Interview with the Enemy – Draft Edition: New Orleans Saints

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Dec 28, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) calls a play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

HN: Lastly, with the schedule out and with the team’s performance in free agency, how do you predict the season going in New Orleans? What’s their record, what are their goals and will they make the playoffs?

AS: I think overall, it is a favorable schedule. With a win Week 1 in Arizona the Saints could hopefully get some momentum heading back home to take care of business against Tampa and maybe Week 3 on the road against Carolina. I see last season as more of a fluke. I believe New Orleans can get back on track after a big splash in free agency.

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I’ll make this clear – Jimmy Graham wasn’t as big of a loss as people think. I’d like things to straighten up on the defensive side of the ball, especially in the secondary with the addition of Brandon Browner and a healthy Jairus Byrd/Kenny Vaccaro. Also, Dennis Allen (Saints secondary coach for Super Bowl season) is back in the Big Easy as a senior defensive assistant. As for the turnovers on offense, better O-line (Max Unger addition/healthy Jahri Evans and Zach Strief) means more time for Drew Brees to do Drew Brees things.

Dec 7, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Referees break up Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) and New Orleans Saints middle linebacker Curtis Lofton (50) after Newton scored a touchdown in the first half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Carolina Panthers defeated the Saints 41-10. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

I think getting back on top in the NFC South and a playoff berth is easily within reach. Prediction: Saints get back on pace, finishing the regular season 10-6, maybe 11-5 if they can sweep their opponents at home.

Goals for these results: Protect Brees. Play tough. Back to the basics. Get after the quarterback and help the secondary. The Saints’ official goals posted in their locker room: 1. Eliminate bad football. 2. Fundamentally sound. 3. Tough & Smart.