As a follow-up to my first article (Re: The Saints…One Step from Greatness), here comes the (possibly or possibly not) anticipated encore.
Sean Payton’s game plan, as far as offense is concerned, should be a no-brainer, simple to figure out. With the artillery and weapons that he has at his disposal, his offensive execution strategy should be like what George H. W. Bush did to the opposition in Desert Storm, which is to annihilate them.
Regular Downs: On first and second down situations, say that you start at a normal 10 yard situation. Don’t follow conventional wisdom and run the ball as pundits say. The Saints’ offense isn’t meant for that. Throw the ball on first down. Possibly screen the ball or try for the deep bomb. As far as second downs go, run the ball on these situations to keep the defense honest and to test out the ground game. If it is working, there is less pressure on Drew Brees. However, by running the ball on first down in the first quarter, defenses generally blitz on first down and that could be dangerous, especially with a bruiser-back. By the Half, Sean Payton would have seen how the defense is strategizing, and this would either open or close a few options.
Third and Short or Fourth and Short: This depends, sort of. The defense is obviously going to bring a blitz. If they don’t, then the quarterback is open to run the middle. I considered "short" to be a variety of situations. If it’s is at least a yard, then play action or just screen. If it is less, then use Heath Evans or Pierre Thomas to take it in. This strategy, I noted, worked admirably last year. However, Sean Payton cannot keep deluding himself that Reggie Bush is a pound-it-in type of runner. Bush is not the ideal fit for those situations. And the Bush-run-it-in thing didn’t work out so well last year…
Trick Plays: This concerned me last year. In the Vikings game, Sean Payton tried an onside kick in the first quarter, and, well, it kind of misfired. Let’s not go into details. Play actions are cool, after the first quarter. And in order to do this, you have to pull out a few nice runs in the first quarter. Plain to see. Flea Flickers actually might be pretty cool to see, but not before the half. I say that Brees should either let Moore or Henderson throw. I say Henderson because he is a speed threat. The defense would be drawn instantaneously down towards the line (with the right timing) allowing a tight end to get open or Reggie Bush. Devery Henderson should be involved in more double reverses along with Reggie Bush.
Basically, I say shoot the defense with throws and use the run as a balance option. If you pass thirty times, then I say, run 10-15 times. Use tricks in mediation. Reggie Bush needs to get a lot more involved in special effects. Devery Henderson can be a double threat, in either running or receiving. Heath Evans has arrives, which indicates that Payton is trying to get a lot more grounded on short yardage situations. Again, this is my view on things.