Going back following the New Orleans Saints Week 1 loss to the Washington Redskins, interim head coach Aaron Kromer gave mention of how the Redskins beat the team and did it again after their loss to the Carolina Panthers. Could it be used against the Saints as their Achilles heel?
The secret that Kromer gave was that the Saints faced two offenses that were “unconventional”. Unconventional in that it’s not used much in the NFL, but more in college. This is what’s referred to as the read option.
The Saints did unfortunately face two teams with quarterbacks that used it heavily in college and instead of changing their playing style, their respective coaches changed their offenses to suit them when they were drafted.
The read option only really works if the quarterback is fleet footed and able to truly make the play work. Combined with that quarterback being proficient in passing as well as the team having a dominant running game, it can decimate a team who has a weak defense and who also doesn’t practice too much against it.
Both Robert Griffin III of the Redskins and Cam Newton of the Panthers made the Saints defense look akin to teams that they had played in college by shredding them in the air and on the ground.
The troubling aspect is that Kromer would let this come out and almost be an excuse as well as a blinking exclamation point for other teams to use against the Saints. It’s also surprising because we’re not used to seeing that kind of openness with Saints press conferences.
Head coach Sean Payton is from the Bill Parcells coaching tree where you gave the media just enough information and provide plenty of grief to the reporter who dared to try to dig too deep.
It’s also a method that New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, also from the same tree, uses. His press conferences provide a teeth-pulling effort by reporters to get any type of juicy quote. His famous one after they question him on how an opponent beat the Patriots: “The better team won”.
Kromer would be wise to not give too much out to teams since the Saints face the Panthers again this season as well as other whose quarterback can run with the ball. He’d also be wise to give backup quarterback Chase Daniels plenty of reps against the defense before those games since he used it in college at Missouri.