I know it is extremely early. We haven't made cuts, we haven't signed Free agents and we haven't had the draft.
So I will concentrate on what we do know.
Sean Payton is back. Not only at the helm of the team, but also with his BFF, Drew Brees. What a relief it is going to be for Brees to be able to prepare with Payton and then go into battle and walk off the field and talk about what he one is seeing and not seeing. They understand each other.
Last year the offense was not the problem. Drew had his share of turnovers, but hopefully some of that can be contributed to trying to do too much and score with every opportunity. This top rated offense returns just about everyone from the Starters except for maybe Bushrod. Henderson will likely be gone, but the emergence of Morgan and Toon should help on that side of the ball. Getting a healthy Graham can't hurt either.
The Saints turn the page starting over with a new defense, the 3-4 and under new coach Rob Ryan. While it would be crazy to think that the Saints already have the pieces of the puzzle to pull this off, it was time for the move. It is also a good time to get younger and build this defense up with future stars that are going to be the nucleus of what the Saints can be even after the Drew Brees days are behind us.
The idea for next year is to lay the groundwork for this defense and to start adding the pieces of the puzzle. I think that most of us feel that even right now with the transition it couldn't get much worse than last year and I guess that is where there is hope. The Saints are coming off a NFL worst performance in yards given up during the 2012 season. To think that Ryan could not improive on that would be almost unheard of. So from that point the Saints were a 7 win team with the last ranked defense, imagine what they could have done with a defense ranked in the mid-20s or even dare say the low-20s. At this point I would be thrilled if Ryan was able to field a defense that finish somewhere between 21st-24th in the league.
I think just that result could lead to 2-3 more wins and likely a playoff spot. I will be realistic. The Falcons are riding a high. They know they were close and they will come back with a hunger. Can they avoid injuries? Will Gonzales come back for another year? Both of these will effect this team going forward. But make no mistake Atlanta is still the team to beat. The Saints defense will be a work in progress as they mold younger players into the scheme. Hopefully it will be a process where we get better each week as we learn how to play together in this scheme and figure out all the angles and points of attack are.
I could see the Saints being a contender to make the playoffs getting those 2-3 extra wins to get to 9 or 10 for the season. Without those injuries that makes New Olreans a road team in the playoffs, but hey you have to get in first. Several teams have shown the ability to get hot at the end of the year and go on to ride that wave through the playoffs.
Lets get younger and lets get better. I look for a promising 2013 that leads to another run possible in 2014.