There are mixed reactions as the New Orleans Saints begin the post-Sean Payton era.

Dennis Allen was picked to lead the Black & Gold after Payton announced his retirement following the 2021 season. Payton has begun his broadcasting career but, if that doesn't work out, don't be surprised to see him back in the coaching ranks.

For many fans, getting back to the NFL playoffs after losing a longtime coach - who is the winningest coach in franchise history by the way - would be fantastic and considered a successful season.

But making it to the Super Bowl? Especially after that previous coaching great only led the franchise to the Super Bowl once in his time there. That's a big ask.

Well, I was listening to ESPN Lafayette this week and heard Keyshawn Johnson giving his "hot take" on who he believes is going to the Super Bowl - the New Orleans Saints! He is very high on the return of wide receiver Michael Thomas and believes he will have a great rapport with quarterback Jameis Winston, who is also returning from an injury.

(Fast forward to the 4:00 mark to hear Keyshawn Johnson's prediction analysis.)

Now, Johnson's love for Thomas is not surprising because Thomas is a standout wide receiver like Johnson was. But, also, Michael Thomas is Keyshawn Johnson's nephew.

It is important to note to Thomas does hold the NFL record for most receptions by a player in his first five season, as well as the record for most receptions by a player in a single season. And, with the additions of LSU product Jarvis Landry through free agency and Chris Olave through the NFL Draft, the Saints are all of a sudden quite deep in their wide receiver corps.

And don't forget about running back Alvin Kamara and his suspension not likely happening until 2023, as well as all-everything Taysom Hill, and the Saints offense has the potential to be great.

Defensively, the Saints are expected to continue being great as they have added substantial pieces as well, including the much-publicized addition of Tyrann Matthieu.

Heck, I'm getting excited about the season just writing this post!

But, only time will tell if Keyshawn Johnson's Super Bowl prediction comes true. If it does, maybe the Krewe of Bacchus should make him the Grand Marshal in their 2023 parade, like they did with Drew Brees in 2007.

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