Sideline Noise

Marshall’s reports of the Saints demise are greatly exaggerated


“Don’t eat the cheese.”

That’s been New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton’s advice to his team, meaning don’t get an overinflated sense of yourself based on what others are saying. Nothing is given. Victories happen on the field, not in sports pages or online.

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It’s good advice to keep a team grounded.

But, there are times when an opposing player, coach, what-have-you will popoff and their words are posted on the team’s locker room bulletin board and become motivation to prove them wrong.

A week before the 2020 NFL Draft, Payton and the Saints were put on blast by a former player trying to make his way as a commentator.

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Brandon Marshall, who the Saints signed last season and cut in December because he wasn’t able to make the grade, made an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” Thursday morning where he said the Saints, who have won the NFC South for the past three years, will be dethroned by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their new quarterback, Tom Brady.

“New Orleans, Sean Payton? Sean Payton continues to hurt his team,” Marshall said. “How do you have Drew Brees, Mike T, Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram a couple years ago, you have a defense that goes from crap the first half of the season to one of the most elite defenses we’ve ever seen, and you lose in the playoffs? Two years, back to back? New Orleans is done.”

But he wasn’t finished.

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“Their window is closed, their window is closed,” Marshall continued. “Their window is closed, I’m sorry. Did you see what happened to their defense last year? Do you see that everyone in the league has the book on New Orleans’ offense now? Did you see that? It’s over, it’s a wrap.”

Marshall is obviously trying to draw attention to himself, but he’s come off as clownish with such an outlandish statement.

Mr. Marshall, your reports of the Saints demise are greatly exaggerated.

The Saints had the third-best offense in the NFL last year, averaging more than 28 points per game, even with their starting quarterback and sure first-ballot-hall-of-famer Brees missing five weeks.

Payton brushed off Marshall’s claim, mockingly posting an image of a “Zoltar” fortune teller machine on his social media channels.

Marshall may be (more than likely, is) disgruntled that he was signed by the Saints last season but didn’t make one significant on-field contribution. While I and many Saints fans had high hopes for him, he was cut before the season ended and, frankly, did little to nothing to improve the Saints chances of playoff success.

He better spend more time crafting his “hot takes.” If he keeps running his mouth with outlandish opinions, ESPN may find he brings even less to their studio than he brought to the Saints’ locker room.




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