It's a time-honored tradition for teams or units of teams to get a special nickname when they play exceptionally well, or, sometimes, exceptionally bad. Steel Curtain, Dome Patrol, and 'Aints come to mind right away for me. This year's Saints are looking like a Saints teams for the ages, and I don't think it's too early to at least play around with a few names. We've had some decent and promising teams in the past, some even with winning records, but those teams always left the result of any game in doubt until the final gun, and we would be let down more times than not. This year, there's no suspense, which is not a bad thing in my book, having not only won every game so far by at least two touchdowns but also not trailed at any moment this season. There's no "Cardiac Cajuns" anything about them thus far. So here are some offerings for your enjoyment. I tried to give every name a New Orleans flavor, by the way.
Krewe of Drew (offense/whole team)
Yes, thats K-R-E-W-E, for those unfamiliar with the rituals of Mardi Gras. Those parades that you see are put on by "krewes", and they throw a nice gala every year to pick a king. In this case, the king is obviously Drew Brees, riding the float built by our better-than-expected offensive line despite injuries. Jermon Bushrod and Zach Strief have filled in admirably for Pro-Bowler left tackle Jammal Brown, who was placed on IR, in protecting Brees' blind side, letting him pass goodies out to the crowd when he hears, "Throw me something, mister". And they don't even have to flash their chest protectors. ("TMS,M" is also an iconic/cliche Mardi Gras line, by the way).
Note: I had originally thought about Katrina Krewe, cause they wreck you like a hurricane, but, too soon? They've certainly wrecked the rankings and perceptions of the Eagles, Jets, and Giants. All the defenses went into the game as the #1 ranked defense and were expected to slow down the Saints, but we put up 48 points on both the Eagles and Giants. The Jets put up a fight, but eventually wore down and gave up two rushing touchdowns late. Mark Sanchez, also previously known as "San-chize", got exposed as a rookie by the Saints defense, and it doesn't look like he's recovered yet.
Cajun Catch Corps (receivers)
Individually, the receivers might not get much acclaim, but as a group, they are dominant and a vital part of the Sean Payton's offense. Last year, when Drew Brees got ever so close to the the yardage record but still threw for over 5000 yards, he did not have even one receiver over 1000 yards. Most teams depend on one or two star receivers, the so-called #1 wide receiver. There's no such role on the Saints. Just look at the Giants game. Four touchdown passes, four different receivers, Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Lance Moore, and Jeremy Shockey. And there's still Devery Henderson and the backfield to consider as targets. We know Reggie Bush can come out of the backfield, catch a screen, and turn it into 6 points, but so can Mike Bell, Pierre Thomas, and Heath Evans. If any of you trawled (notice I used a shrimping word) the opponents boards after a game, you can hear them bellyaching about the lack of pressure on Brees (Jets and Giants, especially, who thought they had good defenses). But, with so many people to cover, there's no one left to rush.
Note: I also liked Canal Street Flying Circus, but the reference to Canal Street might have been too local.
Gregg's Gumbo Squad (defense)
Just like gumbo, you don't know what they put in the pot, but it sure tastes great. Gregg Williams play-calling is like gumbo in that respect, leaving opponent defense unsure of what's going into the pot, but us fans are eating it right up. What a difference a year and a new defensive coordinator can make. Other than Darren Sharper, there are a lot of familiar names on the squad, but the results have been much different. Last year's group let the #1 ranked offense down by allowing opponents to stay in the game, making each game a shootout. Whenever the gun ran out of bullets or some sort of freak event happened or some untimely penalty negated a bullseye shot, all too often it seemed, the result was another 'L'. This year, even when the offense leaves their gun at home this year, the defense has picked up the slack, keeping us in the lead all year long.
Bayou Brain Trust (coaching staff)
Sean Payton has shown throughout his tenure that he's got the offensive side down, but the defense has always been suspect. Gregg Williams fixed that quickly, all without a "rebuilding" period. Throwing in $250,000 towards Williams' contract was probably the best quarter million Sean Payton's ever spent, especially if it ends up in a February victory in Miami. And, like mentioned in Gregg's Gumbo Squad, he did it mostly with existing personnel. But the offense and defense feed off each other. Sharper can't intercept passes if the other team is running the ball, but when they're down by 14, they have to go to the air. And think about the "misfits" and "washouts" that Sean Payton has taken a chance on, like Brees, Jonathan Vilma, Bell, and Sharper. Some would liken it to hitting on 20 in blackjack, but somehow, Riverboat Gambler Payton has drawn an 'Ace' more often than not. (It doesn't always pay off. Jason David was a 'Jack').
Well, I hope you enjoyed this exercise. If you have any suggestions of your own, leave them in the comments. I don't think many people will read this, but I had fun with it. And if something gets used enough, it just might stick.
Stupid Saying I Made Up (or at least thought I did)
It doesn't matter that you score 28 points per game if you give up 29 points per game.