In this weeks mailbag we take a look at what promises to be the best game of 2014 for the Saints, and whether or not Sean Payton deserves to be in the NFL Hall of Fame.
1.) What single game are you most looking forward to on the 2014 schedule?
Aside from the divisional matchups, the Saints don’t have that intriguing of a schedule. The only two other games that I could see carrying a lot of NFC playoff implications are against San Francisco and Green Bay, both of which happen to be in the Dome. The game against the Packers is probably the game that I am looking forward to the most. The Pack has bested the Saints the past two times, so it is time for them to get some revenge. They will bring along a defense that is vastly improved since the last meeting, so it will be interesting to see how they get after and contain Aaron Rodgers, who will be coming back from an injury.
2.) How early is too early to start Organized Team Activities in the NFL?
Right now I think the OTAs (which are held May 27-29, June 3-5, and June 16-19) are scheduled very well. They are not too early to where the players don’t have a decent break away from the game, and they are not too late to where you don’t worry about getting the team chemistry back. Not much goes on from a physical standpoint during these workouts, so they don’t really run the risk of injuries (although freak accidents always occur). The NFL could probably get away with moving the dates sooner by a little bit, but I would assume that they want to give the majority of the free agents that are going to different teams to have time to move to their respective cities first.
3.) Is Sean Payton a Hall of Fame head coach? And how does bountygate impact his Hall of Fame potential?
While I believe Sean Payton will eventually find a spot in the NFL Hall of Fame, I don’t think his resume is as polished as it needs to be. He currently has a 73-39 win-loss record and a Super Bowl title, which is very respectable. But when you compare coach Payton to the likes of Bill Belichick (199-105; 3 Super Bowl titles), who will is a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame when he is eligible, he could do himself good by getting another championship under his belt. Another good comparison to a current Hall of Fame member is Bill Walsh (102-63-1; 3 Super Bowl titles; two time Coach of the Year), who is arguably the greatest modern-day head coach in NFL history.