New Orleans Saints fans have every reason to be excited for the 2011 season. After winning Super Bowl XLIV, some picked the Saints to repeat in 2010 while others picked them to falter.
The Saints showed they had the determination to repeat, but that train was derailed by the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
Despite an 11-5 regular season record in 2010, the Saints surely did not play to their potential. After a remarkable season in 2009, Drew Brees and company was plagued by injuries and turnovers in 2010.
2011 looks to be different, if the Saints can remain healthy, of course.
Everyone knows the Saints offense will put up numbers, and they will be hard to contain. With Jeremy Shockey gone and Jimmy Graham stepping into the starting rotation, the offense looks deadlier.
Pierre Thomas will be returning after signing a four year extension this week and Reggie Bush’s status is still uncertain. If Lance Moore signs his one-year tender, every piece of the offensive puzzle will remain intact.
With that said, the defensive side of the ball should draw the most attention in the off season leading to the 2011 season.
Since Greg Williams became the defensive coordinator in New Orleans, the Saints defense has gotten better each year.In 2009, the Saints defense ranked second in turnovers and first in touchdowns.
In 2010, the Saints did not force as many turnovers, but became a more efficient defense in terms of yardage and points allowed.
The Saints ranked fourth in yards allowed per game (306.2), fourth in passing yards per game (193.9), 16th in rushing (112.3) and seventh in points per game (19.2).
However, that was the regular season.