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Saintswrath 01-05-2013 04:26 PM

Saints needs for 2013: A functional defense would help
 
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Who knew the Saints' defensive collapse at the end of their 2011 NFC divisional round playoff loss to San Francisco would carry through the entire 2012 season? Every other problem New Orleans experienced in its disappointing 7-9 season should disappear with the return of suspended coach Sean Payton. But Payton has to upgrade a defense that allowed more yards than any unit in NFL history -- starting with a decision on whether or not to retain coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. It won't be easy because the Saints are in some salary cap trouble. Here's a look at who they need to keep and where they need to get better:

Positions needing improvement:

Defensive end -- Although 2011 first-round pick Cameron Jordan had a solid year (68 tackles, eight sacks), the Saints desperately need a big-time pass rusher who forces opponents to alter game plans. Mobile QBs (and some not-so-mobile QBs) killed them by avoiding sacks and completing long passes. DE Will Smith likely will be a cap casualty. His replacement needs to be younger and more explosive.

Defensive tackle -- Free agent Sedrick Ellis (36 tackles, no sacks) won't be re-signed, and the Saints won't miss him. Raw rookie Akiem Hicks showed promise and likely will start alongside Brodrick Bunkley in 2013, but the Saints need a reliable third tackle for the rotation. If it's not a position of strength, it can't continue to be a huge weakness.

Secondary -- The starters will be back, but they all need to play better. Strangely, interim coach Joe Vitt praised CBs Jabari Greer, who was slowed by a groin problem early in the year, and Patrick Robinson, who allowed too many big plays, in his wrap-up press conference. Safeties Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper did not have good seasons. Improved depth is a big issue, too. Aside from promising rookie CB Corey White, whose season was cut short by a knee injury, the backups in the secondary were subpar.


Follow Saints reporter Guerry Smith on Twitter @CBSSaints.

QBREES9 01-05-2013 07:30 PM

Re: Saints needs for 2013: A functional defense would help
 
Promising rookie CB Corey White.

saintsfan1976 01-05-2013 09:00 PM

Re: Saints needs for 2013: A functional defense would help
 
A solid front seven masks most weaknesses in the secondary.

This is a draft we should be able to improve our pass rush with.

SmashMouth 01-05-2013 09:09 PM

Re: Saints needs for 2013: A functional defense would help
 
Ok...tell us something we don't already know....

Rugby Saint II 01-06-2013 01:02 PM

Re: Saints needs for 2013: A functional defense would help
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SmashMouth (Post 470539)
Ok...tell us something we don't already know....

Too funny my friend.......too funny!:broccoli:

dizzle88 01-06-2013 02:37 PM

Re: Saints needs for 2013: A functional defense would help
 
captain obvious strikes again

hagan714 01-07-2013 05:05 PM

Re: Saints needs for 2013: A functional defense would help
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Saintswrath (Post 470489)

Defensive end -- Although 2011 first-round pick Cameron Jordan had a solid year (68 tackles, eight sacks), the Saints desperately need a big-time pass rusher who forces opponents to alter game plans. Mobile QBs (and some not-so-mobile QBs) killed them by avoiding sacks and completing long passes. DE Will Smith likely will be a cap casualty. His replacement needs to be younger and more explosive.

desperately need a big-time pass rusher? i would love another DE like Cam on the other side. We need another true 3 down DE that can seal the corner against the run as we as collapsing the pocket.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Saintswrath (Post 470489)
Defensive tackle -- Free agent Sedrick Ellis (36 tackles, no sacks) won't be re-signed, and the Saints won't miss him. Raw rookie Akiem Hicks showed promise and likely will start alongside Brodrick Bunkley in 2013, but the Saints need a reliable third tackle for the rotation. If it's not a position of strength, it can't continue to be a huge weakness.

Ok do we have an out from Brodrick Bunkley contract. he is the rotational 3rd DT at best.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Saintswrath (Post 470489)
Secondary -- The starters will be back, but they all need to play better. Strangely, interim coach Joe Vitt praised CBs Jabari Greer, who was slowed by a groin problem early in the year, and Patrick Robinson, who allowed too many big plays, in his wrap-up press conference. Safeties Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper did not have good seasons. Improved depth is a big issue, too. Aside from promising rookie CB Corey White, whose season was cut short by a knee injury, the backups in the secondary were subpar.

we need to get bigger. i love seattle secondary make up. our guys are too small to tackle. thats why we always see them going for the legs

Quote:

Originally Posted by Saintswrath (Post 470489)
Follow Saints reporter Guerry Smith on Twitter @CBSSaints.


xan 01-07-2013 05:19 PM

Re: Saints needs for 2013: A functional defense would help
 
I guess we all have to earn a living, even if our output has no marginal value to society. Better than this writer pulling in Unemployment benefits.


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