Saints having a normal offseason for the first time in four years


Although every team is 0-0 and history says half of the teams that made it to the postseason in 2012 are susceptible to being left out of this year’s playoff field, it’s hard to ignore what teams did last year when trying to determine what they’ll do this year.

For the Saints, who missed the playoffs in 2012 and had a defense of historically bad proportions, it’s easy to assume that they won’t be much better this year.  But that would be a mistake.

The Saints had plenty of reasons to perform poorly last year, from the full-season suspension of coach Sean Payton to the six-game suspension of interim coach Joe Vitt to the Drew Brees contract holdout that kept him out of the entire offseason program to the inability of first-year defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to make much of an impact in light of the many distractions and overrated personnel.

This year, the Saints still have plenty of weapons on offense, and their defense can’t be any worse than it was in 2012.  It’s amazing that they still won seven games (including a victory over the Falcons), despite the multi-layered mess.

This year, there’s normalcy in the offseason for the first time since 2009.  Three years ago, the Saints were dealing with the afterglow of a Super Bowl win, and the complacency, fatigue, and rubber-chicken dinners that go along with it.  In 2011, the lockout turned everything upside down, for the Saints and every other team.  Then came 2012, the strangest offseason that arguably any NFL team has ever had to endure.”

We’ve been looking forward to this for a while,” quarterback Drew Brees said recently, regarding the normalcy that has descended on the organization.  “Just getting us back in this locker room in mid-April and just focusing on getting better in the weight room and just being around the guys.  Getting back to football, and that’s what we do.”

But things still aren’t truly normal.  They’re better than normal because, at a time when everyone has written off the Saints, the team has gotten a kick in the butt from the return of Payton and the arrival of Rob Ryan.

So don’t write off the Saints when the time comes to decide which teams will thrive in 2013.

18 responses to “Saints having a normal offseason for the first time in four years

  1. I think the Saints will bounce back strong this season. The NFC South is going to be a very solid division. All 4 teams have a shot at the playoffs. And Falcons, Saints, Bucs could all take the division.

  2. Those who are paying close attention are indeed seeing strong similarities to this Saints team and the 2009 version. They were under the radar that season as they won their first 13 games. After being falsely accused, the pay-back is another Superbowl win. They’re on a mission and every one of their games this season will be the best ones to watch. Drew & crew will be putting on a show.

  3. The more appropriate way to put this would be that now they won’t have any excuses.

  4. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 8, 2013 3:00 PM

    Life is far less turbulent now that they’ve grown OLD.


    Brees, Vilma, Greer and Will Smith are the only Saints regulars age 30 or more, so this is a blantantly false statement.

  5. I love the city, and respect their coach but that dancing fool of owner makes me hate the Saints. My theory as to why the league came down so hard on the Saints with Bounty Gate is that clown.

  6. mrpolarbear99 says:Jun 8, 2013 3:16 PM

    9-7 and out of the playoffs. Too many better teams in the NFC this year.
    Not a bad prediction. I say 3 teams in the division will have around that same record (beating each other up) and only 1 will make the playoffs as a result. The Saints have kept basically the same core together while the rest of the NFC South has improved and/or will be playin with a chip on their shoulder. Atlanta will be tough as always under Mike Smith, and if Freeman puts it all together then TB could be a challenge. Team to watch will be Carolina as I believe both Ron R and Cam both know they need to show some results this year as 6-10 will not cut it.

  7. Yep. Y’all keep pretending the Saints are washed up. Gonna be interesting to hear what y’all have to say after they paste the Falcons week one.

  8. Saints will be the team to beat in the south. Sean Payton proved the worth of a Head Coach last year. This year they will be an offensive juggernaut once again as long as Drew Brees stays healthy.

  9. If they get a running game…maybe. Much like Marino, Brees hasn’t found a RB he didn’t like…blocking every play.

  10. Since the Matt Ryan/Mike Smith combo began in 2008, the Saints:

    Split with Atlanta in 2008

    Swept them in 2009

    Split in 2010

    Swept them in 2011

    Split in 2012

    See the pattern? Oh it’s coming Atlanta fans.
    No team has ever won the NFC South 2 years in a row, and this year will be no different. Saints will be back on top. The Falcons will take a step back, how big of one is the only question.

  11. With the Offense having the same core players and not to mention the brain of the unit back I think the ceiling is high this year. All this talk about the lowly defense last year but they still had a shutout so I dont think they were as bad as advertised. Maybe its had to do with the crappy scheme Spags had used and his ability to not listen to the players.

  12. Exactly, only like 5 teams posted a shutout last season and the Saints were one of them. Not to mention the same core defensive players took the Saints to 3 consecutive 11+ win seasons.

  13. “All this talk about the lowly defense last year but they still had a shutout so I don’t think they were as bad as advertised. Maybe its had to do with the crappy scheme Spags had used and his ability to not listen to the players.”

    You just hit the nail on the head.

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