AFR: 7 truths from Saints football in June

AFR: 7 truths from Saints football in June

Brandin Cooks  was the most consistent offensive player

Those that jumped off the Brandin Cooks bandwagon last season will quickly be hopping back on. He looks quicker, faster and more comfortable from a year ago. But what I've always been impressed most with Cooks is there isn't a route he can't run. Usually a smaller receiver is relegated to certain ‘little guy' routes underneath but Cooks can get equally quick horizontally and fast vertically. Plus, he can really go up and get the ball for a guy his size.


Wide Receiver Uncertainty

Other than Cooks and Marques Colston it's a complete mystery as to who the Saints will keep at wide receiver.

On some days Nick Toon stepped up. Other days it was Brandon Coleman or Josh Morgan or Seantavious Jones.  My point is the third, fourth and fifth wide receiver is completely wide open on this roster and it will be by far the biggest position battle of camp. I'm not sure I've seen a position that prominent have that many holes to fill going into training camp.


Secondary will be better in 2015

The Saints spent a lot of money and draft picks to make sure this was the case. No way were they going to be left vulnerable again like they were a year ago. Brandon Browner is the most physically imposing cornerback I have ever laid eyes on. His play matches his stature with intense physicality at the line of scrimmage. Keenan Lewis looks as consistent as ever and rookies P.J. Williams and Damian Swann have both gotten first and second team reps at outside and nickel.

The biggest surprise of the group though is Delvin Breaux. I must admit I thought Breaux was a nice story, but not a realistic option at cornerback. I was wrong. Breaux has made play after play all offseason and if he continues it in training camp, will be a lock for not only a roster but significant playing time.  He is also getting snaps at outside and nickel.


Saints will need to keep three quarterbacks

This is certainly not a shock to the team but in a perfect world Garrett Grayson would be far enough along to take over the backup quarterback role, thus the Saints would only have to keep two quarterbacks on their roster.  It's not going to happen. Grayson is simply not ready yet and will need some time before he can realistically be a backup. His hesitancy is obvious and his accuracy is still not where he needs to be.  The Saints won't be able to risk having him as their backup if Drew Brees goes down. Thus, they will be forced to keep three quarterbacks all season. The more pressing storyline is will Ryan Griffin be able to beat out Luke McCown to be the number two signal caller?


Stephone Anthony will be the first rookie to crack the starting lineup.

I've always said there's just something about a player, regardless of measurables, who always seems to be around the ball. Anthony has that knack, plus he has measurables and leadership ability to boot. Anthony is with the second team right now, but if continues his play when the pads come on he may be impossible to ignore. He gets my vote for the rookie with most immediate impact potential.


Fans will fall in love with C.J. Spiller

I know I've said it before but I'll say it again: C.J. Spiller will become a fan favorite in no time.  Spiller is a more complete back than both Reggie Bush and Darren Sproles, though he will play that role. It was easy to sense, even in June, the multiple ways Sean Payton will envision using him.  His explosive skill set will resonate with the fan base. This type of player was the biggest element that was missing last year, the ability to still make big plays by essentially playing small ball. Brees didn't have that for the first time since he's been in New Orleans, and I believe it will make all the difference.


Still too early to say if this team is better

Yes, the mindset is much better and yes they seemed to have gotten back to the principles that made this program the winner that it is. All of that is great, but I still can't definitely say this team will be better than what they were a year ago.  It's way too early for those types of predictions. I love the additions of Browner, Max Unger and Spiller but there are still several questions that remain and until they're answered, I'm going to hold off in predicting how good I think this team will be.