Players in the NFL say that a team takes on a new identity on a year-to-year basis. Free agency, rookies, front office and coaching changes ensure a constantly adapting franchise. The 2011 Saints probably have 80% of the roster of the 2009 Saints – coaching staff is the same, the front office is the same – yet we have been struggling this year to find our identity.
All that being said, the last two games in seven days, have me feeling more like I did in 2009. It feels like the Saints have finally found their 2011 identity. The secondary seems more “ball hawkish”. The defensive line seems to be getting pressure without all-out blitz packages, and blitz packages come at more appropriate times…as opposed to all the time. Line backers are making plays. And while we are giving up yards, we are forcing a turnover here and there and holding teams to field goals.
The 2011 offense now has found its swagger. The tempo feels better. Balls aren’t being dropped. Our run game is opening up and we are back to our explosive, “big play” pass game. I am not holding my breath on a dangerous passes into triple coverage. I feel bad for the other team when we have the ball with 35 seconds on the clock because we will score. Although we haven’t had to win it in the final two minutes as of late, the overall feeling is one that we are not going to lose no matter what.
For me, the 2011 identity is that of the 2009 Saints – and I was very pleased with the results then.