I've heard it mentioned more than once this off-season. You probably have too. Heck, you might have even said it yourself. If not, you've at least given it some thought. You'd be lying if you said you didn't.
This is the best Saints team of the Sean Payton era.
Yup, that's right. Saints fans have been quietly whispering it a lot this off-season. High praise and lofty expectations for a franchise that has consistently put a quality product on he field for the past eight years under head coach Payton. But is there actually any validity to it?
I think so. On paper, of course.
After an incredible turnaround under first year coordinator Rob Ryan, the front office kept their foot on the pedal toward continued defensive improvement by going out and signing Jairus Byrd, the top defensive free agent on the market. Last year's big free agent acquisition Victor Butler is returning from injury. Kenny Vaccaro will be entering his sophomore season with experience. Roman Harper is gone. All while the rest of the NFL's 4th ranked defense from last year remains much the same and gets more comfortable in Ryan's system.
Meanwhile the Saints offense has never been worse than 6th best in the NFL the past eight years under Payton and there's no reason to expect them to drop off this season. We know they'll come to play in 2014. The wide receiving corps has gotten younger, with an exciting new first round draft pick toy to play with. Like his Kenny-counterpart on defense, Kenny Stills will be entering his sophomore season with a little more experience under his belt. The offensive line has their veteran, Super Bowl-winning center back. Top it all off with a promise by Payton to be more balanced and the offense should be as good as always.
So yeah, I see why a lot of people are saying this is the most talented Saints squad ever under Sean Payton. On paper it's all come together and looks very promising. Don't you agree?