As he spoke to the media at the NFL owners meeting Wednesday morning, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton said there are two things that are keeping him awake at night.
He said he’s losing sleep over who will rush the passer and who will play left tackle.
I get the feeling the Saints aren’t done bringing in outside linebackers. But at least they have some promising options there. Martez Wilson and Junior Galette, who have played defensive end, could prosper as outside linebackers in the 3-4 scheme the Saints are switching to.
The bigger issue is left tackle. The Saints lost Pro Bowler Jermon Bushrod to Chicago as a free agent. Although the Saints had to have known losing Bushrod was likely due to their salary-cap situation, there’s no obvious replacement on the roster.
Bryce Harris and Marcel Jones are young and their ceilings may not be that high. The best option currently on the roster might be Charles Brown, but he’s far from a sure thing and I don’t know that the Saints are ready to let him protect Drew Brees’ blind side.
A second-round pick in 2010, Brown never has lived up to his hype. That largely has been due to a series of injuries. Brown is recovering from a knee injury that brought a premature end to his 2012 season.
I think Brown will at least get a look as a possibility at left tackle, but the Saints would be wise to try to add someone with starting experience in free agency.