Oct 26, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) and outside linebacker Junior Galette (93) celebrate after a sack of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated Packers 44-23. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
5. Improvement on the defensive side of the ball
The Saints were a 7-9 team last year, and it showed. In my eyes, it was miscommunication on all ends of the spectrum. What or who’s to blame? Players? Coaches? Lack of leadership? I’m sure it’s a little bit of everything.
I’m not saying the defense will bounce back and return to their 2013 form, but it can’t get much worse than last season. However, I do see major improvement.
With a boatload of draft picks, the Saints have a prime opportunity to stack up with young talent, so there’s that. The acquisition of CB Brandon Browner alongside shutdown specialist Keenan Lewis will help solidify the secondary, especially with the return of elite All-Pro safety Jairus Byrd, who basically missed all of his first season in New Orleans.
DE Cam Jordan is too good to have consecutive down years and Junior Galette will likely continue his role as a disturbance to opposing quarterbacks. Again, I am in no way, shape or form saying the defense will dominate, but I do see improvement. Don’t forget about the hiring of “senior defensive assistant” Dennis Allen, the Saints’ secondary coach during that Super Bowl run, where takeaways played a key role in the team’s success.
But what does this have to do with Drew Brees? Everything. He couldn’t rely on his defense, so trying too much to make the big play to keep New Orleans in the game seemed to be the only solution. Mark Ingram ran well, but you can’t win by sticking to the run when your team is down a majority of the time. A reformed defense should hopefully keep the turnover ratio in the Saints’ favor.
Next: 4. Dynamic Weapons