The New Orleans Saints ruined their fans’ collective lunch break on Thursday when news was reported that offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael is expected to return for the 2023 season after fielding the team’s worst scoring unit in decades, signaling a commitment to continuity, stability, and maintenance of the status quo.
But what exactly do the Saints hope to continue in doing this? Carmichael’s offense was their biggest weakness last season. Do they want to continue to fail to score points, get a return on their investment in Alvin Kamara, and get run off the field by better-coached opponents? The Saints have lost 16 of their last 27 games (dating back to Jameis Winston’s 2021 knee injury, when that season went off the rails). That’s a winning percentage of .407. That’s what they hope continues?
They finished third in the worst division in pro football because Carmichael couldn’t score two touchdowns a game during the last six weeks. The Saints couldn’t buy a fourth down conversion or seem to get Taysom Hill on the field for more than six or seven touches. It took months for Carmichael to figure out how Rashid Shaheed could be an asset. Whatever Carmichael was doing to help the team under Sean Payton’s management for 15 years wasn’t a factor once he had the offense to himself.
Maybe the Saints are planning to tank the 2023 season in hopes of landing a high draft pick, which they could use to lure a new head coach (and a whole new staff with them) in 2024. Bringing Carmichael back in the same role he just showed he wasn’t up for might help accomplish that. There just isn’t much reason for optimism here given how poorly things have gone so far.