The New Orleans Saints are in trouble, and its not for losing the NFC divisional playoff at San Fransisco on Saturday night (although that one hurts, especially since Eli Manning and the Giants disposed of Green Bay Sunday, meaning if the Saints would have won against the Niners, New Orleans would be hosting this weekends NFC championship game).
It would have been the city's 2nd NFC title game in 3 years and 3rd overall in just the last 6 seasons. The word "dynasty" would be mentioned with the Saints.
Not any more. That's all history, and so are this year's playoffs. History.
But that's not the worst part. Believe it or not, the Saints are rebuilding. They've done all they can with this team, especially on defense, so now it's time to almost start over again.
The once young Drew Brees turned 33 yesterday, not 29. Although Brees is in the prime of his prime, he's not getting any younger and the window of opportunity is narrowing.
Still, Brees, along with the guard tamdem of Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans and skilled players Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles form a solid nucleus for the offense. That unit should be fine with just a little tweaking.
But the Saints' defense is an entirely different story. Unlike the offense, which is filled with probowlers and all-pros, the Saints defense is void of any stars. Not one player coveted by other teams. And now Gregg Williams, the magician of a defensive coordinator, has probably coached his last game as a Saints assistant. He's the defensive MVP the last few years.
The Saints' prolific offense is a great one and certainly fun to watch. But the old addage "defense wins championships" has never been more true. When the Saints took Superbowl 44, they did it behind a defense that forced an unheard of 39 turnovers. For the Saints to get back and win another Super Bowl, a viable defense will be the key. And next year's Super Bowl is just 12 and a half months away, right here in New Orleans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Get about a half dozen new starters on defense and maybe the Saints can be in that number.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun