Monday, November 30, 2015

The long pre-season

Empty 617
Saints fans, much like the 2015 edition of their heroes, have spent most of this year taking a smoke break

Like we've been saying for a while, the problem with the 2015 Saints is they really aren't trying to participate in 2015.  Everything they've been doing has been about getting ready for this supposedly "bright future" Payton is talking about here.
“I think the excitement I have about these younger players we're developing is real. I've said this before, this locker room right now we've had some tough stretches. We've had some adversity. The season, obviously, is disappointed especially our fans that we're sitting at 4-7. And yet, what I'm excited about is our young players we have to develop. We overcame the 2012 year.

Obviously, there have been some challenges with the loss of draft picks and maybe the selections. Clearly, we haven't hit on every player. This past draft looks to be real good and I'm excited about coaching them.

This is home for me and I have a place here. I'm able to get back and forth to see my son play. I understand the chatter about it. People look at that (10 year) window and all those other things. You go crazy as a head coach if you start trying to pay attention to all that.”
The other possibility is that Payton is actually just completely burned out on being the Saints' coach altogether. And that may be true! But that's not what he's saying in this interview.

My preferred working theory this year has been that the Saints really didn't plan to compete in 2015 and have instead spent their time noodling around, developing players, and figuring out what works and what doesn't.  (Oh and setting up Rob Ryan's predetermined mid-season dismissal, but we talked about that last week.)

Eleven weeks into the year they may have finally figured out which kicker they want. It's doesn't seem like they've quite figured out what they want the starting offensive line to look like yet but they're working on it. There's always plenty time when you're not worried about actually winning the games. And, as Ralph Malbrough explains, the Saints do not seem very interested in that right now.

The way this team looks right now, it has little or no business winning any more games at all.  Naturally, they're going to beat the undefeated Panthers this week, though. Mostly because screw the Panthers. But also because of.. well, no, that's pretty much all I can come up with there.

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