The New Orleans Saints had a roller coaster season in 2023. Widely predicted to cruise to a division title in a wide-open NFC South, first-year Saints quarterback Derek Carr struggled to develop chemistry with Chris Olave early in the campaign. While the offense eventually figured it all out down the stretch, it was too little, too late as the team missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
Carr will still be the quarterback in 2024, but offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael will not be coming back for another season. In his place, the Saints have (unofficially) hired former San Francisco 49ers passing game specialist Klint Kubiak to be the new offensive coordinator. Recently, Chris Olave appeared on the CHGO Sports podcast and gave his thoughts about the current state of the team.
Chris Olave Speaks On Derek Carr, Pete Carmichael
While Chris Olave improved on his raw stats in 2023, you don’t need to be a body language expert to know that he didn’t always see eye-to-eye with Carr. The quarterback’s massive contract makes him too expensive to cut in 2024, but Olave seems content with the idea of Carr coming back for another season.
“Oh yeah, he’s a veteran, man,” Olave said. “He’s 10 years in the league, he’s played real good ball with the Raiders. First year with the Saints offense, we’ve just got to build. It’s just about chemistry.”
Based on this quote, it appears as though Chris Olave is willing to blame most of last year’s struggles on Carr getting acclimated to his new environment. This is a fair excuse, as the former second-round pick spent a decade with the Raiders. The only problem is that, with Pete Carmichael gone, everyone is going to be learning a brand new offense once again.
“I Wish Him The Best”
Chris Olave also spoke with Bleacher Report’s Scott Polacek about Pete Carmichael. While most Saints fans were happy to see him go, the wide receiver sounds like he will miss his old coach.
“We had really good relationships with the offensive coaches the past two years, but I wish [Pete Carmichael] the best moving forward,” Olave said. “Having someone new come in means there’s going to be a new scheme and new offense, so I’m excited to learn the playbook here and keep moving forward.”
Even though Chris Olave might miss Pete Carmichael, it’s safe to say that New Orleans made the right decision to move on. Carmichael’s offense was one of the most stagnant and stale in the league, and the team needs a more creative playcaller to get the most out of this unit.
Derek Carr is a fine starting quarterback, but he’s not the type of guy who can singlehandedly carry an offense by himself. Throughout the course of his career, Carr has basically been as good as his supporting cast, so hopefully Klint Kubiak can bring over some of Kyle Shanahan’s magic. If that happens, Chris Olave could be in for the best season of his career, and New Orleans could finally make their first playoff appearance of the post-Drew Brees Era.
Main Photo: Bob Donnan – USA Today Sports