Michael Thomas shared a message carrying pointed criticism on social media Tuesday morning, in posts on both Instagram and the platform formerly known as Twitter (currently X) that sure seem to be aimed at the New Orleans Saints.
“People who accept mediocrity don’t like high achievers and high achievers don’t like people who accept mediocrity,” Thomas wrote. “If you are going to talk about setting the bar you must be willing to hold the bar.”
Now, that could mean anything. But it’s tough to read it as anything but criticism of head coach Dennis Allen and Saints quarterback Derek Carr, as well as general manager Mickey Loomis for standing behind both of them. Carr struggled through the first three months of the 2023 season but was repeatedly defended by his coach and GM, which reportedly rankled other players in the locker room.
And low standards have been the story of the Saints as of late. They’ve missed the playoffs in each of the first two years with Allen as head coach despite facing the easiest schedule in the NFL. They barely won nine games this season, Allen’s first winning season in five years a head coach. At a time when better coaches like Mike Vrabel, Pete Carroll, and Bill Belichick are getting shown the door, Loomis appears committed to standing by Allen. Carr has never won a playoff game after a decade in the NFL. Allen has lost 46 of his 70 games as a head coach. By all accounts the Saints plan to run it back with both of them.
That has to be frustrating for highly competitive pros in the locker room like Thomas. He knows what high standards look like, having seen them firsthand while working hard to break NFL records with Drew Brees and Sean Payton early in his career. That winning culture has deteriorated over time, and Allen’s poor influence on the locker room has openly set it to rot.
Thomas was a key figure in recruiting Carr to New Orleans, so you have to imagine there’s some sort of buyer’s remorse at play when the quarterback didn’t meet expectations for much of the season — particularly in getting the ball to Thomas, hesitating to throw passes on the quick in-breaking routes that Thomas thrives with. The Saints did structure their last extension with Thomas so that there’s an option for him to return in 2024, but if the choice is Thomas or Allen and Carr, well: we might have seen the last of No. 13.