With the season opener coming up Sunday, Sept. 8, against their heated rivals the Falcons, the New Orleans Saints have made some drastic changes to the coaching staff and roster. Coming off of the worst defense in NFL history last season, they needed to make big changes this year.
Their first move was firing defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo in order for former Cowboys coordinator Rob Ryan to take his place. Ryan changed the Saints defense from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense.
Throughout the preseason, the Saints suffered some difficulties with both offense and defense. The Saints need the most help in the Outside Linebacker position, with key injuries to both Will Smith and Victor Butler. The toughest part for the head coach is to cut the players right before the season starts, and some key releases were Wide Receiver Courtney Roby, Defensive End Jay Richardson, and Cornerback Chris Carr. However, a great
addition as another one of Drew Brees’ targets is Andy Tanner, who has been on the practice squad for the past 3 years. He has been released by the Saints 30 different times and still fought his way onto the roster this year.
Saints fans should not go into the season doubting number 9, Drew Brees. He has broken records for two straight years, including being the first quarterback ever to throw for more than 5,000 yards two years in a row. He is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league and shows no signs of slowing down on offense.
According to Bleacher Report, the Saints have the third hardest schedule this season just behind the Detroit Lions and the Carolina Panthers. The Saints open their season against the Falcons, then face the Bucs. So, if they can win the first two games, the Saints will have a clear hold on the division.
Local fans believe that the Saints will have a very successful season this upcoming year.
“The Saints will have a way better season than last year, thanks to new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan,” said Kurt Shiell, a sophomore at St. Paul’s School.
“They will win the Super Bowl thanks to the return of head coach Sean Payton,” added fellow sophomore, Devin Bresette.
Where will the Saints end up in the NFC South? With the Falcons being a tough opponent for the Saints, and with the Panthers and Bucs both on the rise from last season, this NFC South could be the toughest division in the NFL.