Get ready for the 2010 NFL season with TSN.ca's team-by-team previews. From August 24 through to the start of the NFL season on September 9, TSN.ca gives you an in-depth look at each NFL club as we edge closer to Kickoff Weekend.
Has the Super Bowl celebration party stopped yet in New Orleans? Every time Drew Brees was seen in the off-season he was on top of a parade float or passing out copies of this year's Madden game, which he graces the cover of. Aside from the Madden curse, the Saints may need to worry about the Super Bowl hangover and whether they can stay hungry after reaching the pinnacle of the mountain in such dramatic fashion.
There have been plenty of odd sights on Bourbon Street over the years, but the Lombardi Trophy being held high was certainly one for sore eyes. With all the devastation that has been experienced by the people in Louisiana, the way they rallied around the team gave the new meaning to the term fan loyalty. The story of the Saints Super Bowl victory is one that will go down in the ages, but in a 'what have you done for me lately?' league the Saints past accomplishments mean nothing once they step on the field to kick off the 2010 campaign.
Stadium: Louisiana Superdome
Owner: Tom Benson
GM: Mickey Loomis | Coach: Sean Payton
Super Bowl wins: 1
|1||Patrick Robinson||CB||Florida St.|
|5||Matt Tennant||C||Boston College|
|7||Sean Canfield||QB||Oregon St.|
Reasons For Optimism... Drew Brees thoroughly enjoyed his first off-season as Super Bowl champion, but now he returns to work as one of the best quarterbacks in the game. His offence lost backup battery ram running back Mike Bell and offensive tackle Jammal Brown who a good chunk of last year's schedule anyways.
Outside of that, the unit remains intact with running backs Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush carrying the rock, and receivers Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Devery Henderson and Lance Moore spreading the field. Points will not be hard to come by for the Saints.
Reasons For Pessimism... A championship team always has to deal with turnover and the Saints were no exception. While the offence minimized their losses, the defence was hit hard with defensive end Charles Grant and linebackers Scott Fujita and Mark Simoneau all leaving via free agency.
With safety Darren Sharper potentially missing the first six weeks of the season, the defence that proved to be so opportunistic in 2009, may have to find a new identity this season. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has already gone on record saying he will continue to be aggressive with his play calling, a mentality that can pay huge dividends or can bankrupt a defence.
Reasons For Realism... Head coach Sean Payton will need to find a way to motivate his troops for the rigours that come with a season as defending champions. Their offence is still potent, but the Saints will be hard-pressed to repeat, if for no other reason than the parity that exists in the current NFL. Dynasties are few and far between and while New Orleans should return to the post-season, even that is not a guarantee. Catching lightning in a bottle is a feat not easily reproduced.
By: Scott Cullen
|QB||Drew Brees||96.50||LDE||Alex Brown||82.65|
|RB||Pierre Thomas||76.50||DT||Sedrick Ellis||73.35|
|FB||Heath Evans||67.50||DT||Remi Ayodele||63.50|
|TE||Jeremy Shockey||76.00||RDE||Will Smith||84.35|
|WR||Marques Colston||78.50||OLB||Scott Shanle||69.00|
|WR||Devery Henderson||74.75||MLB||Jonathan Vilma||84.25|
|LT||Jermon Bushrod||67.00||OLB||Jo-Lonn Dunbar||59.65|
|LG||Carl Nicks||82.70||CB||Jabari Greer||71.00|
|C||Jonathan Goodwin||81.75||SS||Roman Harper||67.40|
|RG||Jahri Evans||87.70||FS||Darren Sharper||80.35|
|RT||Jon Stinchcomb||85.60||CB||Tracy Porter||72.00|
|Players are graded out of 100, based on statistical production with the following guidelines for the rating:
90-100 - All-Pro players | 80-90 - Pro Bowl players | 75-80 - Very Good starters
70-75 - Solid starters | 65-70 - Marginal starter/Very good reserve 60-65 - Average reserve
| 55-60 - Developing player, spot duty | 55 and under - Not ready
Scott Cullen's Fantasy Take: The defending champs have a lot of continuity from last year's team, so there's a lot to like. Drew Brees has passed for more than 4300 yards in each of the last four years, throwing for 34 touchdowns in each of the last two. He's one of the best.
He gets banged up at times, but Jeremy Shockey still does enough to be a No. 2 tight end on fantasy teams.
RB Pierre Thomas could be in line for a breakthrough season if he can handle a heavier workload. A 1,000-yard season seems well within his grasp. While there is plenty of sizzle to Reggie Bush's game, his yards from scrimmage has dipped from 1307 as a rookie to 725 last year, his fourth season.
Defensive ends Will Smith and Alex Brown are both productive enough, even though neither is an elite sacker. MLB Jonathan Vilma has been good for 100 tackles every year he's been healthy and defensive backs Tracy Porter and Roman Harper are both quality options.