After another debacle and failure to close out a win against the Bucs, the New Orleans Saints sit at 4-9 with their season essentially being over. What’s next?
New Orleans should close out the season as they would any year, because that’s the standard of Saints football. However, some changes need to be made and it starts with coaching.
Most Saints’ fans have lobbied for HC Dennis Allen to be fired. Completely understandable. I believe his biggest downfall(s) this season have been clock management and simply being too scared to go for it on crucial 4th downs, in the name of ‘field position.’ It has cost the team multiple wins and he also hasn’t handled injuries the best.
So, what has he been good at? Calling the defense. That’s been his specialty for quite some time now and in hindsight, maybe Mickey Loomis should’ve kept DA with that lone responsibility.
With that being said, Pete Carmichael has been a way more glaring issue than DA. He’s been bad almost every week, it’s near unbelievable. This Saints’ offense ranks 16th in the NFL in yards and 22nd in scoring.
Example(s) - Alvin Kamara, generational talent, has a whopping 43 touches in the last three games.
(Late fourth quarter) on 3rd and 2, with the season on the line against Tampa and the entire playbook at his disposal, Pete dialed up a slant to Marquez Callaway.
On the final possession for New Orleans, again with the season on the line, Pete dialed up a jumbo set with Olave and Landry both on the SIDELINE to PASS the ball. The team went three-and-out in 36 seconds. You have to almost try to go three-and-out that quick while playing keep-a-way.
Rashid Shaheed returned a punt earlier in the game to Tampa territory and the team went backwards. Instant punt. Those are four testaments to the recurring incompetence that’s been unbearable all year. DA is the scapegoat for a terrible season and rightfully so to a decent extent, but Pete Carmichael has point shaved all season.
Pete Carmichael using Mark Ingram like he's Alvin Kamara, and using AK like he's Mark Ingram must be his version of creativity— Eugene Goodman stan account (@banktshirt) December 6, 2022
The front office should get rid of Pete and find someone else. I’m not advocating for DA to stay and I’m not saying he should get fired, I understand both sides completely… but Pete Carmichael simply can’t be the OC for this team going into next year. He’s the weak link.
Eric Bieniemy seemed like a realistic option last off-season, but the front office passed. They should contact him again, along with others.
As far as the roster, the team clearly needs consistency at QB. DA gave up on (an injured) Jameis too soon and wrongfully thought Andy Dalton was the answer. There are some guys that New Orleans could possibly get later in the draft, such as Hendon Hooker (Tennessee) and Anthony Richardson (Florida); not advocating for either but talents similar to them could be available.
The defense has been solid for almost two months now but still needs improvement, particularly the secondary. Adebo hasn’t looked like a true CB2 this year, that spot looks like it should go to rookie Alontae Taylor. The FO should bring in another talent at corner and let Adebo battle him for the CB3 spot. Roby and/or Harris Jr honestly can walk. Mathieu and Maye have both been underwhelming to an extent so I’m not sure if their jobs should be safe either.
Offensively, this team has the pieces. They simply need good quarterback play.
New Orleans is 4-9 with six of those losses being by one possession; it sounds like they need the right QB and OC to move the needle. Unfortunately, we’ll have to be patient to see the fruits of the team’s labor. Fortunately, the game-plan should be common sense.