The New Orleanse Saints arguably had one of the worst off season in NFL history, a claim that has far too often been made by the Cincinnati Bengals.
After investigating the Saints, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell decided that he had enough due cause to completely turn the franchise on its head and suspended two of its long time players Will Smith (four games) and Johnathan Vilma (entire season). Maybe more importantly, their head coach Sean Payton will miss the 2012 season as well.
However, as of Tuesday the off season is over, and New Orleans was allowed to get back on the field and forget about what has occurred. For a few hours everything else did matter.
The good thing for the Saints also is that this is not College Football. The team is playing for a championship, and no matter how bad they were that can not be taken away from them. There is no Playoff ban in the NFL.
There are a lot of questions surrounding the camp obviously. Especially with the absence of their head coach. Payton has long been known as one of the top coaches in the league, and without him the team has decided to use a cycle of interim head coaches to get through the season.
There has long been a question as to whether head coaches are as important as some try to make them out to be. This is the perfect gauge to determine if head coaches are overrated, or if they are given enough respect.
Everyone seems to have an opinion of this. Because the Saints have one of the most veteran savvy, best quarterbacks in the league in Drew Bress, Bucky Brooks of NLF.com says that the offense will be just fine.
The defense may or may not be too. They lose two long time players off of the squad, so that hurts in the personal department. But the coaches are retained from last year.
Normally, an offeason filled with so many distractions, controversies, and uncertainty is reserved for the Bengals. While its nice to see them out of the negative spotlight for once, hopefully the Saints can rebound and still have a good season. The Super Bowl will be played in New Orleans, and the Saints would love to be in it (obviously). This could be a feel good story for the ages. A team that was hit hard–be it from their own doing–and a city that was hit even harder. If the Saints do figure it out it would make for some great content.
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