Three improvements the New Orleans Saints must make to win again

brianpavek
Jun 14, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen during the first day of minicamp sessions at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 14, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen during the first day of minicamp sessions at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 29, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New Orleans Saints tackle Zach Strief (64) and quarterback Drew Brees (9) lie on the ground after Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) makes a sack during the game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 29, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New Orleans Saints tackle Zach Strief (64) and quarterback Drew Brees (9) lie on the ground after Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) makes a sack during the game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

2: Develop Competence

One of the hallmarks for the Saints defense the last few years has been the incredible incompetence and lack of awareness, situational or otherwise, on the defensive side of the ball. This cripples the defense and puts unnecessary stress on the offense. The Saints can’t develop any kind of long term and lasting ‘competence’ on either side of the ball (which is why it was No. 1), but while the offense has total trust in the capable hands of Sean Payton and Drew Brees, the defense has no such benefits.

Building from the trust that can only be born of mutual understanding and confidence in one another, only then can you become competent. Competence in sports is nothing more or less than the ability to execute the core concepts of the game with consistency. It’s a simple concept, but it’s a lot harder than it sounds. It requires many of the most proud, talented, and intelligent young men in the world to put themselves in the hands of their teammates. Trust is key. However, once you have trust you have only started to build a team. Trust is the foundation, and competence is the goal.

The New Orleans Saints have to believe in what they are doing, and then they actually have to DO it, and do it RIGHT. Part of that comes down to players and coaches being on the same page, but part of it also comes from having the right players. You have to have people who fit the scheme and can carry out the vision, or it doesn’t matter how much they believe in what they’re doing, or they will still fail (like me dunking).

The Saints added a lot of pieces this offseason, and by appearance they seem to be the right ones. However, it’s up to them to prove that they either still have the talent (like Laurinaitis), or that they were worth the draft pick (Rankins and Bell). If the Saints got what they thought they got, then they have a real chance to be on the right path towards success. And if they had yet another bad draft/offseason, they have no chance at all.

Next: Build an Identity

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