It's a long road and ride to New Jersey for the next Super Bowl. To get there, it's going to take a full-on team effort of folks stepping up, doing their jobs and fulfilling many different roles and responsibilities.
Hyundai paid a bunch of money to SBNation to identify seven roles for seven players on each NFL team to fill in order to make the Super Bowl, and I've been pimped out to turn this trick for the Saints in sponsored post format. (won't my parents be pleased with my choice of imagery for this one!!)
Check out my selections below and then let me have it in the comment section about what I hit, what I missed, and what I really shouldn't have chased into the dirt. You can even post your own partial or complete list, too!
The cheap-shotting and late-hitting Roman Harper, of course. When he's not missing tackles, he's doing this crap to try and intimidate people. Clearly his work in 2011 laid the groundwork for the awesome performance of the defense in 2012.
After realizing it wouldn't be right of me to choose Drew Brees for every role (even though you could make the case for it easily), I decided to give him this one. He is the smartest guy on the field for the Saints, and one of the two smartest on the Saints sideline. I'm glad he's in the most protected position on the field (except for kickers) to lessen the chances of him getting concussions that would impair his brain functioning.
Well, except for the Superdome/Entergy worker who fell asleep at the electrical switch during the third quarter of the Super Bowl (rimshot), the master technician for the Saints is Jahri Evans. He has put on an absolute CLINIC of play at the offensive guard position for each of his seven years with the Saints. It helps that this position is so crucial to the success of the Saints, too. Runner-up: Marques Colston - just switch out their names and "possession receiver" for "offensive guard".
The Loose Cannon
Joe Vitt in press conferences and any public speaking appearances. His stuff is such rich material harkening back to the Golden Era of Jim Mora press conferences, and I don't want him to stop talking to the press, EVER. Runner-up: Akiem Hicks on Twitter. Can someone just cancel his account, or at least hack into my account and un-follow him for me, so I don't have to read his drivel anymore?
Sean Payton has his work cut out for him in this department, after a year off and a most distressing and depressing final outcome of 2012. Steve Spagnuolo didn't do his job last year and now he's gone. That should be pretty motivating, but it's going to take some effort to get these guys ready to win again, especially with another new DC coming in and another new scheme to adjust to. Some mind games are definitely called for to help get more out of the Saints for a much-improved 2013. Jazz funerals, mouse traps, core beliefs - whatever it takes, do it. (yeah, I went there)
Lance Moore and his buff beauty. 'Nuff said. (Dang, I thought I had a better "go-to" image of hot, shirtless Lance Moore for those who dig him that way, but that was all I could find this time.) Runner-up: Colston in the tub. During my search, I also came across Drew Brees and his muscles in the shower.
I actually have no idea who this might be for the Saints, but here's what I do know. Sean Payton pranked on Jerry Jones by taking his wine in 2010. I also know they used to prank the Saints rookies by telling them they'd get free turkeys at Thanksgiving. Then I came across these lame "pre-super bowl win" Saints jokes.
But really, I think GM Mickey Loomis might be the real prankster - I can see him sneaking into Payton's office bathroom and putting saran wrap over the toilet bowl, or leaning a small trash can full of water against Benson's office door, then knocking on it and running away. Or "pennying" team counsel Vicky Neumeyer into her office. I also heard that he filled a manilla envelope with baby powder, slid the edge of the open end just under the door of scouting director Ryan Pace's office and then stomped hard on the envelope body - (How about some snow, man? HA!!) That goatee gets Mickey in lots of trouble, and the Pelicans front office folks would be wise to watch their backs, I think.