NEW ORLEANS -- It was a laid back, yet still celebratory atmosphere outside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday.
While there will be no postseason for the Saints, many in the Who Dat Nation still feel good about the future.
"You know what, I'm not too disappointed,” said Kenner resident Kendrick Gibson. “It happens. It's part of the league. I'm glad we're gonna finish strong. We're gonna win today, as usual. Go Saints! And we're gonna come back next year and make a run for the Super Bowl next year and we'll most likely get it."
The part about finishing strong didn't come to fruition, as the Saints fell to the Panthers, but others share similar optimism for next season.
It all starts with the re-signing of head coach Sean Payton.
Some say Payton's absence in the wake of the bounty scandal derailed the 2012 campaign.
"We didn't have our coach, so you know, I think that's what went wrong. Other than that, we really have a really, really good team,” said Gonzales resident Paula Glover. "We're gonna be OK next year. We got our coach back and I think we're gonna do real good next year."
Missing the postseason -- and a shot of playing in a hometown Super Bowl – stings for sure.
But some say following so much turmoil in recent months, there's still plenty to be proud of.
"We were close, you know. That one game, you know. But we should've won too many of 'em that we didn't, but it's okay,” said Kendall Daigle. “Drew Brees is awesome. We're gonna have a great season. We can't wait."
While fans are confident Sean Payton's return will lead to better fortunes, most agree the Black and Gold defense is a concern moving forward.