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New Orleans Saints will shift defensive end Will Smith to outside linebacker when OTAs open Tuesday

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The New Orleans Saints may be thinking a little outside the box while building their 3-4 defense inside the box as veteran defensive end Will Smith will open up Organized Team Activities on Tuesday at outside linebacker. Saints Coach Sean ...

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Old 05-20-2013, 01:28 PM   #1
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The New Orleans Saints may be thinking a little outside the box while building their 3-4 defense inside the box as veteran defensive end Will Smith will open up Organized Team Activities on Tuesday at outside linebacker.

Saints Coach Sean Payton and General Manager Mickey Loomis each confirmed Smith's shift Monday morning at the Saints Hall of Fame Golf Classic at Chateau Golf and Country Club in Kenner.

"Look, Will's a really good football player," Loomis said. "We'll find a place for Will to be playing, but I think ideally it would be outside linebacker. I think that's where we see him and that's where he'll start out in camp. And look, I expect the same things that we've gotten out of him that we've gotten in the past which is really a high level of play."

Smith, the longest tenured Saints player on the roster, has played as a 4-3 defensive end for the Saints his entire career. Some alterations with the Saints moving to a 3-4 defensive scheme under new coordinator Rob Ryan were bound to occur. But Smith's change to potentially playing as a stand-up linebacker at times is an eye-opening one.

Smith's numbers have been consistent the past three years, but not consistently high like the elite pass rusher the Saints have paid Smith to be. He has averaged six sacks per season during the three-year span. The 6-foot-3, 282-pound defender also took a massive $6 million pay cut this offseason to remain in New Orleans.


New Orleans Saints GM Mickey Loomis discusses Will Smith's move to OLBSaints GM anticipates Will Smith will be a productive player at outside linebacker


This change adds more competition to an already intriguing battle at outside linebacker with the likes of Victor Butler, Martez Wilson and Junior Galette competing for snaps.

"One of the challenges in the transition right now is trying to make sure we put the right players that were on the roster a year ago in the right spots, but that's what we're going to be where we'll start him at," Payton said. "(It's about) how much those guys rush. So we can play them strong and weak and we can play them right and left. But I think initially that right outside position will be very similar to what he's played for us in the past."

New Orleans Saints will shift defensive end Will Smith to outside linebacker when OTAs open Tuesday | NOLA.com

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Old 05-20-2013, 01:39 PM   #2
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Re: New Orleans Saints will shift defensive end Will Smith to outside linebacker when OTAs open Tuesday

I like to think he could play on the inside, he needs to drop his weight about 20 to 25 lbs and he might actually be pretty good.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:43 PM   #3
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Re: New Orleans Saints will shift defensive end Will Smith to outside linebacker when OTAs open Tuesday

It may sound harsh but this may be a way to try and find the players that wont fit the scheme, if Smith doesnt do well in OTA's he could be cut
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:45 PM   #4
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Re: New Orleans Saints will shift defensive end Will Smith to outside linebacker when OTAs open Tuesday

This stinks like moving Wilson to DE........it's got fail written all over it!
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:48 PM   #5
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Re: New Orleans Saints will shift defensive end Will Smith to outside linebacker when OTAs open Tuesday

Ahhh, the first WTF moment of the Rob Ryan regime.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:54 PM   #6
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Re: New Orleans Saints will shift defensive end Will Smith to outside linebacker when OTAs open Tuesday

Originally Posted by Danno View Post
Ahhh, the first WTF moment of the Rob Ryan regime.
Not so fast, this possibly could be a blessing in disguise he has raw strength, size and still plenty of speed to play on the inside, if he drops his weight down to around 260 he could be a force the middle we may need. Just sayin'.
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:03 PM   #7
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Re: New Orleans Saints will shift defensive end Will Smith to outside linebacker when OTAs open Tuesday

Originally Posted by halloween 65 View Post
Not so fast, this possibly could be a blessing in disguise he has raw strength, size and still plenty of speed to play on the inside, if he drops his weight down to around 260 he could be a force the middle we may need. Just sayin'.
I don't get it. You're saying that dropping his weight would help him move inside?
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:15 PM   #8
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Re: New Orleans Saints will shift defensive end Will Smith to outside linebacker when OTAs open Tuesday

Originally Posted by Danno View Post
I don't get it. You're saying that dropping his weight would help him move inside?
Yes, he would be quicker and stout against the run. Kind of like what Cushing does. 260 to 270 would be good.
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:18 PM   #9
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Re: New Orleans Saints will shift defensive end Will Smith to outside linebacker when OTAs open Tuesday

Levon Kirkland:

Levon Kirkland, MLB at NFL.com

Jamir Miller:

Jamir Miller, OLB at NFL.com

Adalius Thomas:

Adalius Thomas, OLB at NFL.com

Will Smith:

Will Smith, DE for the New Orleans Saints at NFL.com

These guys are all about the same size. Smith will have to drop some weight for endurance.
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:28 PM   #10
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Re: New Orleans Saints will shift defensive end Will Smith to outside linebacker when OTAs open Tuesday

Originally Posted by halloween 65 View Post
Yes, he would be quicker and stout against the run. Kind of like what Cushing does. 260 to 270 would be good.
Have you ever dropped 25-30 pounds? Do you know what that entails?
Much less do it in 3 months and maintain any modicum of his present strength.


You drop Will down to 250 in one off season and watch him get run over.
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