Approximately 75 days until the season opener……But hey if you’ve read this far then you are officially going through withdrawals as am I. There’s also the fact that the Saints haven’t gone into a season in recent memory with as many questions as this team. From the coaching staff to special teams to defense to offense….even the owner has had an off-season chock full of issues.
Let’s go ahead and bring up the elephant in the room. The trade of Jimmy Graham was huge, in terms of just trying to replace a player of his caliber to return of players and money that letting him go provided. The only way to truly judge how smart or terrible this trade was will come after this season and in seasons to come. But no matter how I try and understand the reasoning behind it, seeing Graham catching balls for the Hawks is painful……very painful.
With the focus that has been put on improving the defense (and it should have been) there have also been massive changes on the offensive side of the ball.
Offensive Line – Will not look the same without Grubbs in the line-up but Leito should be able to move over and fill his spot, for years now the biggest challenge has been finding a place for him to play, well this is it. Unger is a major upgrade at center, without him included in the Graham trade, that deal just would not have happened. Adding Peat into the mix at tackle as the heir apparent to Strief does nothing but add quality depth to the unit. Outlook – B
WR’s – Colston, Cook, Joe Morgan and Toon should make up and get the majority of playing time out of the wideout’s. Joe Morgan and Toon should be pushed by several of the new comers for the remainder of the snaps but to start out they should be considered favorites. Now is the time for one or both of these players to step up, they are being given a golden opportunity to stand out and shine. Outlook – B
TE’s – It’s never easy to step in and replace a fan favorite as well as a talented player but Hill and Watson are being asked to do that. Both players have plenty to bring to the table. Watson, is a dependable experienced pro and for Hill the cliche “upside” is written all over him. The big question for this group is will a third player stand up, the opportunity is there and needed. Outlook – B
RB’s – To Mark Ingram’s credit, he showed up and showed off at times last year, and it was a good thing. Make no mistake Payton will not rely on Ingram alone and he shouldn’t have to with a healthy Robinson ready and able. Add CJ Spiller to the mix and this group should be as potent as the Saints have had over the last few years and that is saying a lot. I have to say, not seeing PT in a Saints uniform just doesn’t seem right somehow….Outlook – B+
In the next installment we’ll give the defense a once over, in the meanwhile let me know how you feel about the offense.
Bill Stephens, SaintsGab writer, Follow Saints Gab on twitter @SaintsGab
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