Evolution is one of those words that’s thrown around a lot without really understanding what it means. A lot of the people think of it in the context of natural selection, with a species taking the most favorable traits and passing them on to the next generation.
However, they have it all backwards, it isn’t the species that does the choosing, but NATURE that allows those with advantageous traits to live on. In its own unique way, the NFL is just like nature in that those with the best traits will prosper while the others will fail.
The difference comes from the fact that in the NFL teams get to choose which traits they will have, and also how they are used. The teams that realize who they are, what they should be, and how to do it are always the ones who have the most success. It’s a cold business where reality trumps narrative, and you either evolve…or you perish.
This is true for all 32 teams, and the New Orleans Saints are no different. The Saints have been consistent in two areas throughout the Sean Payton era, they have a fantastic offense and an awful defense. They have (hopefully) begun putting together the pieces to fix their defense, but what if I told you that an ‘evolution’ needs to take place in the offense just as much as the defense if they want to return to their former glory?
I recently covered how the Saints can fix their defense, but the reality is that despite putting up great numbers their offense has greatly stagnated over the past few years.
In my opinion, the reason for this is that the Saints have gone through a subtle shift in make-up, in other words their ‘traits’ have changed. I believe that this season can be the culmination of that evolution into a newer and deadlier offense, but only if they approach it from the perspective of an evolution and not just an upgrade.
How you do things is just as important as what you are doing, and while the Saints have moved the ball well the last few years, they have continued to struggle scoring the ball and dictating terms to the opponent’s the way they used to. The reason for this is they have refused to evolve and instead have stagnated holding on to the past. The Saints must accept and embrace their new reality, and if they can pull it off they just might shock the world by returning to a form we last saw in 2011…an offensive juggernaut.
Next: Step 1