Here is your New Orleans Saints Season Preview with everything you need to know ahead of the 2023 season
Even the AA couldn’t fix the New Orleans Saints. That’s a real shame because Cameron Jordan deserves to be on a winning team. In 2022 they finished third in the division after winning only 7 games. Not only did they recruit a new quarterback in free agency, they also signed up nine others too. They drafted seven rookies, after acquiring two extra picks from other teams. New Orleans signed 13 undrafted free agents too.
If Kamara is not available to the New Orleans Saints at the start of the season his name will be added to the list of 21 players from the 2022 roster who are no longer in New Orleans.
There’s a new defensive coordinator in NOLA too after 2022’s co-coordinators left, probably because Dennis Allen calls the plays. Ryan Nielsen is now in Atlanta and Kris Richard had a “mutual parting of the ways” with the team.
September 10th 6:00 pm (BST) vs. Tennessee Titans
- September 19th 1:15 am @ Carolina Panthers
- September 24th 6:00 pm @ Green Bay Packers
- October 1st 6:00 pm vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- October 8th 6:00 pm @ New England Patriots
- October 15th 6:00 pm @ Houston Texans
- October 20th 1:15 am vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
- October 29th 6:00 pm @ Indianapolis Colts
- November 5th 5:00 pm (GMT) vs. Chicago Bears
- November 12th 6:00 pm @ Minnesota Vikings
- November 19th Bye Week
- November 26th 6:00 pm @ Atlanta Falcons
- December 3rd 6:00 pm vs. Detroit Lions
- December 10th 6:00 pm vs. Carolina Panthers
- December 17th 6:00 pm vs New York Giants
- December 22nd 1:15 am @ Los Angeles Rams
- December 31st 6:00 pm @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- January 6th/7th TBC vs. Atlanta Falcons
General Manager: Mickey Loomis
Head Coach: Dennis Allen
Offensive Coordinator: Pete Carmichael
Defensive Coordinator: Joe Woods
Special Teams Coordinator: Darren Rizzi
QB – Derek Carr
DE – Nathan Shepherd
DT – Khalen Saunders
TE – Foster Moreau
RB – Jamaal Williams
LB – Lonnie Johnson
TE – Jesse James
S – Jonathan Abram
WR – Bryan Edwards
RT – Storm Norton
- Round 1. Pick 29. DT – Bryan Bresee
- Round 2. Pick 40. DE – Isaiah Foskey
- Round 3. Pick 71. RB – Kendre Miller
- Round 4. Pick 104. T – Nick Saldiveri
- Round 4. Pick 127. QB – Jake Haener
- Round 5. Pick 146. S – Jordan Howden
- Round 6. Pick 195 WR – A.T Perry
DT – David Onyemata
LB – Kaden Elliss
T – Ethan Greenidge
WR – Deonte Harty
DT – Shy Tuttle
QB – Andy Dalton
WR – Marquez Callaway
DE – Marcus Davenport
S – Justin Evans
DE – Kentavius Street
WR – Jarvis Landry
RB – Mark Ingram II
DB – P.J Williams
S – Daniel Sorenson
RB – Dwayne Washington
RB – David Johnson
LB – Chase Hansen
DT – Albert Huggins
QB – Jake Luton
QB: Derek Carr
RB: Jamaal Williams
WR: Michael Thomas & Chris Olave & Tre’Quan Smith
TE: Juwan Johnson
LT: Trevor Penning
LG: Andrus Peat
C: Erik McCoy
RG: Cesar Ruiz
RT: Ryan Ramczyk
DE: Cameron Jordan & Carl Granderson
DT: Nathan Shepherd & Khalen Saunders
LB: Pete Werner & Demario Davis & Zack Baun
CB: Paulson Adebo & Marshon Lattimore
S: Tyrann Mathieu & Marcus Maye
Obvioulsly there were some headline grabbing signings in the offseason, but were they sensible moves? That seems to be up for debate.
Jamaal Williams scored 21 touchdowns in Detroit last season, the same number he managed in the preceding 5 years. Williams’ 2022 numbers seem to be more of a statistical anomaly as he benefitted from Dan Campbell’s emphasis on intense physicality in Motown, than a breakout moment for a journeyman running back.
The Saints also signed another of Carr’s buddies from the Raiders. 26-year-old tight end Foster Moreau signed a three-year contract worth over $12 million. Moreau was mainly Darren Waller’s backup in Las Vegas, investing so much in someone who is yet to catch more than 33 passes in a season seems like a reach.
Michael Thomas led the league in receptions in 2018 and 2019 but he’s played just eight games since. If he’s back to his vintage best the Saints roster has the star power it was sorely lacking in 2022. But if he battles injuries again it’s difficult to see how they improve.
2023 Star Player
Taysom Hill – In 2022 he started eight games, and he scored nine touchdowns. That was 25% of the New Orleans Saints offense’s touchdowns. Yet somehow he only played 33% of the Saints’ offensive snaps. He was involved in 40% of their special teams’ snaps.
He’s the Saints’ most potent weapon and yet they seem reticent to use him. It will probably be very difficult for anyone playing in New Orleans to shine given the front office decisions, but Hill will if they let him.
2023 Breakout player
Bryan Bresee – He was their first-round draft pick so he really should produce. He was listed as defensive tackle at the draft, but Bresee doesn’t look strong enough to be taking on interior linemen in the NFL. Instead, he has very quick feet and a good burst over a short distance for someone who weighs in at over 21 stone. They could line him up outside like Clemson did on some plays. He’s got a very good spin move and an uncanny ability to squeeze through gaps that look too small for someone of his size.
Bresee is one of five new defensive lineman to arrive in New Orleans during the offseason and four left, along with Ryan Nielsen who was coaching the defensive line in 2022. It could take a while for all the moving parts to synchronise.
Sticking with a head coach who has a career record of 18-47 after the team won only seven games was an odd decision from the Saints’ front office. And committing to a quarterback, tight-end and defensive coordinator to conciliate his position suggests Mickey Loomis is all in on Allen. If they get off to a sticky start Loomis may rue his offseason decisions.
Allen’s choices for his new quarterback and defensive coordinator are symptomatic of his reactive approach. Any success the New Orleans Saints have will be despite him and not because of his choices.
Replacing Andy Dalton, who had the season of his career in 2022 and has a better career completion rate than Carr, with someone who had a lower completion rate than Davis Mills in 2022 seems an odd move. Carr was throwing passes to Davante Adams in 2022 too, Mills’ best receiver was Brandin Cooks. Carr’s career record is 63-79 and he’s only had one winning season since 2017. Allen and Carr were together in Oakland during Carr’s rookie season when the Raiders ended the season 3-13.
Alarm bells should be ringing in NOLA, but somehow, they appear happy. The NFC South is far from a powerhouse of a division and that might be their reason for optimism. Last year’s winners, the Buccaneers, are entering a transition period of sorts and could be in a quarterback quandary. But the Falcons and Panthers look set. They will have two of the most dynamic and exciting offences in the league in 2022. It’ll be impossible for the Saints to keep up with either of them. And if the best version of Baker Mayfield turns up to play in Tampa Bay, the Saints will be in a with a chance of the number 1 pick in 2024.