Through the first week of New Orleans Saints training camp, several important aspect of their 2022 outlook quickly became clear. This is a team that is expecting to compete, they have “Super Bowl aspirations,” as Mark Ingram outlined, and their style of play on offense and defense remains similar to what we’ve seen in recent year. The Saints’ way has not faltered despite massive changes over the last two seasons.
Losing a future hall of fame quarterback and coach in back-to-back years is more than enough to derail an NFL franchise. Many teams go years looking for the next coach of signal caller, entering rebuilds to help generate the resources to undergo the search.
Not New Orleans. General manager Mickey Loomis and the Saints front office out together what was a successful offseason in the face of a major challenge to find their next head coach. After elevating Dennis Allen to the role they’d go on to replace key pieces around their team like OL Terron Armstead and safeties Marcus Williams and Malcolm Jenkins.
With all of the changes in personnel, it’s understandable to ponder how things would change. How the culture and identity of the team would shift with new faces and leaders. The simple answer is: it didn’t.
The New Orleans Saints are a team that is defined by its culture. By its connection from player to player, coach to coach, and organization to community. Several players have commented on the unique relationship between the team and city, Allen has commented on what it means to be the head coach in this town, and Saints fans made their presence felt at the fist open day of practice to cap off the week.
There may be a lot of changes in 2022, new players, new coaches, new roles. But what will not be sacrificed is the culture. The Saints have built their identity off of it and through the first week of camp, it’s clear that won’t be changing any time soon.