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New Orleans Saints defense gives fans something to cheer about during Wednesday's practice

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Of course the fans in attendance at the New Orleans Saints' minicamp Wednesday weren't rooting against quarterback Drew Brees. But some of the loudest cheers of the day came when Brees threw incomplete passes on back-to-back plays during 7-on-7 drills ...

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Old 06-05-2013, 06:43 PM   #1
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Of course the fans in attendance at the New Orleans Saints' minicamp Wednesday weren't rooting against quarterback Drew Brees. But some of the loudest cheers of the day came when Brees threw incomplete passes on back-to-back plays during 7-on-7 drills in the red zone.

That's how eager the fans are to see some progress from this defense.

Brees still had his moments Wednesday -- especially when he was throwing to tight end Jimmy Graham, who stood out once again as the most dominating presence on either side of the field. But the defense held up well during those red-zone sessions, both in 7-on-7 and full-team drills.

Rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro made two of the best plays, breaking up passes by backup quarterback Luke McCown with the second string. He probably should have intercepted the first one. He stole a touchdown from receiver Nick Toon on the second one. Cornerback Jabari Greer also stood out on a couple plays, among others.

The secondary had an ugly moment, too, when they let Courtney Roby get wide open for a long touchdown pass by rookie quarterback Ryan Griffin. Cornerback Keenan Lewis had initial coverage on the play, but it looked like safety Malcolm Jenkins was supposed to get over to help.

Good recognition by Griffin, though, to see Roby break wide open and quickly release the ball.

ROOM FOR EVERYONE? The Saints have a ton of depth at safety now. One of the guys they're high on is backup Rafael Bush, who was great on special teams last year. He's been working his way into a number of packages, sometimes with the first string and clerly is ahead of Isa Abdul-Quddus in the pecking order.

Veteran Jim Leonhard, who signed in free agency, has also been flying all over the field, rotating in with the first and second strings.

The good news for these guys is that Rob Ryan's defense seems to have room for plenty of defensive backs. He had six of them on the field at once during a dime installation Tuesday. I've been talking to players and coaches about that the last couple days and plan to write more in-depth on the subject Thursday.

DEPTH CHART UPDATES: When the Saints were in base defense Wednesday, the lineup looked similar to Tuesday: DEs Cam Jordan and Kenyon Coleman, DT Brodrick Bunkley, OLBs Will Smith and Victor Butler, ILBs Curtis Lofton and Jon Vilma, Ss Malcolm Jenkins and Leonhard (Roman Harper was dressed but did not participate in team drills).

One guy who hasn't been seeing many snaps with the first or second teams is linebacker David Hawthorne. He was held out with an undisclosed injury earlier in OTAs but Coach Sean Payton said he isn't being limited by injury now. Payton again stressed, however, that we can't read anything into the depth-chart rotation at this point while the Saints are still doing so much mixing and matching.


"I think part of it is the injury and that he is getting back healthy now," Payton said. "He has recovered quicker than we expected, so it's good to see him out there. He is someone that played well when we saw him in Seattle and I think it will be real important because it is a position group that is making a transition, number one, and we feel like that (he) will be productive for us, so I am anxious to see and to get to know him more on our field."


Other than the left tackle competition, the Saints' starting jobs along the offensive line seem pretty well set (LG Ben Grubbs, C Brian de la Puente, RG Jahri Evans, RT Zach Strief). Here's what the second string looks like at this point: LG Andrew Tiller, C Eric Olsen, RG Ricky Henry, RT Marcel Jones.

WHO WILL CALL PLAYS? Payton didn't get into specifics when asked if offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael will continue to call plays on offense this year. He did speak highly of Carmichael, who took over full control of the offense last year during Payton's suspension.

New Orleans Saints defense gives fans something to cheer about during Wednesday's practice | NOLA.com

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Old 06-05-2013, 08:16 PM   #2
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense gives fans something to cheer about during Wednesday's practice

I like the safety Leonard. I think he may have the best hands in our secondary. I'm also really looking forward to seeing Will Smith as a OLB.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:05 PM   #3
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense gives fans something to cheer about during Wednesday's practice

LORD KNOWS WE BARELY HAD ANYTHING TO CHEER ABOUT ON DEFENSE ALL OF LAST YEAR!
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:51 PM   #4
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense gives fans something to cheer about during Wednesday's practice

I'm not a Jim Leohnard fan at all.
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:45 AM   #5
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense gives fans something to cheer about during Wednesday's practice

Who cares if a fan doesn't like one of the players that the coaches brought in? You opinion doesn't matter. You don't coach an NFL team.

Some of us are not a fan of disloyal, fair weather fans. They reveal their character with their words about their own team. Move to Atlanta if you don't like the players the coaches selected.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:11 AM   #6
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense gives fans something to cheer about during Wednesday's practice

Originally Posted by Choupique View Post
Who cares if a fan doesn't like one of the players that the coaches brought in? You opinion doesn't matter. You don't coach an NFL team.

Some of us are not a fan of disloyal, fair weather fans. They reveal their character with their words about their own team. Move to Atlanta if you don't like the players the coaches selected.
You don't sound happy, happy, happy!
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:33 AM   #7
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense gives fans something to cheer about during Wednesday's practice

Originally Posted by Choupique View Post
Who cares if a fan doesn't like one of the players that the coaches brought in? You opinion doesn't matter. You don't coach an NFL team.

Some of us are not a fan of disloyal, fair weather fans. They reveal their character with their words about their own team. Move to Atlanta if you don't like the players the coaches selected.
VERY TRUE - BUT... All of us have our likes & dislikes. We are aloud to do this because we are just fans & NOT coaches.

So lets all agree that we are human & have likes & dislikes even when it comes to something we all love - The Saints!!
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:50 PM   #8
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense gives fans something to cheer about during Wednesday's practice

Well well well. We just might have ourselves a defense!
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:16 PM   #9
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense gives fans something to cheer about during Wednesday's practice

Originally Posted by Halo View Post
LORD KNOWS WE BARELY HAD ANYTHING TO CHEER ABOUT ON DEFENSE ALL OF LAST YEAR!
Hey now! They came right off the field after each and every touchdown, and while worst in yardage I do think we may have had the least amount of FG attempted against us last year.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:31 PM   #10
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Re: New Orleans Saints defense gives fans something to cheer about during Wednesday's practice

We did have a shut out against the Buccaneers last year for our only (winning) shut out of this century.
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