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Three questions heading into Saints training camp

What are the biggest concerns headed into next week?

NFL: New Orleans Saints Minicamp Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Training Camp for the 2023 NFL season starts this week with the rookies reporting for the New Orleans Saints.

However, for a team that went 7-10 a year ago and has a new starting quarterback, there are questions from media pundits and the fanbase that need to be answered, and that starts with training camp.

Here’s a look at three questions I have about the Saints in 2023:

NFL: New Orleans Saints Minicamp Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Which Derek Carr do the Saints get?

You already know what I mean.

With Carr signing a four-year deal, it’s obvious the Saints look at him as the long-term option. As do I.

But will he be the Derek Carr that throws for 4000 yards a season while making a Pro Bowl? The MVP contender? Or will it be the guy the Raiders felt was dragging down the franchise and benched him, leading to his departure from Vegas.

I think training camp will say a lot because this is the first opportunity while the offense will be moving at full strength in game-style practices. I’m intrigued to see how Carr runs Pete Carmichael’s offense and his chemistry with Mike Thomas and Chris Olave.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Can Michael Thomas stay healthy?

When Thomas is healthy and a part of the offense, it makes the Saints that much stronger for two big reasons. First, his offensive ability makes him one of the top receivers in the entire league.

Before his injury, he was setting NFL records for receptions in a season while scoring double digit touchdowns. Secondly, because of his ability, he can’t be ignored on the field, which opens a passing lane for another weapon in the Saints’ arsenal.

However, he only appeared in three games last season so what level of health will MT have to give the New Orleans Saints in 2023 is a big question to answer.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at New Orleans Saints Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Will the defense perform at the level it did to end the season?

After starting the season very slowly on defense, the Saints finished strong in the second half.

Players like DeMario Davis, Pete Werner, Cam Jordan, and others stepped up in the front seven while Alontae Taylor had a very big rookie season and Tyrann Mathieu set a career high in tackles.

Now, the Saints have the 13th ranked defense in the NFL and will look to play to their standard for 17 games in 2023 to help New Orleans contend in the playoffs.

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