Hypothetical contingency plans are probably not at the top of most coaches’ to do lists. In 2017 however, the Saints better have a Plan B.
First and foremost, injuries are the number one concern. The Saints have been bitten in 2016 and this year’s offseason. The phrase “next man up” is common in coach speak. That being said, words and optimism may not be enough if things get gnarly.
Injuries aren’t the only obstacle the Saints could face this year. What happens if a slow start plagues the Saints again? Will Who Dat Nation turn on Payton and Brees?
An 0-4 start going into the bye week could cause havoc. Surely, there’s no better coach out there on the market, but how does the franchise alleviate fears while maintaining steadfast support for Sean Payton? Will Drew Brees be able to handle a slow start in 2017 again? The answer of course for Brees is YES. How do new veterans like A.P. and Ted Ginn Jr. react? Could it actually be a good thing?
Facing adversity early on may force the Saints to bond earlier. There won’t be many people outside the locker room, however, that will have the same burning optimism if a slow start becomes reality. In fact, the locker room could turn ugly if the Saints start 0-4 or 1-3 once again. The slow starts really have taken their toll on the New Orleans Saints. No doubt, that this season MUST be different and deliver positive results.
Is this team built differently? Is PLAN B really a ‘let it ride’ philosophy? In other words, the thought is that this team is going to be prepared for those trying times. The mentality going forward in 2017 looks to be the “keep chopping the wood” strategy. Once the 53 man roster is named, that’s the team that’s gonna either bring the Black and Gold another Super Bowl or not.
The only gray area seems to be the next few weeks of training camp. Obviously, there’s not going to be fear to pull the trigger on a trade if the right offer comes along. The trade of Brandin Cooks is proof for sure. Regardless, right now the purpose is to stay the course. In Brees we trust. Play this hand out and see what happens.
The big question will be, can the same message resonate with this new team? Is the foundation sturdy enough to ride a storm out when it comes? The answer may come in early October. Wins and losses starting in September will give results necessary to see if this blueprint works.