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pakowitz 05-07-2003 12:39 AM

Sportingnew.com saints team report
 
Look for the defense to use more zone coverage. That strategy should allow it to save the legs of aging corners Dale Carter and Ashley Ambrose and should help safeties Tebucky Jones and Mel Mitchell, both of whom are somewhat stiff in coverage.

A zone also is more effective against running quarterbacks because it allows defensive backs to watch the backfield rather than just run with receivers. ...

Injuries to top tight ends David Sloan and Ernie Conwell will give Boo Williams more reps and a chance to challenge for a larger role.

The coaches are cautiously optimistic the light finally has clicked on for him.

DEFENSIVE TACKLES ANALYSIS

This position is one of the big question marks.

First-round pick Johnathan Sullivan has great athletic ability and potential. He will start at nose tackle, but there will be growing pains.

Grady Jackson, who angered team officials when he failed to report to the club's offseason conditioning program, could lose his starting spot to Kenny Smith.

When motivated, Jackson can dominate inside with his natural power and athletic ability. Smith has the size and talent to be a capable starter. Martin Chase is a steady, capable backup at nose tackle.



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