Image Credit: (Brad Mills/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-mullick-354076184/
With Training Camp about to start for the NFL in a few weeks, there are questions that follow each team. Like I did with the Chargers, I will be doing the Top 5 Biggest questions for every team heading into Training Camp. Next up is the New Orleans Saints who had the 11th and 19th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. But there are still questions that remain with this team.
1. Do the Saints really have a long-term QB on the roster and who will be the week 1 starter?
Yes, I am jamming two questions here, but I think there are important questions to be asked about other parts of this team. First off I really don’t think the Saints have a long-term QB on their roster and I am not sure who will be the week 1 starting QB. Jameis Winston is the likely candidate, but who knows how healthy he is. Reports are starting to circulate that he is throwing without a brace, which is a good sign, but there always is a chance of there being a setback. I mean Andy Dalton's career is nearing the end after struggling in Chicago and Dallas. The Saints have given up on Taysom Hill and he is going to be the full-time Tight End on this team. Ian Book is terrible and I am not sure he will make the roster. It will be interesting who will win this job, but I don’t see there being a long-term QB on this team. If Winston again flops, then the Saints will be in trouble, as remember they don’t have their first-round pick next year.
2. How will this offense be run if Alvin Kamara was to get suspended?
This is more of a what-if as there is no latest update regarding Kamara. But the latest speculation is that the New Orleans Saints will be without RB Alvin Kamara for 6 games. Why will he potentially get this suspension you ask? Well, remember when it was pro bowl week and news came out that Kamara was arrested due to battery. Well yeah, the footage came out about the incident along with further details including, the victim was beaten up so badly that they broke his eye socket. Kamara could now be suspended for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. It is a wait-and-see how it goes. Like I said earlier there has not been a latest update for a few weeks, but it is not a good look for Kamara or the Saints. So if he is gone, how will this offense look? I mean Mark Ingram is not awful but is past his prime and I don’t see him performing that great as an every-down back. The Saints will have to most likely rely on the passing game, even with a question mark at the QB position. The Saints have to set up a game plan if Kamara was to get suspended on how the offense will be run.
3. What Michael Thomas will the Saints be getting?
I got to say so far Michael Thomas’s career in the NFL has been a roller coaster. He has been one of the most talented receivers I have ever seen, but the last few seasons have been up and down filled with being a cancer in the locker room and with getting injured. To be honest, with how much in cap hell the Saints have been I was surprised that the Saints did not pull an Osweiler Effect to get out of his contract. But I guess the Saints still feel the talent outways the negatives and have decided to keep him for another year. But the 2022 NFL Season is a big one for Michael Thomas and I wonder which type of player we will see. Will we get Locker Room Distraction Michael Thomas, Star Receiver Michal Thomas, Regressed Michael Thomas, or Injury Prone Michael Thomas? That will be answered once the season starts.
4. Will Peyton Turner produce on this defense? The New Orleans Saints in the 2021 NFL Draft made an interesting decision by selecting Peyton Turner in the 1st round. Now I did not completely hate the pick originally, but it was definitely a bit of a reach as I saw him as a 2nd/Early 3rd round prospect. He missed half the season with a shoulder injury, but even when healthy Turner did not play that well last season. I mean he had flashes of brilliance but was mainly inconsistent. Now it was his rookie year and he was learning the system. I also normally give prospects 2-3 years to determine if they are a bust or a success in the NFL. Hopefully, Turner can stay healthy and improve during training camp, so he can produce more for this defense.
5. Can Dennis Allen transition well to head coach?
As many know now the New Orleans Saints were put in a very tough spot as Sean Payton their long tenure as head coach stunningly decided to step down as the head coach. So they had to promote from within and hire Dennis Allen. I don’t blame the Saints for doing this due to how last-minute Payton’s decision was. It would have taken longer to find a head coach than promote from within.
But like I said in the NFC South War Room Podcast, the Saints are heavily downgrading at coach. Dennis Allen was a terrible head coach when he was with the Oakland Raiders. I have often labeled him as an excellent coordinator, but a terrible head coach. However, I will give this as he has been a part of the New Orleans Saints organization since 2015 as a defensive coordinator. He has had a lot of relationships with the players on defense. My concern mainly relies on offense as Allen worked more with the defense than offense. But will he translate well into the role and be a better head coach, than he was with the Raiders? That might make or break this team, excluding the QB position.