The Saints' Defense Completely Dominated The Day, And For The First Time In A Long Time That's Not A Reason To Overreact
And ironically, the most pleasantly surprising aspect of watching the Saints' defense buzz around giving perhaps the most consistent and dynamic offense in the NFL throughout the last decade+ absolute fits is that it was much more pleasant than it was a surprise. For further back than I prefer to remember, a day-long defensive effort that dominant would have a desperate fanbase drunk off false hope. However, I think I speak for the majority of the Who Dat Nation in saying that I'm feeling soberly assured about the state of a group that undeniably reinforced quality with more quantity over the offseason.
There's always a back-and-forth nature to training camp, and thus bad offense can sometimes masquerade as good defense (and vice versa). That being said, it's tough to view the caliber of the plays that were executed by the additions made to what was already a young, promising unit and come away anything other than satisfied with their potential to, at the very least, replicate last season's unexpected performance. I don't know if this season will provide the rarity of an improved sequel, but Patrick Robinson, Demario Davis, Kurt Coleman, (to a lesser extent) Alex Anzalone, and Natrell Jamerson all being featured as fresh faces in a lengthy trailer of what's to come is more objectively reassuring than it is subjectively encouraging. Especially considering the completeness and cohesiveness of the starting secondary they are being added alongside.
For the first time in a long time, there are actual reasons to believe those flashes will occur outside of the proverbial pan that is the month-long grueling grind of preseason practice. The feeling of confidence in the side of the ball from which Drew Brees does not operate is an unfamiliar one, but it's a hell of a lot more gratifying than the intoxicating-yet-temporary high of blind optimism.
They could just as easily get torched by a HOFer next time out, but it's awesome to not be made instinctually bi-polar by the peaks and valleys of the Saints' defense during the innately erratic and unpredictable process of team building that is training camp.