It seems that every time I look at Drew Brees throw a pass it’s almost as if it’s my first time seeing it. The spiral is tight, the velocity is perfect and the precision is pin-point but when caught you must ask ” who just caught that”?
That was the issue last year ever since the New Orleans Saints got rid of the NFC’s version of Rob Gronkowski in Jimmy Graham in a cost effecting, salary dump move. Brees still puts up astounding numbers but for the past two seasons there is noting left but question marks, second guessing and finger-pointing.
Sean Payton finally got his head from out his a** and got rid of Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator but the Saints under Payton were never a defensive team to begin with, it was Brees, Graham and Payton’s mind that propelled them to a Super Bowl championship in 2009 but even that seems decades ago. What was once a yearly playoff team, now resemble the Tennessee Titans, but with NFL talent.
The question must be asked. How long do they continue placing their faith in Brees?
Peyton Manning just won a championship at 39 but to be fair to Brees he did it on the back of a great defense. Brees is 34 and while he’s still putting up close to 5000 yards passing per the parts around him keep changing ala Tom Brady and the New England Patriots but the winning and playoff berths have stopped unlike the Pats.
Was it the bounty scandals that ripped this team apart, money, ego, the lack of a decent defense or did Brees and Payton simply out grow everyone? Raise your hand if you saw the Graham trade coming last year. Stop lying, no one saw that coming especially Brees as he and Graham were as, if not better than Brady and Gronk. With Jimmy gone and Payton now wanting to change the way the offense was ran Brees we figured would be in for a decline year statistically but it’s funny how you can try new things but always revert back to the old.
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The Saints were going to focus on a ground and pound type of offense behind an improved O-Line and the legs of Mark Ingram but nothing goes as planned. Ingram as usual couldn’t stay on the field long enough to implement that new style Payton wanted so back to Brees vs the world. But Graham leaving may not have changed anything standing wise but it may have caused a little panic in Payton and Brees.
The change was supposed to prolong Brees for a another season or two or at least keep his arm fresh for a deep playoff run but instead he had to toss another 600+ passes for an 8th time in his career due to the lack of a ground game. Ingram, taking over full duties as the featured back managed only 10 starts for a meager 769 yards and 6 TD’s. This is not what Payton had in mind when he got rid of Graham.
The silver lining in 2015 was the emergence of the young wideouts, Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead and the veteran TE Ben Watson. The offense never skipped a beat despite the lack of running game but Brees and Co finished the season with more answers than when they started.
How do they fix the ground game? Is there any hope for a defense ranked last in the league and who will replace Brees if his arm tires or demands a trade?
For all the numbers the Saints offense has put up they have continuously taken steps backwards, well everyone except Brees but how long will that statement hold true?