Nick Underhill analysis: Marques Colston's light burned bright in dominant decade with Saints, but time to move on _lowres

Advocate file photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Saints wide receiver Marques Colston

1. END OF AN ERA

There’s little question Marques Colston leaves New Orleans as one of its best players of all time. While he never made a Pro Bowl or received the accolades of some of his contemporaries, he was the perfect player for this offense when he landed in New Orleans in 2006 as a seventh-round pick. Now he exits as the franchise leader in practically every meaningful statistical category for wide receivers.

2. COLEMAN’S UP

General manager Mickey Loomis said during a recent radio interview that he viewed Brandon Coleman as the heir apparent to Colston. Now Coleman will have to prove it. The receiver showed there’s reason for optimism when he filled in for Colston during the final two games of the season, and he played well while filling in for Willie Snead early in the year. He’ll have the chance to prove he’s ready to play every week.

3. WHAT’S NEXT?

It will be interesting to see if Colston wants to keep playing. There were times last season when he showed glimmers, but those moments were sporadic and were surrounded by down moments. It seems like Colston’s greatest value, and his best fit, was in New Orleans. He’s smart and instinctual enough to continue catching passes somewhere, but can he succeed the same way with a new quarterback?

Nick Underhill