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Sean Payton sees a role for Jonathan Vilma in new New Orleans Saints 3-4 defense

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton said he sees linebacker Jonathan Vilma as a piece of the team's new 3-4 defensive scheme, Payton said in an interview Tuesday morning. The topic of Vilma's salary wasn't brought up, but Payton said ...

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Old 02-12-2013, 10:24 PM   #1
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New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton said he sees linebacker Jonathan Vilma as a piece of the team's new 3-4 defensive scheme, Payton said in an interview Tuesday morning.

The topic of Vilma's salary wasn't brought up, but Payton said he can see Vilma playing a weakside linebacker spot in the new 3-4 scheme, while Curtis Lofton would maintain his role as a middle linebacker.




"Yeah, I don't think anyone wants to place him over that guard bubble and have to take on that block," Payton said. "And I think he's a guy that runs to the ball and has great vision, very instinctual football player. I think you take some of that away if all of a sudden he's playing over an uncovered guard and now his size becomes an issue.

"A lot of things may concern you with a player change. So, he'll play over on that weakside position and I that will be very similar to what he did this past year. Curtis Lofton, who's a little heavier, will play on that strong inside Mike position. So I think that part of it for those two guys transition pretty well."

Vilma, though, is set to make $4.8 million in base salary and hold a salary cap figure of around $8.6 million. With the Saints being somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 million over the salary cap, it's highly likely Vilma would have to take a drastic pay cut to remain in New Orleans. But Payton also used Vilma as an example of a player on the roster that can make the switch from a 4-3 scheme to a 3-4.

"I don't know that we have the pieces in place that we feel comfortable with, or certainly there's a transition," Payton said. "A lot of this process, as a matter of fact, he and I spoke for about an hour about certain players and where they line up the first day of OTAs. And then you take what you have on the roster and you begin to put them into these spots and then you tweak and you make adjustments and you look to make additions.

"I think the way that we're going to run this defense and the type of 3-4 that we're running will be such that you saw in Dallas or Houston. There will be some under defensive principles to it. Some reduction, which means that the left guard or weak guard for the offense will be covered at times, and I think that will help a guy like Jon Vilma as opposed to the traditional two-gap 34 front that many Giants fans knew back when Bill Parcells was there ... So I do think there's some work to be done obviously when you make a change like this.

"You have the scouts who need to identify what the prototypes are for these positions different from what the scouts and everyone else in the building viewed as a prototype for the 43 scheme. Now there are good football players that can fit into either one, but I think it allows everyone a chance to maybe visualize what we're looking for."

Payton said he did plenty of homework on new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan before making the hire a couple of days ago to replace the fired Steve Spagnuolo.

"I know this, and not having really spent any time with Rob prior to this process beginning, I did a lot of research on him and spoke to almost everybody that I know that's ever been with him and a ton of other people with different organizations," Payton said. "Number one, I know he's passionate about the game. I know he's very intelligent and players love playing for him.

"He's a very loyal guy. All the coaches I've spoken to that he's worked with have all said he's done a great job of putting together defenses and understanding strengths and weaknesses of his team. He was always difficult for us to prepare for in the times that we've competed against him.

"I'm excited about it. I sat in Dallas for most of the past year and for most of the suspension and I watched almost every Cowboy game just because it was one of the local games. ... I thought considering the injuries that they had this year, I thought they played well defensively and at times broke down."

Payton also said the read option offense is at the top of the study list during offseason preparation. He said it's not going anyway any time soon and it's all over the NFC.

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Old 02-12-2013, 10:37 PM   #2
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Re: Sean Payton sees a role for Jonathan Vilma in new New Orleans Saints 3-4 defense

I think he's blow smoke up everyones butt I love Vilma I just don't think we can afford to bring him back. Do I want him to come back hell yes because all the good that Lofton does run stopping his ass can't cover for nothing ask Tony Gunzales.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:55 PM   #3
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Exclamation Re: Sean Payton sees a role for Jonathan Vilma in new New Orleans Saints 3-4 defense

Originally Posted by Luda34 View Post
I think he's blow smoke up everyones butt I love Vilma I just don't think we can afford to bring him back. Do I want him to come back hell yes because all the good that Lofton does run stopping his ass can't cover for nothing ask Tony Gunzales.
Since Gonzo is retiring, that problem took care of itself!

Not the original, but close enough!
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:08 PM   #4
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Re: Sean Payton sees a role for Jonathan Vilma in new New Orleans Saints 3-4 defense

Payton also used Vilma as an example of a player on the roster that can make the switch from a 4-3 scheme to a 3-4.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:31 AM   #5
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Re: Sean Payton sees a role for Jonathan Vilma in new New Orleans Saints 3-4 defense

I'm sure it would involve some substantial restructuring.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:51 PM   #6
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Re: Sean Payton sees a role for Jonathan Vilma in new New Orleans Saints 3-4 defense

There always comes a time when the coach has that talk with you. I hope it's not this year for Jon.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:06 PM   #7
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Re: Sean Payton sees a role for Jonathan Vilma in new New Orleans Saints 3-4 defense

but isn't that why Vilma left the JETS 3-4
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:20 AM   #8
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Re: Sean Payton sees a role for Jonathan Vilma in new New Orleans Saints 3-4 defense

Originally Posted by QBREES9 View Post
but isn't that why Vilma left the JETS 3-4
It is but.... the jets tried to play vilma as the ILB in the 3-4

Vilma is way too small to be a ILB in a 3-4 and it requires alot of shedding blockers - which vilma does not do very well

Thats why you need a big ILB in the middle of a 3-4, two guys we have that would be suited great with Lofton and Hawthorne

Coach payton means to put vilma at OLB we he can get more of a clean release off the line
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:50 AM   #9
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Re: Sean Payton sees a role for Jonathan Vilma in new New Orleans Saints 3-4 defense

Vilma might do alright at WLB in the 3-4, worried though if he has speed needed for that position. Payton is saying the right things but ultimately it should be up to Rob Ryan.
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:07 AM   #10
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Re: Sean Payton sees a role for Jonathan Vilma in new New Orleans Saints 3-4 defense

Originally Posted by dizzle88 View Post
Vilma is way too small to be a ILB in a 3-4 and it requires alot of shedding blockers - which vilma does not do very well

Thats why you need a big ILB in the middle of a 3-4, two guys we have that would be suited great with Lofton and Hawthorne

I agree with you on that both Lofton and Hawthorne are thumpers when it comes to LBs in general and they both are far better tacklers than Vilma, and therefore they fit better in the middle than Vilma does.

But, when it comes to pure size, there isn't a whole lot of difference between Vilma (6-1, 230) and Lofton (6-0, 241) & Hawthorne (6-0, 246). All are in the small spectrum when it comes to 3-4 ILBs, but L & H play "bigger."
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