July 15, 2024

How will the Saints’ offensive approach evolve under the guidance of new Offensive Coordinator Klint Kubiak? The New Orleans Saints are set to bring in Kubiak, currently the passing game coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers, pending official confirmation after the Super Bowl. The Saints’ offensive struggles in 2023, marked by predictability and lack of creativity in playcalling under Pete Carmichael, prompted the team to seek a coach associated with the innovative Shannah-McVay coaching tree, particularly 49ers head coach Kyle Shannahan.

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In contrast to the Saints, who ran only 366 plays with motion in 2023, San Francisco’s offense incorporated motion in 753 plays, highlighting the stark contrast in creativity. Kubiak’s experience with the 49ers, known for their dynamic and diverse offensive schemes, suggests a potential transformation in the Saints’ offensive approach. The incorporation of varied play designs from San Francisco could address the predictability issues that plagued the Saints last season.

One notable area of improvement could be the utilization of star running back Alvin Kamara. The Saints’ lack of creativity hindered Kamara’s effectiveness in 2023, making him more of a safety outlet than a dynamic playmaker. Kubiak’s experience with running back Christian McCaffery in San Francisco, who shares a similar playing style with Kamara, offers hope for a revival in Kamara’s performance. The expectation is that Kubiak’s offensive strategies will better leverage Kamara’s strengths, potentially restoring him to Pro-Bowl caliber form.

Additionally, the Saints’ young receiving duo, Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed, may benefit from Kubiak’s expertise, as he previously worked with talented wideouts like Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk in San Francisco. Samuel’s creative role in the 49ers’ offense, featuring varied positions on the field, could inspire a similar approach for Olave and Shaheed. The use of tight ends, a significant aspect of the 49ers’ offense with George Kittle, aligns with Saints quarterback Derek Carr’s history of targeting tight ends during his tenure with the Las Vegas Raiders. The Saints, equipped with a trio of talented tight ends, could see increased involvement from this position in the upcoming season.

Addressing a major weakness, the Saints’ red zone scoring struggles in 2023, Kubiak’s arrival aims to bring about a significant change. San Francisco’s league-best red zone scoring percentage of 68.5% contrasts sharply with the Saints’ struggles, particularly finishing at #18 in the league. Derek Carr’s previous challenges in red zone efficiency could see improvement under Kubiak’s guidance, with strategic adjustments in personnel and playcalling to enhance scoring within the 20-yard range.

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