After a terrible season offensively, the New Orleans Saints have to figure out how to be explosive on a weekly basis again. That starts with health, the OC & QB.
New Orleans already decided to run it back with Pete Carmichael as the OC next year. I highly disagree with this decision after watching a full season of malpractice… seeing opening drives go 3 and out with AK on the field for 1/3 of those plays, predictable runs and playing “not to lose” which led to ultimately blowing leads. But the FO has spoken - let’s pray Pete will adapt to the new-age NFL and simply do his job better.
Andy Dalton is not the answer at QB, so let’s look at a few possible options.
Mac Jones had a really impressive rookie year, followed with slight second-year regression (mostly beyond his control). He missed a few games to injury. After Mac returned from injury, Bill Belichick benched him one drive into a game for backup Bailey Zappe. Once Bill saw that was an irrational move, he went back to Mac. Mac pretty much kept New England in games every week while still not having a legitimate WR1.
Neither Mac nor the rest of the offense had the kind of coaching, tools or foundational scheme to compete at the highest level. New England’s 8-9 record and the fact that the team with limited weapons and an even more limited playbook was in the playoff hunt until the final 30 minutes of the season is remarkable. Even with regression in Mac’s play, he still showed he can make every throw whether it’s in a clean pocket or under duress. He goes through progressions with the best of them and I’d say a part of that is being Saban-bred. New Orleans has better weapons and a better o-line when healthy. Mickey Loomis should at least check on his availability. If New England isn’t sold on him as their guy by now, I’d be ecstatic to have Mac in black and gold. He moves the needle that much.
Trey Lance suffered a season-ending injury before his rookie campaign started so the verdict is still out on him. Trey does have intangibles that tailor towards New Orleans. He’s a really mobile QB that could save drive-ending downs with his feet. New Orleans could implement that RPO game that we’ve seen Philly perfect with Jalen Hurts. Also, Lance simply has good arm talent. Call San Fransisco and see if he’s on the market. They may be sold on Jimmy and/or Purdy. If they’re willing to entertain a reasonable deal, take a chance. He could be the next guy to hand over the keys to.
Brissett looked good this year. He wasn’t amazing but he took care of the ball fairly well and made most/all of the throws Cleveland asked him to make. The NFL has been trending towards the mobile QB for some time now and he’s another one that makes plays with his feet. 14 total touchdowns and a 64% completion percentage is fairly good, considering Cleveland never fully gave him the keys to the offense. He’s still young and could flourish way more in the right system.
There are a few more pending free agents available that New Orleans could entertain but these three guys may be the best options to win - that’s if they’re available though. If not.. try to finish a Sean Payton deal for draft capital to get a guy you love, not like.
If that doesn’t work, I’m not sure where the team goes. but we’ve seen enough of Andy Dalton to know we can find better. Andy didn’t play terrible, but he didn’t play well either. We’ll see soon enough how the front office feels about the QB situation.