NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Saints retooled their offense this offseason in a big way, bringing in veteran Derek Carr to play quarterback following a near-decade long tenure with the Raiders.
The addition of a gifted passer in Carr, combined with uncertainty about when running back Alvin Kamara will be available, should lead to an uptick in passing plays for coach Dennis Allen and his team coming off a disappointing 2022 season.
Locked on Saints host Ross Jackson believes a lack of explosive plays (New Orleans was last in the NFL with 57 in 2022) was a big part of their issue last season, and he has a solution for 2023:
"The Philadelphia Eagles had 88 explosive plays last year," Jackson said. "One of the ways they were able to do that is with empty sets, with spread offense concepts. Here's a way the New Orleans Saints could add that in."
The Saints are familiar with spread offense concepts, having run them regularly during the Drew Brees and Sean Payton era, and bringing them back allows this team to play both horizontally and vertically while making more big plays and stretching opposing defenses.
Carr has a gifted arm and has thrown for over 4,000 yards in four of the last five seasons, and receivers like Chris Olave, Rashid Shaheed, and a healthy Michael Thomas give New Orleans the personnel to make this work should coach Allen add it into the playbook.
The Saints have nearly four months until the season kicks off, and if they are willing to put this into practice they should soar up the explosive play list in 2023, which could help them add to their win total in the wide open NFC South.