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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Saints' defensive line still looking for first sack By LARRY HOLDER lholder@sunherald.com METAIRIE, La. --Jason David and the rest of the secondary have caught much of the blame for the New Orleans Saints' defensive woes in the team's 0-2 start. ...

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Old 09-20-2007, 08:50 PM   #1
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Cool No Pressure

Saints' defensive line still looking for first sack


METAIRIE, La. --Jason David and the rest of the secondary have caught much of the blame for the New Orleans Saints' defensive woes in the team's 0-2 start. Wide receivers flying past the last line of defense into the end zone at 50 yards a pop might be enough evidence to support the assumption.

Defensive end Charles Grant took a different approach. And he could have a point.

"It's not a secondary thing," Grant said. "You can't point one finger at the secondary. The secondary starts with the D-linemen getting to the quarterback. We ain't getting there. We had our chances, we didn't get there. That's on us. That quarterback's in that pocket, that's on the D-line. You can't put that on the secondary. Right now, you can put it all on the shoulders of the D-line."

The Saints have amassed a grand total of zero sacks in the first two weeks. Going back to last season including the playoffs, the Saints have only one sack in their last five games.

Last year the Saints racked up seven sacks in their first two games and picked up five more in Week 3 against the mobile Michael Vick.

The New York Jets are the only other team in the league without a sack. Both the Saints and Jets are 0-2.

It's not only the defensive line lacking pressure on the opposing quarterback. But with two of the league's better defensive ends in Grant and Will Smith on the roster, the expectations to pounce the quarterback are there.

"It's the second game of the season," Grant said. "How many guys in the NFL that play end have gotten sacks so far?"

Since Grant asked, 43 defensive ends have at least one sack in the first two weeks of the season. The list includes Pro Bowlers Aaron Kampman and Jason Taylor, along with 2006's No. 1 overall pick Mario Williams, who has two sacks.

Grant is the highest-paid non-Pro Bowl defensive end in the league as the Saints gave him a seven-year deal worth up to $63 million with $20 million guaranteed during the offseason to avoid spats involving the franchise tag.

Smith has been the more productive of the two during the last two seasons. He made the Pro Bowl in 2006 with 10½ sacks. He's figured to receive a contract along the same level, which may be more lucrative than Grant's deal.

Neither player has anything to show for it. Grant wasn't shying away from the blame, but he warned it's still early in the season.

"Me and Will don't have none and you've got to put that on me and Will," Grant said. "It's a long season. We've got 14 games."

Grant said the Saints will win 12 games and he has a prediction for his and Smith's production by year's end.

"I promise you, both D-ends will be in double-digit sacks," Grant said. "I ain't worried about all that because sacks come."

Saints coach Sean Payton said despite the team's lack of pressure, he's been pleased with the play of the front four - in particular, the play of Smith and Grant.

"There's a lot of things we don't have," Payton said. "We don't have any wins yet. We'd like to be doing a better job in the kicking game, do a better job throwing the football. You can point to a number of things... . We're looking to pick up this week and hopefully get a few. (Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young is) a tough challenge. He's a hard sack. He's elusive. He's strong. Even in that preseason game a year ago you see him come off sacks. He's physical. That presents a big challenge this week."

SunHerald.com : NO PRESSURE

blacksaint is offline  
Old 09-21-2007, 08:48 AM   #2
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Re: No Pressure

Load of help that is to the CB on an island
hagan714 is offline  
Old 09-21-2007, 08:52 AM   #3
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Re: No Pressure

Recognizing their shortcomings thus far is a good thing. Seeing where they rank amongst the other DE's in the league is a good thing. Knowing that they have to do better is a good thing. These guys have lots of pride and are assuming their part of the responsibility for our defensive woes. I think that their improved play up front will ease some of the pressure off of our wings.
darstep is offline  
Old 09-21-2007, 10:11 AM   #4
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Re: No Pressure

While we haven't recorded a sack yet, I think that it's not necessarily because the DLine is playing poorly. We hardly ever blitz. Without that, those guys up front have no help. We need to mix it up a little bit defensively to help the front four.
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