(iSportsWeb) – To the outside observer, it may appear that the New Orleans Saints are formulating a new offensive plan for the 2015 season. After all, many of the Saints relatively recent moves could be taken as a sign of a new era in New Orleans. With a less than stellar 7-9 2014 season and having a 36 year old starting quarterback, some feel that it is time for change in the Big Easy. Will Payton and the rest of the staff place more emphasis on the run in New Orleans’ historically pass-heavy offense?
In March, New Orleans traded tight end and fan-favorite Jimmy Graham to the Seattle Seahawks (along with a fourth round draft pick) for center Max Unger and the 31st pick in the 2015 draft. Graham has racked up 4,752 receiving yards and 51 touchdowns since he was drafted as a 3rd round pick in the 2010 draft. He also had more receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns than any other tight end in Saints history. Often lining up at wide receiver, Graham was a catalyst for big offensive gains for the Saints. Quarterback Drew Brees was even startled by the news of Graham’s trade, divulging to the NFL Network: “I’m as shocked as everyone else. I love the guy.” The sudden and unexpected nature of the Saint’s decision led many to believe that Payton had a new plan for the Saints’ offense.
Unger, who was traded to the Saints in exchange for Graham, comes from the Seahawks who are traditionally a run-heavy team. Last year, the Saints completed 456 passes while the Seahawks attempted 452. At a formidable 6’5 and 305 pounds, Unger will likely make a big presence on the field. His proven ability to demolish defenders should pave the way for the Saints to be able to capitalize on Mark Ingram’s running ability and the power running game in general.
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