Clearly the Saints have to be a well-oiled offensive machine in 2013. That's something they were not last year, due to a number of factors - one of them being a poor defense not turning the other teams over, thus taking snaps out of QB Drew Brees' game plan.
Brees passed for 43 touchdowns and completed 63 percent of his attempts in 2012. But he also threw 19 picks... That's unusually high for the perennial Pro Bowler.
But part of the reason is that Brees was being forced to be a little more opportunistic, trying to either bring the team from behind or otherwise, simply to just make something happen - almost like a big league pitcher who feels as though he has to almost throw a shutout every game for his team to have a chance to succeed..
But help is on the way.
Run game: The team only broke 100 yards rushing in half its games. They want the balance they had in 2011, and could have it with a healthy Mark Ingram getting into the rotation with Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles.
Receiving game: Marques Colston has been as steady and as underrated as they come. He's over 1-thounsad yards receiving in all but one of his seven pro years. Tied with Reggie Wayne and Roddy White for the most thousand yards plus seasons since 2006. The difference? The other two guys have been to pro bowls. Colston has not. He and Lance Moore are the one-two punch, but who will be the knockout artist? Joseph Morgan will be battling rookie Kenny Stills and Nick Toon for the #3 job. Toon is kind of a second-year rookie, having missed all last season with an injury.
Wild card: The Saints have a question to answer at left tackle now that Jermon Bushrod is with the Chicago Bears. They like Charles Brown's ability. They do not like his durability, or lack thereof, which has limited his snaps in his three years in the league. The former tight end out of USC will have a fight for the spot with rookie Terron Armstead and veteran Jason Smith.
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