Is it just me? I keep trying to make sense of all this but reasoning falls too far from reality. In a game where success is determined by perfect timing and execution of carefully crafted signals we are getting mixed signals from every direction.
An uneasy silence has fallen across the fan base of the most exciting game in the world; the fans want reassurance that “all is right in the world”, and that football will proceed as scheduled as it has for so many years. We’re getting no such reassurance.
One question raised is just how seriously are the Saints players taking the game, their jobs, and their careers? Are they focused upon their personal issues, or the fact that we need to make a serious run on the Super Bowl this year?
Presence or absence at the Saints workouts cannot be explained away by threat of injury, contracts, or the lack thereof. You either want to wear a Super Bowl ring this season or you don’t.
I waited 43 long years to be able to call my team the World Champions; I won’t live another 43 years. I want another NFC Championship and Super Bowl Championship. I want them now. I want them this season.
How badly do our players want them? Darren Sharper set a good example by showing up regardless of his precarious situation, but others didn’t. In a perfect world every last Saints player would have shown up. If they had, a message would have been sent far and wide across the nation: The New Orleans Saints are deadly serious this season; we’re going to take back what is rightfully ours.
The physical workout is less important than solidarity. The fact remains that with the absence of playbooks, the keys to the Saints system, are locked up inside the minds of the team leaders. This is the time to share that knowledge with the new players.
We’re fortunate in a few areas; two of our last picks were special teams players four years in college; that will help. Mark Ingram played in a “pro system” at Alabama where there were many similarities between the college scheme and the pro setting; that will help. I still would have felt better if he had shown up.
We have three of the finest minds in pro football in New Orleans, but for now Coach Payton is out of the equation. For Brees and Vilma to lead the offense and defense there has to be someone there to lead. This is by no means an ordinary season, and we may not even have a preseason. The teams that are the best prepared regardless of what happens before the first game is played will be the teams in the conference championships.
Is there a bright side to all of this? Perhaps, for once again we have three things no other NFL team has: Payton, Brees, and Vilma. If there’s a way to overcome the difficulties our team faces this season, we’ll have to rely upon them to find a way to do it.
They did it in ’09.