Super Bowl push is on, and it starts at Lambeau

Ed Daniels    If the Saints are going to win another Super Bowl, now is the time. And, since a humbling playoff loss to Seattle in January, the Saints have made a series of moves that tells us exactly that.
    At training camp, defensive tackle Shaun Rogers looks like he could be the perfect fit to pair with Sedrick Ellis. Rogers has impressed quarterback Chase Daniel. Said Daniel, “That sucker can run.”
    In the early days of camp, one of the club’s two first-round picks, running back Mark Ingram, ran like he did at Alabama. Ingram looks the part of a runner who combines maddening consistency with an occasional splash of the outstanding.
    The Saints’ 2010 draft has the chance to produce four starters.
    Fifth-round pick Matt Tennant was getting the snaps with the first unit at center.
    Third-round pick, tight end Jimmy Graham, could quickly turn into one of Drew Brees’ favorite targets.
    Second-round pick, offensive tackle Charles Brown, has battled a hamstring pull. And, he is returning after offseason back surgery. But head coach Sean Payton was surprisingly upbeat about Brown. I asked Payton, “Can (Brown) be a quality starter in this league?”
    “Sure,” said Payton. “That is why we drafted him. He can be a quality starter, and then some.”
    When the Saints signed unrestricted free agent Jermon Bushrod to only a two-year contract, they are saying clearly that Charles Brown is in their plans.
    First-round pick Patrick Robinson had an uneventful rookie year. He can progress as a nickel corner until he is ready to push for a starting job.
    The Saints’ biggest need area continues to be linebacker. The club re-signed Scott Shanle, without the promise of a starting job. The Saints also signed free agent Will Herring and drafted linebacker Martez Wilson from Illinois.
    The Saints also will have to contend with the pending four-game suspension of defensive end Will Smith. How long has defensive coordinator Gregg Williams prepared for such a scenario?
    “Two years,” said Williams.
    In a league of constant change, the Saints are a picture of continuity.
    Since 2006, the Saints have had the same owner, same general manager, same head coach and same starting QB.
    The Saints’ opponent in the season opener has followed much the same approach.
    Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson got the job in 2005. That year the Packers drafted quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the first round. A year later, Mike McCarthy became the club’s head coach. How big is that NFL opener Sept. 8?
    Payton would cringe at the question. His answer will be something like, “It is this week’s big game.”
    The winner in the opener at Lambeau Field would have the postseason tiebreaker against the other.
    So, I ask you, would you rather play indoors at 72 degrees in January or outdoors in sub-freezing temps among the Cheeseheads?
    Ed Daniels is sports director of ABC26 WGNO. He can be reached at edaniels@clarionherald.org.

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