NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (12-6)
Strengths: QB, DL, TE, DB, OL, P.
Weaknesses: LB, PK.
What's New: Saints aim to create more turnovers, hoping additions of Byrd and Bailey, as well as return from injury of CB Patrick Robinson, help to that end. Offense will have some new receivers in prominent roles, most notably first-round draft choice Cooks. Saints also aim to run ball better, relying on RB trio of Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson.
Expectations: Saints were playoff team last season and expect to be even better, though much will depend on health of key players including Byrd and pass-rushing tandem Cam Jordan and Junior Galette. If those key defensive players thrive, then offense led by record-setting QB Drew Brees, Saints' all-time leading receiver Marques Colston and All-Pro TE Jimmy Graham expects to have little trouble outscoring most opponents.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Jairus Byrd
- Brandin Cooks
- Champ Bailey
- Malcolm Jenkins