New Orleans Saints 2012 Schedule
Photo By: Icon SMI
I was certain New Orleans was sure to finally have a feature tail back when they traded up for Mark Ingram in the draft, and then parted ways with Reggie Bush, after the lockout. Sure, they signed Darren Sproles but I figured he was likely to be used much of the same way Bush was, translating to plenty of touches for Ingram, as the season moved along.
Well, the Saints continued throwing the football and unfortunately for a few of my fantasy teams, Ingram never developed into the runner I envisioned he would be, year one. However, Sproles did prove to not only be a comparable replacement for Bush; he was even better, and I couldn’t fault the Saints for keeping him on the field more often, because of the matchup problems he gives defenses.
Then there was tight end Jimmy Graham, who carried his late-season production from 2010, over to the 2011 season in a big way, becoming one of the more dangerous play makers at his position, in the game. Both Sproles and Graham played big roles in the Saints offense as Drew Brees went on his way to throw for over 5,000 yards and go into the record books.
The Challenging Road Ahead
I really don’t want to get into the bounty BS, but it’s hard to ignore the elephant in the room, so I will just point out some of the possible challenges they will face this year.
Brees should have another fine season, but this team did struggle a little when Coach Sean Peyton had to move up to the booth last year, after breaking his leg. His absence from the sideline (let alone all together) may be a problem at times, but overall Brees won’t forget the playbook, and he should still excel in his pre-snap reads, is just one reason why this offense is so dangerous.
The more interesting story to watch is what will new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo do with a defense, is sure to be re-worked because of impending suspensions? The main areas to watch are pressuring the quarterback and creating turnovers, if they can do this well, New Orleans will remain on schedule for another NFC South Championship and a Super Bowl run.