In 2005; the New Orleans Saints ranked 20th in the league in offense and had a regular season record of 3-13. In 2006; the New Orleans Saints hired Sean Payton from Dallas' coaching staff and acquired Drew Brees in free agency. That year Brees threw a league-leading 4,418 passing yards, finished third in the league with 26 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions and a 96.2 passer rating. Even more important, Payton and Brees guided the saints to a 10-6 record and a division title.
With a new QB and great play calling HC in hand, the Saints would go on to rank in the top 10 offensively, taking the top 1 or 2 spots frequently, through the 2012 season. The Saints would also go on to beat the Cardinals in the NFC championship game and win the Superbowl in 2010; 4 years later.
Can we expect the same with new head coach Bruce Arians and Quarterback Carson Palmer? This may provide cause to pump the brakes. Bruce Arians reign as OC in Pitts burgh with Big Ben at the helm did not yield the type of offensive results that Payton's teams had in the regular season. BA was the OC for Pittsburg from 2007 to 2011 and then the Indianapolis Colts in 2012. His teams offensive rankings Were 17th, 22nd, 7th, 14th, 12th, and 10th thru-out that time; winning one Superbowl in numerous playoff appearances.
BA's offenses, although exciting and effective, have not produced the kind of total offensive numbers that quite match his current legendary status among Cardinals fans. Pittsburgh's defense was really the catalyst of those playoff years ranking at or near first in total defense during BA's tenure in Pittsburgh.
Unlike Payton though, this is the first opportunity that BA has received to have full reigns over the entire football team and build it the way he wants to build it. His hirings of Todd Bowles, Tom Moore, Tom Pratt, Harold Goodwin and the remainder of the coaching staff will prove to loom large in his success as a HC. The success of Carson Palmer as QB for the Cardinals will also be a factor.
Before long, we will have the answers but for now, there are some floaters in the koolaid and the rose colored glasses have a few scratches that require buffing out.
It's that part of the post where you get to pick out the floaters and polish the lenses. Is BA a legend in his own mind? How good should we expect the offense to be? Relative to what the Saints did with their first year HC and QB; what should be the realistic expectations of the 1st year HC? Can the Cards win a Superbowl with BA and Carson Palmer?