NFL New Orleans Saints

6 Most Important Players or Coaches For New Orleans Saints In 2013

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The 6 Most Important Players And Personnel For The New Orleans Saints In 2013

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

What is a team?

A team is a group of people who have come together and are linked in search of a common goal. Tasks are divvied out and specialized. Weaknesses are turned into strengths and the skills of each member are complementary to one another.

Teams in the NFL consist of players, coaches and personnel who are all on the same page. Think of the 1972 Miami Dolphins, who went undefeated in the regular season and eventually won a Super Bowl. These were men all united behind a single goal. They were the epitome of a team and everything it stands for.

Another good definition of a team definitely has to be the 2007 and 2012 New York Giants, who finished 10-6 and 9-7, respectively, and won the Super Bowl in both of those years under head coach Tom Coughlin. Both of those Lombardi Trophies were won against future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady and Bill Belichick; definitely not an easy task for any team that wasn’t fully committed and unified in purpose.

Another good example of a team is the 2009 New Orleans Saints. That season New Orleans went 13-3 in the regular season behind a juggernaut offense masterminded by head coach Sean Payton and field general Drew Brees. Though considered underdogs entering Super Bowl XLIV against the Indianapolis Colts, Payton and Brees and the rest of that squad performed masterfully; all were united and they were eventually crowned champions for that season


That being said, here is a list of the six most important players and personnel to date for the Saints in the 2013 season.

Jack Cavanaugh is a New Orleans Saints contributing writer for Follow him on Twitter @cav_jack, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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Sean Payton's Return Highlights His Worth

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

What Sean Payton brings to the Saints organization was truly recognized during the 2012 season. Suspended for a year due to his involvement in the Bountygate Scandal, New Orleans never really got off the ground, gave up record-setting numbers on defense and finished 7-9.

His return this year saw the Saints start 5-0 and finish 11-5 to make the playoffs. The way he manages the game, handles the team and helps create matchups is almost unrivaled in the NFL.

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A defensive Guru Makes The Saints' Defense Relevant Again

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was brought in to right a sinking ship on defense. The previous year, that unit had given up a record-setting 7,042 yards to opposing offenses, one of the reasons New Orleans missed out on postseason contention.

Ryan has done amazing work in a relatively short span of time. Though he had wanted to implement a base 3-4 offense, New Orleans rarely lines up as such and instead give a multitude of looks and formations to opposing offenses. So far, Ryan and his defense have played well with only minor lapses in performance.

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A Rookie Safety Finds His Place

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The young rookie safety found a home in Rob Ryan's defense, where he was playing virtually every snap on defense before being placed on season-ending IR list with an ankle injury in Week 16. Kenny Vaccaro was also a leading tackler for the team and his hard hitting, energetic play style resonated with both fans and teammates.

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A breakout Year For A Young Defensive Player

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The third-year defensive end had a breakout season in 2013, finishing with a team-leading 12.5 sacks and 29 solo tackles. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has used him all over the field with great effect, helping Cameron Jordan earn his first Pro Bowl selection.

The sky is the limit for this young man.

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Former Basketballer Adds Big Size And Big Play Abilities

Chris Clemons-USA TODAY Sports

Monster tight end Jimmy Graham earned his second Pro Bowl selection after leading the team in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches. He will continue to be a valuable part of the Saints' organization in the immediate future.

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Drew Brees Makes The Case For Best Free Agent Acquisition Ever?

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Drew Brees had another great year, throwing for 5,162 yards and 39 touchdowns. This season marked the third-consecutive time and fourth overall that Brees has thrown for 5,000 or more yards in a single season. Nobody else has ever done this more than once.

Brees will no doubt earn a first ballot selection to the Hall of Fame when that time comes, but for now, he is looking to add a second Super Bowl ring to his collection.