NOLA- On the first defensive snap of the season, the Saints had just 10 players on the field. Coach Sean Payton said Tuesday that a third cornerback was supposed to be out there in the team's nickel package, but the team was a man short for the play.
Although it's a mistake, the oversight wasn't too costly as the Vikings gained just 4 yards on the play, a reception by rookie running back Dalvin Cook. Still, Payton acknowledged that it was frustrating to start the season that way.
The official game book shows the Saints with just 10 starting defenders. The third cornerback presumably would've been De'Vante Harris, but it's unclear if the error was on Harris, coaches or another player.
"There's communication that goes on between base and nickel, and without singling anyone out, look, we didn't get it communicated clear enough," Payton said. "Fortunately, it didn't end up hurting us on that specific play."
Maybe I'm slightly overreacting in saying this, but if the Saints really cared about their fanbase they would hold a communal bonfire where every season ticket holder could burn the bill of goods that they were sold throughout the entirety of the offseason.
I mean, I was skeptical that the preseason success would translate to regular season success on the side of the ball that has become the bane of the franchise's existence. That's why I was more sad than mad when Sam Bradford summoned the magic from up under his wizard sleeves to make Dennis Allen's finest look like they were back under the greasy-fingered spell of Rob Ryan. I've been blindly confident in far too many Sean Payton-deployed defenses to get tricked into thinking one was at least average before seeing them hit anything other than rock bottom when it actually mattered. "Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me into an autumn full of alcohol abuse damn near annually for the entirety of a decade, shame on me", as they say.
That being said, I would be kidding myself if I told you that I didn't buy in to the narrative that they had become a more cohesive unit that was capable of doing their communicating before the ball was hiked and their assignments were already past due. That's why I feel so violated right now. The first snap? THE FIRST SNAP?!? They couldn't make it to 2nd-and-fucking-6 before betraying the most minuscule amount of trust that a fan could possibly put in a seemingly proud group of professional athletes that he's far too emotionally invested in?
I feel like I just caught someone cheating on me and I can't stop questioning if literally any part of the relationship was genuine. Were all the overly positive reviews and preseason shutouts just part of one big lie?! Did the Saints ever have any intention of stopping their opponent? Did they ever even care about fielding the correct number of players? Considering they had an entire summer and a full goddamn commercial break to learn how to count to eleven and still miscalculated, I really have my doubts as to whether or not their lip service was aimed at improving anything other than their ability to suck their own cocks. I guess Steve Bannon would be proud, but the Who Dat Nation is most certainly not.