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Five Questions With Canal Street Chronicles

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Our friends at SB Nation's Saints blog, Canal Street Chronicles, were kind enough to field five questions about their team.

1. The Saints look like world beaters on offense. Since Drew Brees came aboard in 2006, what have successful opponents done to slow him down?

Well, not many teams have been able to shut him down so there is such a small pool of examples to pull from but I'll try my best. The knock on Drew is that he's small and there have been times when he's had trouble throwing over the line. Making sure your big defensive lineman are in Drew's face always with their hands in the air, batting down and tipping balls at the line is a definite must. Also, if you could somehow make it rain or snow; that would help. 


2. What kind of role will we see Reggie Bush play?

You will continue to see guys like Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell (injured) and Lynell Hamilton get a bulk of the standard running back carries. The key is not to put Reggie in that same category.  His role does include a little bit of the standard running back stuff, but it also includes so much more than that. His mere presence on the roster forces opposing teams to game plan and spend a lot of time figuring out how to deal with him, leaving a lot of opportunity for the rest of the play makers on this offense.

It seems the coaching staff has resigned themselves to giving Bush a certain number of touches every game, but each of those touches comes in a variety of different forms. Every now and then he might take an inside hand off, but most of the time he's utilized on swings, screens and pitches. He'll even line up out wide. All of this on top of returning punts. Getting him into space so that he can use his athletic ability and speed to beat guys one on one is when he's most dangerous, and what the Saints try to focus on. If he's not getting the ball, he's being used as an ever-important but under-appreciated decoy. Without him, this offense might not be able to execute the way it does, even if Reggie never touches the ball.


3. The defense looks a lot better than a year ago. Discuss the impact of new coordinator Gregg Williams. What has been more instrumental in the defensive turnaround, the new coach or player acquisitions?

As cliche as it sounds, Gregg Williams has completely changed the culture of defense in New Orleans and that change is for the better. Williams' influence has added more depth in play calling and formation, created a heavy focus on turnovers and shown the ability to adjust to an opponents offense. 

I think it's safe to say Williams has been the major difference maker. It's early but the Saints currently have a top ten defense, an accolade they would have never achieved at any point of the year in seasons past.
I definitely don't want to downplay the significance of off-season additions like Jabari Greer and Darren Sharper - they're the ones out on the field - but perhaps Williams deserves some credit for choosing the right players. He also seems to be getting more out of players already on the roster. 


4. Give me keys to a Saints victory.

1. Good adjustments at half time
2. A good balance of run and pass for the Saints offense
3. Winning the turnover battle
4. Shutting down the run.


5. Something that would surprise Jets fans about the Saints is...

Great question. Ummm...Head coach Sean Payton wrote a script for a movie called "The XBox Kid" which was inspired by his son and is about a boy who starts controlling the outcome of NFL games through a refurbished Xbox given to him by his grandfather following a devastating hurricane. It is currently being shopped around to movie studios. Is that surprising?