Saints are working to hire 49ers’ passing game specialist Klint Kubiak as their offensive coordinator, per sources. Kubiak would join the Saints after he coaches his final game with the 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII. No deal can be finalized until after the game. pic.twitter.com/nS14wU7Qow— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 2, 2024
The Saints offense struggled throughout the 2023 season, failing to find consistency. Playcalling was dull, predictable, and lacked creativity. Kubiak is coming from an offensive system which is the complete opposite. 49ers head coach Kyle Shannahan is regarded as one of the best and most creative play-callers in the league, so much so that the Saints made it a mission to get a coach who has a connection to the Shannah-McVay tree.
In 2023, the Saints offense only ran 366 plays with motion. San Francisco’s offense more than doubles that with 753.
49ers plays with motion this season: 753— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) February 2, 2024
The lack of motion and creativity in the Saints' offense under Pete Carmichael made the offense predictable to the point that the best play calls of the season were Taysom Hill QB powers.
One of the biggest X Factors on the 49ers offense is running back Christian McCaffery, who runs an identical style of running back as Alvin Kamara. Kamara’s production has declined since the Saints and former head coach Sean Payton parted ways, and 2023 was the veteran running back's worst season as a pro.
The Saints' lack of creativity on offense made Kamara’s presence in the game less threatening and he was used as more of a safety outlet than as a playmaker. San Francisco’s offense utilizes McCaffery’s talents to the tee. In 2023, McCaffery had one of his most productive seasons since entering the league. With part of San Francisco’s offensive play designs making its way into New Orleans, Kamara could finally utilize his strengths in his play and possibly get back to his pro-bowl caliber play.
The Saints have a pair of young up-and-coming wide receivers in Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed. Olave and Shaheed both produced in 2023, but not to the extent many fans were expecting. Kubiak worked with a pair of talented wideouts in San Francisco in Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. Samuel sees a very creative role in the 49ers' offense often being used as a gadget player that lines up in multiple positions on the field. Brandon Aiyuk is coming off his best season as a pro under Kubiak.
The 49ers offense also utilizes tight ends. George Kittle has been one of the best tight ends in the league for years now and has pulled in over 600 yards receiving since his sophomore year in the league. Saints quarterback Derek Carr used tight ends a lot in his time with the Las Vegas Raiders. The Saints have a trio of talented tight ends but shied away from targeting their big pass catchers in 2023. With the talent New Orleans has at tight end and Carr’s previous connection with the position, the Saints offense could put them to use in 2024.
In 2023, four players had over 1,000+ all-purpose yards with San Francisco.
SF 49ers with 1,000+ All-Purpose Yards:— NFL Retweet (@NFLRT) January 1, 2024
Christian McCaffrey (2,000+ )
This is the first time in NFL history for a team to have a RB, 2 WR’s, and a TE all go for over 1,000 yards pic.twitter.com/Cv85exake5
The Red Zone
The Saints' biggest kryptonite through the majority of the season was red zone scoring. New Orleans had a small resurgence in red zone scoring towards the end of the season but still finished in the bottom half of the league at #18. San Francisco finished with the best scoring percentage with 68.5%
Derek Carr has faced issues with red zone scoring in the past and it continued when he arrived in New Orleans. The Saints often used the “wrong” personnel in the red area and the playcalls always felt iffy. The addition of Kubiak hopes to see a drastic change in the team's lack of scoring ability within 20.
Kubiak is coming from an offense that had the highest red zone scoring percentage in 2023— Kyle ⚜️ | 504.Saints (@KyleBesson504) February 2, 2024