Two highly coveted free agents. Jared Cook was the hottest tight end commodity on the market this off-season. The New Orleans Saints have been starving for a play-making tight end since Jimmy Graham left. In fact, the Saints offense is arguably more dangerous with a viable weapon at tight end. Then, in a surprising move, the Saints chose Latavius Murray over Mark Ingram. Coming into the season, both were expected to have big roles this season. But so far, they have nothing to show for it. The bottom line? The Saints need more better production Jared Cook and Latavius Murray.
Saints needing more from Jared Cook and Latavius Murray
Lack of Production
Jared Cook is supposed to be a difference-maker. Coming into the season, he was expected to take the pressure off of Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara in the receiving game. But through two games, Cook has four receptions for 62 yards. That’s not bad, but he’s only caught 40 percent of the passes thrown his way. Not to mention at least two drops Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams.
— NFL (@NFL) September 15, 2019
The veteran tight end has so much potential. Cook has made plays in the passing games that were impressive. But consistency is going to be key, especially with Drew Brees expected to miss at least six weeks with a thumb injury. Whether Taysom Hill or Teddy Bridgewater starts for the Saints, Cook has to get open, and secure the football on his catches. Kamara and Thomas will have a ton of attention on them, so there’s no reason for Cook not to produce better numbers throughout the season.
— NFL (@NFL) September 15, 2019
Latavius Murray isn’t expected to have groundbreaking numbers. Alvin Kamara is the feature back and can do it not only on the ground but in the receiving game as well. The lack of production from Murray could be a result of game-planning and poor offensive line play on Sunday. But it seems like Murray just isn’t finding the holes consistently, and becoming a go-to fourth down back.
People are expecting Murray to play a Mark Ingram role for this offense, but they are not similar runners. Ingram is a punishing runner, while Murray is more of an elusive, open-field runner. Also, Murray is 6’3″ so his lower body is more vulnerable to hits. Ingram is a bowling ball.
Murray did have a solid day against the Houston Texans in Week 1. The majority of his 43 yards rushing came on a 30-yard scamper, so obviously the potential is there. But once again, in Brees’ absence, the running game will need to be a major key of the offense. Expect Murray to see more touches this week in Seattle.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 10, 2019
Jared Cook, Latavius Murray Expectations
Sean Payton has a plan, and the Saints did not accumulate all this talent to re-invent the wheel. Cook and Murray will need to play significant roles in the next six weeks for the offense. The expectation should be Bridgewater or Hill to get the ball out quick and let the athletes do the rest.
Jared Cook and Latavius Murray have to be a better supporting cast. Thomas and Kamara will get there stats. Now, it’s time for Cook and Murray to live up to the billing.
Embed from Getty Images