The preseason is slowly but surely approaching, and you can feel the tension, or excitement, as teams have picked up the pace in practice. The New Orleans Saints come into another season expecting nothing short of greatness. Anyone with real football knowledge knows New Orleans has one of the best defenses in recent memory... But now, the depth on offense could rival the defense. How can Pete Carmichael lay down the foundation for the offense to execute on a weekly basis?
It starts with Alvin Kamara, arguably the best player in football. Kamara leads the league in touchdowns (68) since 2017. He’s missed eight games in that span, and he’s been splitting touches his entire career. Very telling, Kamara is a jack of all trades. The offensive line regressed last year mainly due to injuries but if this unit can stay healthy, there’s no reason not to expect a good/great year from the big guys up front. Establishing a running game with Kamara should be priority number one. It opens up endless opportunities for this team. It makes those safeties come down a little bit, or at least keep their eyes in the backfield a second longer. That’d be playing with fire considering the other weapons on the roster. Carmichael could find himself using AK as a decoy often, but that should rarely happen... Again, he’s 1 of 1. Splitting touches may lead to more durability but at the same time, get him the ball. He’s entering his peak and we know what he’s about.
The public seems to have forgotten who Michael Thomas is. Last time we saw him healthy, he was the best WR in football. Breaking records, routinely winning one-on-one’s, never dropping passes, blocking and consistently being a security blanket for QBs. He reminds me a lot of a prime Larry Fitzgerald, in a lot of ways... which is company any WR would be elated to be a part of. The minimal film we’ve seen of him in practice so far looks more than promising. He took his time with the recovery process, and he’s fully expected to hit the ground running when it’s go-time. Below shows MT still top 5 in catches since 2016, while playing SEVEN games over the past two years. Very telling. Feed him the ball too, 8-14 targets a game please.
Most receptions since 2016, among WR— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) July 27, 2022
Davante Adams 581
DeAndre Hopkins 550
Stefon Diggs 543
Keenan Allen 515
Michael Thomas 510*
*has played 7 games over last 2 seasons pic.twitter.com/v7nYjvbcw5
Chris Olave should be nothing short of a stud. Don’t expect him to take long finding his stride throughout his rookie year. He’s one of those guys who move the needle instantly. Check his film at OSU. Check him out in practice. He’s ready now. 80/1,200/9 is the ballpark I’m placing for him during his rookie campaign. His route tree and hands are complete at every level, but the 4.3 speed is something you can’t teach. Defenses will have no choice but to be honest, especially if another 4.3 guy (Deonte Harty) is simultaneously on the field. Defenses being honest means ample opportunities for AK and Mike Thomas to feast.
This means you have a real three-headed monster coming at you like a freight train. With other pieces like Jarvis Landry, Taysom Hill & Marquez Callaway getting in where they fit in and producing results. Those guys will have lesser roles than they’re used to, which is great in the grand scheme of things. Guys lower in the depth chart will be checking them, so basically everyone’s job should be a little easier this season.
Not only is this offense loaded with depth, Carmichael is a great play-caller. Sean Payton is irreplaceable, but Carmichael is the perfect one to replace him. I expect no fall-off to the offense we’re used to. Carmichael most likely will make these guys’ jobs go a lot smoother.
We know without a doubt the defense is going to perform. Without a doubt. If this offense can just come in the vicinity of their ceiling, New Orleans will win a lot of games. They’ll also be competing for a Super Bowl, maybe in the driver’s seat. If they reach their ceiling, nobody is beating this team when it matters. The Saints have a higher ceiling than most want to admit, and it’s hard not to see Jameis flourishing more than ever with this group. The biggest question mark is health. Stay healthy, New Orleans will be contending for a Lombardi trophy. Expect the high-scoring days of New Orleans football to come back like they never left.