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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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Rejuvenated Derek Carr leads Saints into 2023 season

The New Orleans Saints team that has enjoyed years of consistent success under quarterback Drew Brees now confronts a season of transition. (Nathan Rich)

New Orleans Saints fans are starting a new chapter as they enter the 2023 NFL season. 

The team that has enjoyed years of consistent success under quarterback Drew Brees now confronts a season of transition. It is clear that Brees’s absence has put the Saints in an irregular rut. They have not been able to fill the hole in their quarterback position and missed the playoffs for the second straight season. However, a solid offseason from the Saints where they most notably signed Derek Carr and Jamaal Williams has rekindled some optimism for the fans. 

Carr comes to the Saints after nine seasons starting for both the Las Vegas and Oakland Raiders. While Carr’s time with the Raiders featured some great moments, including multiple playoff runs, it ended on a low note they went 6-11 in the 2022 season, with Carr being benched at the end of the year. 

Carr gets a fresh start in New Orleans where he is paired with second-year head coach Dennis Allen. Allen spent six seasons as defensive coordinator for the Saints, but struggled in his first year as head coach, with the Saints finishing 7-10 in the 2022 campaign. 

Along with signing Carr and Williams, the Saints are expected to get a more productive season from their star receiver Michael Thomas. Last season, Thomas started the season healthy, but after scoring a touchdown in week one, a toe injury led Thomas into obscurity. All Saints fans are hoping to see him back on the field this season catching touchdowns from their new quarterback.

Unfortunately, the Saints will be starting their season without star running back Alvin Kamara. He will be serving a three-game suspension after he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges after he allegedly beat a man unconscious in Las Vegas in 2022. 

Uncertainty surrounds Allen’s Saints as they enter the 2023 season with a new offensive leader in Carr, but they were blessed by the NFL in having the second easiest strength of schedule. To make things better, the Saints’ division consists of rebuilding franchises, with Desmond Ridder and Bryce Young both entering their first year as consistent starters for the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers, respectively. Their only other divisional opponent is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are set to start Baker Mayfield at quarterback, who is now on his third team in two seasons. 

While the Saints have their hands full with a new quarterback, a wide open division and the rejuvenation of both Carr and receiver Thomas provide Saints fans with a sense of optimism over this new team. The Saints season will start Sept. 10 in Caesar’s Superdome against the Tennessee Titans. The story of the 2023 New Orleans Saints promises to be a unique blend of anticipation and uncertainty for “Who Dat Nation.”

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