The New Orleans Saints match the Tampa Bay Buccaneers well
By: Jeremy Trottier
The NFC South has undergone some major changes this offseason, one of the biggest being the retirement of Drew Brees. However, there is the potential that the Saints will still hold the head-to-head edge over Tampa Bay, at the very least in the regular season again. With the right amount of development this offseason and returning other key players from injury, the Saints could be primed to be ahead of Tampa again in the standings.
In this article, I will be going over three reasons as to why the Saints could end up beating out Tampa Bay twice again in the regular season.
Potential For Development
One of the big upper hands the Saints have over the Buccaneers right now would be their age gap, as the Saints are getting significantly younger by the year. With the large majority of the Saints older depth pieces being removed from the roster due to cap constraints, they have brought in a fresh wave of youth now to replace it.
Does this make the Saints have a higher potential to not be good this year? In the wrong scenarios yes. However, if the rookies from last year and this year can take these training camps/preseason and develop to where they should be rough, this roster could be similar to that of last year. With an influx of youth all over the defense from the front seven to the secondary, this could hugely improve their defense if they can tap into the potential of these players.
Deep Ball Quarterbacking Has Returned
We all saw it, we all know it. Drew Brees at the end of his career struggled to push the ball down the field, and in the instances that he did, it seemed very forced. His confidence in himself seemed to plummet after the 2019 season with his injury and it just kind of went down from there. With either Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill starting this season, both of them have the capability to bring their own new dimension to the offense.
Jameis first off would be able to throw the deep ball much more often and let the receivers do the work. If he has been able to cut the turnovers out of his system, which is a big if, this could be a massive improvement to the Saints’ offense, as they could finally heave the ball downfield. If Taysom were to start, he has the mobility Brees did not bring to the team, and can occasionally throw the deep ball. So regardless of who starts, this offense will be wildly different.
The Buccaneers notoriously brought back all 22 of their Super Bowl starters, as most know by now. On that note, the Saints have also managed to retain the large majority of their big playmakers and keep them around for another season. They lost a lot of players, that much is true. But the biggest members of both sides of the ball have been retained, and the ones who were lost were either aging or injury-prone for the most part.
With players like Cam Jordan, Terron Armstead, Demario Davis, Malcolm Jenkins, and Michael Thomas all still around for veteran leadership, the rookies that were previously mentioned should be trained well under this experience. Which will help with point one, developing the rookies quickly.