Saints Coach Now Using the Entire Team as a Decoy
[size=12pt]Saints Coach Now Using the Entire Team as a Decoy[/size]
After using running back Reggie Bush primarily as a decoy helped get the New Orleans Saints to the NFC Championship Game last season, head coach Sean Payton decided entering this season that using his entire team as a decoy would be necessary to take the next step. So far the results have been mixed.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Reggie is still the key to my decoy strategy and heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most definitely doing his part again,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Payton. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Last year he averaged 3.6 yards per carry, this year heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s down to 2.8. Last he averaged 8.4 yards per catch, this year he is down to 4.4. That is some quality, dedicated decoy action right there. His repeated minimal gains are really setting up the opposition for something bigger.Ã¢â‚¬Â
With Bush secured in his role as the teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s No. 1 decoy, Payton has been pleased to see other players on the team nicely falling into their decoy roles, too.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Drew Brees has been fantastic,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Payton. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I took this decoy idea to him in the offseason and, while he was skeptical at first, he has really embraced it like a true team leader. He is flourishing as a decoy. So many interceptions, so many fumbles, so many incompletions and bad decisions. Opposing defenses are really on their heels.Ã¢â‚¬Â
In addition to Bush and Brees, Payton has seen great decoy strides made by the SaintsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ receivers and offensive linemen, too Ã¢â‚¬â€œ especially the offensive linemen.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“A true decoy misleads or misdirects Ã¢â‚¬â€œ thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what they do by definition,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Payton. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Well, whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s more misleading than an offensive lineman who doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t block anyone? Our guys are letting opposing defenders run right past them, in the wrong direction from where we want to go ... forward. Or do we want to go forward? Who can say? IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not telling. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all part of my decoy strategy.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Payton stresses that defense is just as important as offense in making the entire Saints team a dynamic, Reggie Bush-like decoy.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Opposing offenses want to go on long, time-consuming drives,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Payton. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Sorry. No way. Not with our decoy defense. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll score quickly and like it. Stick that in your gameplan and smoke it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
With his entire roster functioning as a smooth, well-oiled decoy, Payton says there is only one thing missing that is preventing his team from achieving its goals.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Well, kind of the whole crux of my decoy plan is that while IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m creating all of this counterintuitive misdirection Ã¢â‚¬â€œ you know, while Reggie Bush is running around in circles going nowhere Ã¢â‚¬â€œ one guy on the team needs to actually be playing well: picking up positive yardage, scoring touchdowns, et cetera,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Payton. Ã¢â‚¬Å“So far I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t found anyone to do that. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s probably why weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re 0-3.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain