Before the high paced offense led by Sean Payton and Drew Brees there was the vaunted Dome Patrol Defense that put fear in opposing offenses for almost a decade in New Orleans. Back in those days the Saints were the complete opposite of what they are today. At the time Saints head Coach Jim Mora was all about being conservative and allowing the defense to win games for the Saints.
However did those conservative ways cost the Saints a Super Bowl championship in the early 80s thru 90s? For those of you who do not remember the old NFC West consisted of the New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams, and the Atlanta Falcons. The 49ers were led by the main orchestrator of the West Coast Offense Bill Walsh and his star pupil was yours truly quarterback Joe Montana.
Not even the Dome Patrol could withstand the dominance of the 49ers in those years. However if the Saints would have at least established some type of offense to go along with that great defense then there’s a strong possibility that they would have dethrone the 49ers for supremacy in the NFC West. Let’s be real for a second. The New Orleans Saints were the only threat to the San Francisco 49ers in the old NFC West at the time. Like always the Atlanta Falcons had the better team on paper than the Saints but failed to put it all together on Sundays. The Dirty Birds had dynamic receiver Andre Rison and one of the greatest defenders to ever play the game in Hall Of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders.
As for the Saints there offense consisted of local LSU wide receiver Eric Martin, the “Cajun Cannon” Bobby Hebert and running back Dalton Hilliard. The trio on offense was not house hold names like the 49ers “Big Three” however they were not unknown to the Who Dat Nation. During the reign of the Dome Patrol era in New Orleans the Saints only made the postseason four times. When compared to today’s version of the Saints the Dome Patrol does not stand a chance. There are those that wished the Saints would have had those kinds of linebackers on the current roster.
The majority of you already know that the Saints defense was one of the worst in the league during the 2014 regular season. Just like with everything else “you can’t always get what you want.” Especially in todays in NFL, you will either have a high powered offense that will live and die by the long ball or a bend but don’t break defense that shows up in the fourth quarter. Based on what we have seen so far in the NFL it’s the bend but don’t break defense that has gotten the job done.
Another stumbling block that held the Dome Patrol era back was the Saints inability to spend money on quality free agents to give them a boost on offense. No one could ever understand why owner Tom Benson would not invest money on players during those days however things have change in the last few years in “The Big Easy” in regards to free agency. The Dome Patrol will always have a special place in the hearts of the Who Dat Nation. Their legacy had an even greater impact on the league today and will be forever remembered as one best linebacker corps to ever set foot on the field.
Photo Credits By: nfl-360.com
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