Drew Brees sees Super Bowl things in Derek Carr’s future leading the New Orleans Saints.
The greatest player in team history spoke with Luke Johnson of The Advocate about this new era of Saints football that is about to embark under Carr’s leadership. While I think it is fair to say the Saints are in a good spot to compete for an NFC South crown this fall, this division sucks and the Saints are still probably not a top-five team in the NFC this season, even after the Carr addition.
You read between the lines in this quote, and you know Brees is thinking of a Saints Super Bowl.
“We’ve seen just what a difference one position can make on a team. Look at what (Tom) Brady did for the (Tampa Bay Buccaneers). Obviously they brought in a lot of great players along with him, but that can change the complexion of things very quickly.”
Even as a fan of their arch rival, I can appreciate the authenticity emanating out of a former franchise cornerstone. However, let’s not blow this thing out of proportion before Carr takes his first meaningful snap is his first season with a new franchise. He’s good, but he never won a single playoff game quarterbacking the Silver and Black for the better part of a decade. Baby steps, folks.
Let’s discuss if Carr can be to the Saints what Tom Brady was to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Matthew Stafford was to the Los Angeles Rams in year one coming aboard their new rocking ship.
Drew Brees hopelessly optimistic Derek Carr can get Saints another Super Bowl
Look. Even after the trade, I will always be a Carr fan. I always thought he put the team first and was about the right things when he was with the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders. His teammates responded favorably to his leadership. Unfortunately, he was drafted into a chaotic mess of a franchise he loved so much. Breakups suck, but Carr goes to a team who will really appreciate him.
Can the Saints be a playoff team this year? I think between them and the Atlanta Falcons, one of these two clubs are going to win the division. I have reservations about the Carolina Panthers moving forward with a rookie quarterback, as well as the Buccaneers in a post-Brady world. I would give the Saints the edge because Carr is a known commodity more than Desmond Ridder is.
However, you would be lying to yourself if you didn’t see the good qualities teams like Atlanta and Carolina demonstrated in true rebuilding years. Those are the Saints’ biggest threats this year in-division, not Tampa Bay. Biases aside, the Saints have lost a lot of what made them so good to Atlanta of late. I am talking about Terry Fontenot and Ryan Nielsen both turning heel, so to speak.
While I anticipate Carr being a better quarterback for the Saints than anybody has been for them recently, he is not going to be prime Brees because he was one of one back then. I think Carr gives the Saints something their three other division rivals don’t have, but keep in mind he has never played the role of the hunted. He did play in the AFC West with Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs…
So this really comes down to one thing: Can Carr lead the Saints to a division title? I think he can, but it won’t be easy, because nothing ever is in the NFC South, our absolutely beautiful disaster of a division. If the Saints get a top-four seed, then yes, New Orleans should be able to hold its own with the likes of NFC juggernaut teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers.
However, they are not going to be a No. 1 seed. That is too big of a jump for a team that should have been drafting 10th this spring. If the Saints qualify for the postseason, I think they can win a playoff game, maybe two in year one for him in New Orleans. Unfortunately, teams like the Eagles and 49ers are further along in their competitive life cycles than the Saints. It could be one of them.
The Saints can win a Super Bowl with Carr as their quarterback, but maybe not until 2024 or so.