The Saints spent this offseason reshaping an offense that waved hello to running back C.J. Spiller and farewell to All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham.
Beyond the veteran movement, a cast of younger players have been tapped to play expanded roles, including a pair of "Making the Leap" candidates in second-year wideout Brandin Cooks and third-year tight end Josh Hill. Young receivers Seantavius Jones and Brandon Coleman also earned rave reviews this spring while competing with Nick Toon and Joe Morgan for snaps.
"I'm excited about all of these guys, I think all of them are chomping at the bit for an opportunity," quarterback Drew Brees told ESPN Baton Rouge this week, via The Advocate. "In many cases, you don't know these guys' names yet, and yet I think some of these guys are going to be household names pretty quick."
Nobody can fill the shoes of Graham, but the Saints aren't asking anyone to do that. Coach Sean Payton plans to turn the offense into a run-heavy outfit that leans heavily on Mark Ingram and Spiller out of the backfield.
"We've been a top-five rushing offense before," Brees said. "We've been able to hurt you down the field with our wideouts, we've been able to hurt you underneath with running backs and tight ends, so I feel like we have all those components."
After last year's disappointing campaign, Payton appears prepared to surround Brees with better protection and more diversity through the air, something the signal-caller is on board with, hinting that opponents, this season, will "have just too many things to think about."
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