October 7, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints interim head coach Aaron Kromer during the third quarter of a game against the San Diego Chargers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
Some New Orleans Saints players are staying home while others have already boarded planes to visit friends and family for some downtime during the bye week. The coaching staff on the other hand are likely, and should be, brainstorming on how to keep the team on a roll with winning.
Two glaring issues that have reared themselves in the past five games are on both offense and defense. While the defense has never been the strong point, one issue they are currently having on offense has been.
The Saints run game is not seeing the same production that gave the Drew Brees powered offense a one-two punch that have kept opposing defenses guessing and allowed the Saints to rack up touchdowns with ease.
While criticism has fell on first-round pick running back Mark Ingram, the offensive line is to blame as well with not only run support, but in pass protection as well.
While the absence of former guard Carl Nicks can be used as an excuse, his replacement Ben Grubbs isn’t a bottom of the heap player. It’s just hard to believe that that is the only issue with the line.
One could consider the possibility that having offensive line coach Aaron Kromer split duties and serve as interim coach on top of his normal position might be leaving a few details unchecked.
Another mystery in the Saints backfield is the absence of running back Chris Ivory. Ivory who was thought to take on a prominent role after coming back from injury has only been active for one game and not seen one snap on offense.
While Kromer has dodged the issue as to why Ivory has remained the red-headed stepchild, analysts have noted his fumbles and poor pass protection during the preseason as reasons why. Some have suggested that the Saints trade Ivory to a team in need of a running back to gain a draft pick or two.