In 2005 the New Orleans Saints went 3-13 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina as it’s damage to the recently renamed Mercedes-Benz Superdome was catastrophic.
The team was forced into a nomadic existence as the Superdome and the New Orleans area began a radical re-building process.
The Saints split home games between LSU’s Tiger Stadium and the Alamodome in San Antonio, and even played a “home” game at Giants Stadium in week two.
That’s a tough existence for any team in the NFL, but it didn’t help that then head coach Jim Haslett and his coaching staff failed to produce even mediocre success.
An offense led by Aaron Brooks averaged just fourteen points a game, and three times that season New Orleans failed to even eclipse ten points scored.
Defensively they where just as bad after surrendering 25 points a game, special teams a virtual scrap.
They went 1-11 in conference play to compliment a 1-5 division record, and for Saints fans things couldn’t have been much worse.
New Orleans had been long been known to harbor a culture of losing — it wasn’t a surprise — that the team had once again been among the league’s worst.
Moderate success though was found in the late 80′s and 90′s, thanks to the “Dome Patrol”, but by and large the Saints just couldn’t seem to string together any real notable accomplishments.
After 2005 owner Tom Benson had to make changes.
So Haslett, and the entire coaching staff, as well as most of the front office personnel, were fired and the search began for a new group that could revive the struggling franchise.
The story from here is well known — head coach Sean Payton was hired — and the entire Saints roster was purged, Drew Brees was signed, new players were signed, and a new coaching staff was put in place.
A new era of Saints football had begun.
In a brief cliff notes style summary of the last six years the Saints have accomplished a lot, and a new “golden age” for one of the NFL’s former most struggling franchises has emerged.