6 areas that will make or break the 2016 New Orleans Saints

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Jan 3, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) walks toward the field before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) walks toward the field before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dec 26, 2011; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints safety Roman Harper (41) has words with Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White (84) in the fourth quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derek E. Hingle - USATODAY Sports
Dec 26, 2011; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints safety Roman Harper (41) has words with Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White (84) in the fourth quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derek E. Hingle – USATODAY Sports /

Leadership

It’s been a giant elephant in the room over the past two years missing coveted leadership. We sat and wondered what the team was thinking after having a giant makeover after the 2014 season, but if we go back to where it all started to collapse, then you’d have to look to the 2013 offseason. Losing so much leadership before 2014 with Malcolm Jenkins (signed by Philadelphia), Roman HarperJabari GreerJonathan Vilma and Will Smith ended up crushing the New Orleans Saints.

You can make the argument that not all leadership was lost on offense, but the defense was in absolute turmoil. After all, this was a Saints team that made Junior Galette and Brandon Browner captains of the defense. Clearly, that was a large and costly mistake.

Will Roman Harper solve all the problems? No. However, there’s something to be said for a player that is so highly respected among his peers and that has been there and done that. Harper can help the Saints defense, and so can veteran James Laurinaitis, who has seven years of experience under his belt. Both are students of the game, and can absolutely help the Saints defense turn things around.

The biggest thing we’d like to see is the accountability.

The Big Picture

If one of these areas goes to garbage, then does that mean the Saints are up a creek without a paddle? No, not at all. However, look at the teams who have put together winning seasons year after year. For example, how about the Carolina Panthers? Arguably, they have all the aforementioned categories checked off. They were able to build up a team through the draft, cause terror to opposing quarterbacks, made it difficult to find success for opposing running backs, had a fairly stable kicker, and protected Cam Newton (for the most part during the regular season).

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just follow the recipe that has proven to work for so many other teams.

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