The easy part is figuring out ways to stop the Saints’ offense. The tricky part is actually doing it. But they have been stopped before (just not in the Superdome last year where they averaged 41 points per game). And to figure out the blueprint, I talked to a longtime coach who has faced the Saints in recent years for this week’s email report.
Among the five keys? Staying patient.
“Drew Brees gets the ball out quick. He can read defenses. The biggest thing going against that defense is that [defensive coordinator Jim Haslett] will have to be patient, which he is not. He’s going to want to blitz, blitz, blitz. They’ll get their yards in chunks. Drew will dink and dunk and dink and dunk. But you have to be patient for four quarters. Let them have stuff in front of you.”
Another must: linebackers in coverage.
“Whichever linebacker drops, either on Darren Sproles or Jimmy Graham, that’s where they’ll go. He won’t give the blitzes a chance to get there because the ball is coming out quick.”
Also in this week’s email report: Some thoughts on the breakdown of the Redskins’ roster. The Redskins have only seven draft picks starting for them, but that could change in the next couple years. After all, of their last 21 draft choices, 17 are on the roster. Granted, some teams keep draft picks to make themselves look smarter. But there’s only one or two who were surprise additions. But that also means some coaches will be under the microscope when it comes to developing this talent. Can they? There’s one offensive coach who has proven consistently that he can.
Finally, I go back to Niles Paul. This time it has nothing to do with his play at tight end, but rather what he does as a gunner.It’s not a complicated role, but it is an important one and Paul watches film to detect weaknesses in his blockers.
But in the end, “It takes a man to be out there. It’s two dudes trying to stop you from getting to the ball. My whole mentality is I won’t allow it to happen. I figure being a tight end and I block bigger guys, two little guys shouldn’t stop me from getting downfield.”
To subscribe to my email report, click here.
To submit a question for Redskins mailbag, click here.