2012 was no doubt a forgettable year for the New Orleans Saints and their fans. After being ravaged by the Bountygate scandal, the Saints were left without key players and coaches on the roster, and ultimately it might of cost them a berth in the playoffs. It didn’t help that their defense was probably the worst in the league, either.
But all of this is now in the past for the Saints, and 2013 is a brand new beginning. For starters, they’ve got their head coach back. Sean Payton‘s return to the team will make a world of difference, all by itself. Losing a head coach for an entire season to suspension was an unprecedented event, so who knows how badly that really affected the Saints.
I’m also looking for big things next season from Mark Ingram. It will be his third year in the league, and with it being apparently clear that the Saints must run more, it’s only natural Ingram should get the most carries of his career. He’s been pretty good so far in limited action, but I think it’s time the team gives him a chance to show what he can do.
Arguably the biggest reason why the Saints will be in the playoff race in 2013, is the hiring of Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator. For a team that was a train wreck on defense a season ago, this is a huge acquisition. Ryan will get the defense playing at a respectable level, and there’s no way we see a repeat performance of last season from the Saints-D.
Oh yeah, and New Orleans still has this guy named Drew Brees. Last I heard, he was still pretty good.
All kidding aside, those are just a few reasons why the Saints will rebound and be right in the thick of the playoff race next season. They need to have a solid draft that mainly consists of defensive players, and ideally ones that can rush the quarterback. On the other side of the ball, they must find a better pass/run balance, and that will start with Ingram. All of the above, will only help Brees. We’ve seen how good the Saints can be when they’re a balanced team, and they must get back to that formula to be successful in 2013.
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