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Saints defense by end of year- Top 1/3, middle 1/3, bottom 1/3? - Ben D.

Well let's go ahead and eliminate the top third option right away. Not that it's impossible, but it's a turnaround that's highly unlikely. Rome wasn't built in a day. I envision the Saints making a modest improvement, maybe finishing the season as the 20th or 21st ranked defense. Which still puts them in the bottom third. But almost in the middle third and on the come up.


Will Stephone Anthony continue to suck? Will Laurinaitis make the team? - Xen C.

Stephone Anthony struggled last year because he was asked to lead the defense as a rookie. It was a tall task and,  naturally, Anthony suffered through growing pains. We've heard multiple times now from Payton that substitutions, lining up, getting plays called in, and general communication were big problems last year thanks to Rob Ryan. Certainly Anthony wasn't put in a position to succeed in addition to being overwhelmed. Which is why the Saints have moved Anthony to the outside and signed James Laurinaitis to play the middle and be the defensive play caller. He was brought in not just for his play on the field but also for his on-field leadership. Make no mistake about it: James Laurinaitis is your starting MLB and he will be playing in every single game this season.


Which team in either league has the greatest improvement in the number of wins in 2016 over 2015? - Ben D.

Hmmm...there will probably be a couple of teams who improve by four or five games. I've got my eye on a few. The Tennessee Titans have the most room for improvement (3-13 last season) and I think they had a great off-season. They're poised to make a big jump. The Chargers (4-12) and Ravens (5-11) are both perennially good teams who slipped big time last season. I'd expect at least one of them to get to at least 8-8. Lastly, the Colts (8-8) can certainly be a 12 or 13 win team with Andrew Luck healthy.


Assuming the roster breaks this way, who gets the last front seven spot: Davis Tull, Obum Gwacham, or Michael Mauti? - caomhin

Gwacham showed some flashes in the second half of last season that makes me optimistic for his development. I like him. Mauti would need to make himself indispensable on special teams to make the roster.


So State Farm and the NBA have these ads for "The Hoopers", with Chris Paul as Dad, Deandre Jordan as Mom, Kevin Love as Son, Kevin Garnett as Grandpa, and Damian Lillard as Baby. They're obnoxious, but funny sometimes. If you were to do a similar ad using Saints players, who on the roster would be best to play the 5 roles? - Ryan E.

Alright, this is how I picture it: Thomas Morstead as Dad, Drew Brees as Mom, Cam Jordan as Son, Mark Ingram as Grandpa, and Zach Strief as Baby.


When I was hanging at the Bayou Boogaloo last week, the most talked about subject was of a new stadium.'
As a local business owner, do you see it happening ? Should it happpen? and if so where should it be built.
- Russty G.

First of all, I don't think my status as a local business owner makes my opinion any more valid or important. And a stadium downtown, old or new, has no real significance as it relates to my business. My personal opinion is that the Superdome is just fine the way it is and nothing really needs to be changed with the exception of regular improvements. That being said, I have a hard time seeing the Super Bowl being hosted in the Superdome again because as far as NFL stadiums are concerned, it's an outdated dinosaur. So it wouldn't surprise me to see a new stadium get built one day in the not-so-distant future so that New Orleans can remain a player in the major sporting event scene. Who will pay for it is a completely separate discussion, of course. As for location, I'd prefer to see it in the same location as the Superdome currently. The proximity to the French Quarter is what's always touted, so you can't take that away. But that would mean a temporary relocation to another stadium during the construction phase and LSU's Tiger Stadium is the only viable option I can think of. I know a riverfront stadium has been discussed in the past.

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