris Hogan this week to add a hefty amount of knowledge to the receiver room.
Suprise Star Player
Rookie Paulson Adebo could spring plenty of surprises. The speedy corner possesses solid footwork, and he has an intelligent football IQ. Adebo also has an attitude that Dennis Allen likes to see. Adebo is aggressive, brash, and feisty. Playing behind a loaded front seven should also help Adebo adjust to life in the NFL. The Stanford alum owns all the tools to enjoy his rookie season in the NFL.
Initially, it seems like Adebo will start in the slot. That is a good landing spot for him. His physical traits should help him perform at a high level. Furthermore, Adebo has plenty of help alongside him. The Saints secondary is one of the best in the NFL. The addition of Adebo could see them take another step forward.
Record and Playoff Prediction
The Saints’ schedule ranks 22nd in terms of difficulty. In addition, Sean Payton’s teams are always brilliantly coached and organized. Yes, the Saints have lost critical pieces; nonetheless, they are still a dangerous outfit. The Saints will finish 11-6 and take the highest wildcard spot in the NFC.
Sadly, the Saints lack the elite quality on offense that the Packers, Rams, and Bucs have. That will ultimately finish their season in the NFC Wildcard round. However, in a year of significant transition on and off the field, 11-6 is brilliant for the Saints.
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