Saints should use camp to address defensive problems

Published 7:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2017

The New Orleans Saints seem to be unable to get out of the losing record funk, ending with a 7-9 record in the last three seasons.

Granted, the team is arguably in the toughest conference in the NFL, the Saints still have areas that need improvement if they are going to compete against the scrappy Carolina Panthers, the upcoming Tampa Bay Buccaneers and last year’s Super Bowl runner-up, the Atlanta Falcons.

It’s no secret that the Saints have more defensive holes than a teenager’s “stylish” pair of jeans, but I believe they are currently patching up those holes in the Saints training camp.

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The camp’s location is one of many new segments for the Super Bowl XLIV champions this season. Instead of making the trip to West Virginia, training camp will feel like regular season practice for the Saints as they train at the complex in Metairie.

Will the familiarity of practicing in their own facility be enough to get the Saints over the .500 hump?

No. But these things might.

The Saints boldly let their best wide receiver slip between their fingers and sign with the powerhouse Patriots. But don’t let that get you down Who Dat nation, because that vacancy could bode well for the black and gold’s rising star Michael Thomas.

The stretch receiver nabbed 92 receptions for over 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns in his rookie season last year. The Ohio State sensation was unstoppable during his 2016 campaign and was quarterback Drew Brees’ favorite target.

With the help of perhaps one of the best power running backs to ever play, Adrian Peterson, the passing game will open up even more for the second year receiver, especially down field, where the six-foot quarterback seems to always have his eyes set.

But the big question is, will the Saints’ horrific defense improve?

Cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who was drafted in the first round in last spring’s draft “tweaked” his knee during training camp yesterday.

Yet, I believe the Saints’ defense will eclipse their streak of ranking 27th or worse the past three seasons. That’s because the pressure isn’t on the defense’s shoulders. It’s on the offense and most notably, Adrian Peterson. If he can produce, and stay healthy, the defense will have less time on the field, providing fewer opportunities for the opposition to run up the score.