NFC South Preview- New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints had the most potent offense in the last few years in the NFL. It has been the defense that has been questioned in the past couple of seasons, and coming into this season, will be the key if the Saints can recreate the success of 2006. With a new coordinator, new schemes, and a new philosophy in town for 2009, the Saints are hoping to compliment the dynamic offense and make a run to the playoffs this season.

On offense, the biggest change is the departure of running back Deuce McAllister, which now paves the way for Reggie Bush to be the feature back in the teams offense. Bush dazzled his way to the Heisman Trophy from the position during the college years at USC, and has been electric on special teams. It will be interesting to see if he can stay healthy with a heavier workload carry wise. One good thing about him is that he is a great receiver out the backfield and is perfect when Drew Brees needs a checkdown pass. Bush does have a reliable backup in Pierre Thomas. Marques Colston is healthy and is looking to recapture his magic from the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Brees has Devery Henderson and Lance Moore, who had a breakout season last year due to Colston’s injury. If all the Saints’ keys on offense stay healthy, expect high amounts of points on the board.

The defense has a new coordinator, Gregg Williams, who comes over from Jacksonville, and he is going away from the Cover 2 that the Saints have ran, which resulted in a lot of big plays given up and exposing huge holes in the defense. Williams likes to attack and blitz, and be aggressive, and if Charles Grant can get back to his Pro Bowl form, the Saints could once again be a force on D. They did get some good players in Darren Sharper at safety, and Roman Harper to keep prevent the deep ball. It will be interesting to see how the linebackers can do against the run, especially with three good running backs in the division (Michael Turner, DeAngelo Williams, Derrick Ward)

Overall, the Saints look good, but it’s going to be up to the defense to leapfrog Carolina in the division. If the D can be aggressive and not hurt the team and compliment the offensive scoring, the Saints will be a threat in the NFC South.

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