I've been a supporter of Reggie. I believe in his talent- I've defended him and appreciated that he helped us get to and win the Saints only Super Bowl ever and get to the only other NFC Championship game.
I've also criticized him at times and lobbied for him to NOT be an "every-down" back because after Deuce left it became apparent to me that he was not suited for that. That was then. Now is now.
The time has come, at least for one game, for Reggie to carry this team. Yes carry it. This is the perfect opportunity. At a time when everyone else- teamates and opponents alike - are banged up and depleted, Reggie is healthy, fresh and should be ready and willing for the challenge. This is a team with a defense that can be vulnerable and they are not familiar with Reggie. I have every confidence that Payton is capable of implementing a game plan to utilize Reggie in this fashion and set the best possible stage for it to happen. Whether or not Payton does so remains to be seen.
Reggie needs to be the "Every Down" back he hasn't been since college. If only for this game, he needs to be it.
They need to take him off of punts and let him focus on being the best possible RB he can be.
He needs to hold onto the ball, and to run screens well, he needs to run up the middle, he needs to run outside. He needs to catch every pass that's thrown to him. Payton needs to stay with him. We need to live or die with him. He needs to know this going in. He is what we have. Not that Julius Jones can't or shouldn't get some carries. He should. But the game plan shouldn't revolve around Jones. Nor Wynn. And the game plan should not revolve around 45 passing atempts in the cold rain or around Colston, Graham, Shockey or Moore. Wynn should get some carries also since we may need him if we advance and he needs to get his feet wet. Brees should have the burden taken off of him and be allowed a shot at zero interceptions and playing in a balanced scheme where he has the luxury to throw the ball away at times. No, this one has to be on Reggie. And, let's not go in that different direction- no RB by Committee- we've seen enough of that. A true running back by committee leaves no one accountable or as invested as much as they need to be. No one gets any rhythm. It's playoff time. It's time to commit.
So, it's time to find out about next season this season. It's time to see if Reggie still has the heart of a Lion. We all know what he CAN do, we need to see what he WILL do. If he can carry the team this week, he will open up opportunities for all of our other weapons for this game and the following ones. Everyone will breathe a sigh of relief. It's the BIG FIX. This is the only game he will need to carry us. In the others he will have to be a major player, but not carry us. If he can do this, everything will fall into place.
GEAUX SAINTS! WHO DAT!