May 19, 2024

Rod Walker presents a guide for New Orleans Saints fans on which teams to support in the upcoming conference championship games. Acknowledging the disappointment of the Saints missing the playoffs for the third consecutive season, Walker highlights the positive aspect of recognizing familiar faces associated with the Saints in all four teams playing for a spot in Super Bowl LVIII.

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The AFC championship game features the Kansas City Chiefs against the Baltimore Ravens, followed by the NFC championship game with the Detroit Lions facing the San Francisco 49ers. If the criteria for support are based on connections to the Saints, the clear choice is the Detroit Lions.

The Lions have a multitude of ties to the Saints, starting with head coach Dan Campbell, who spent five seasons coaching tight ends for the Saints before assuming his current role. Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn also coached the Saints’ secondary during that time. The Lions’ coaching staff includes Mark Brunell, former backup to Drew Brees during the Saints’ Super Bowl season, and J.T. Barrett, who spent two seasons on the Saints’ practice squad.

Furthermore, the Lions’ roster boasts three former Saints: linebacker Alex Anzalone, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, and backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who endeared himself to Saints’ fans in 2019 when he filled in for the injured Drew Brees.

A compelling reason to cheer for the Lions is their matchup against the 49ers, a team that may evoke disdain among Saints fans who recall the days when both teams were in the same division.

Turning to the AFC, the Chiefs feature defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who held the same role with the Saints in 2012. Additionally, Ken Flajole, the Chiefs’ linebackers coach, was the linebackers coach for the 2012 Saints. On the Ravens’ roster, safety Marcus Williams, a member of the Saints’ 2017 draft class, is joined by Arthur Maulet in the secondary, with both players coached by Chris Hewitt, the Ravens’ defensive pass game coordinator and secondary coach, who played for the Saints from 1997-1999.

With these insights into the former Saints involved in the conference championship games, Walker concludes by asking Saints fans to make their choice on which team to support.

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