Saints typical of wide open NFC South

Updated: August 14, 2004, 3:41 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com Insider
Training camps have finally arrived. ESPN.com senior writers John Clayton and Len Pasquarelli are traveling the country to bring you the latest news on all 32 NFL teams.

METAIRIE, La. -- Let's see, it's Week 15 of the 2003 regular season, you need a victory to extend your playoff chances, and you score on a miraculous, 75-yard pass play that includes three laterals as time expires. And then your kicker, who needs merely to convert the extra point to send the game into overtime, plunks one wide right.

Welcome to the weird and wacky world of the New Orleans Saints, where the next worst-case scenario seems like it is always just a week away, right? Well, maybe not this year.

Despite playing in the very competitive NFC South -- a division where you could put the names of the four franchises in a hat, draw them out, and have as good a chance as any so-called expert at handicapping the standings -- the Saints certainly have enough talent to end their three-year playoff drought. Of course, they still harbor enough bad vibes in the organization to finish last, too, although no one believes that will happen.