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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Dylan Sanders

4 reasons for hope Saints fans should carry into 2024

The New Orleans Saints had a down year in 2023 and a lot of fans are feeling like there’s nothing to look forward to. Well that’s not the case! Despite the team’s overall shortcomings, there are some things that should be cause for celebration.

The team overall is pretty old, but there are a few young players and foundations for position groups to build around in the future. Even the foundation for a successful team is already set now, but they need to have more cohesion to put it together.

Here are four reasons to have hope for the future of the Saints:

Exciting wide receiver room

Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

Chris Olave, Rashid Shaheed and A.T. Perry all look ready to compete next season. The trio each had at least touchdown one touchdown in the last game of the season (shoutout to Perry with two.)

Olave is still a burgeoning star. He has the highlight reel catches and has long stretches of excellence. Once the team finds consistency, his name will probably grow in respect across the league. Shaheed proved to not just be a fluke. Perry is more of a unknown, but stepped up as a bigger-bodied down field threat with some nice chemistry built with Carr. Given the uncertainty around a lot of the team, having a position group with three nice, young pieces is a plus.

Bryan Bresee looks as advertised

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Having a phenom in the interior of your defensive line seems like it’s becoming more and more of a necessity in today’s NFL. He had a very nice rookie season, one of the best for a lineman in the history of the franchise. He’s already one of the team’s best pass rushes and looks to have the athletic ceiling that he was drafted for. He is an anchor piece to build around for a defensive line previously built around Cameron Jordan.

Young defensive backs are emerging

Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

With Tyrann Mathieu aging and Marhson Lattimore’s future unclear, the Saints still have some players to look forward to building around in the future with Paulson Adebo and Jordan Howden.

Adebo looked like he was playing at All-Pro levels at times this season. He had a nice rookie season but a really rough sophomore campaign. Bouncing back and performing like he did this season should leave fans very hopeful for the future.

Howden stepped up after losing Marcus Maye and might have looked even better than Maye. It wasn’t a flawless rookie season, but he looks ahead of schedule for a fifth round selection.

The NFC South isn't getting immediately much better

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no move in the NFC South this offseason so far that is near the addition of Tom Brady to the Buccaneers a few years ago that will make them immediately more intimidating. Everyone is in a bit of a rebuild. The Buccaneers seem to be in a similar spot as the Saints and both the Falcons and Panthers are hiring new coaches. It should still be a very winnable division next season. The Saints almost won it this season despite looking as rough as they did for stretches.

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