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papz 06-12-2013 09:45 AM

New Orleans Saints LBs Curtis Lofton, Jon Vilma working well together on the inside: Notebook
 
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With all the rage about the New Orleans Saints' outside linebackers and the ballyhooed "Jack" position, the two guys manning the inside linebacker positions have almost been an afterthought.

Curtis Lofton and Jonathan Vilma have quietly made a smooth transition to new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's 3-4 scheme.

Saints coach Sean Payton said although both players have primarily been 4-3 middle linebackers, they both have been quick studies in the new defense.

Vilma, who had been the Saints' starting middle linebacker for his first four seasons in New Orleans before a knee injury and Lofton's acquisition last season forced him to move to weakside outside linebacker, is playing the weakside inside position. Vilma also has been calling the plays and making most of the defensive checks.

Meanwhile, Lofton is serving as the Mike linebacker.

"Well they are both veterans and smart players, and I think their experience being at another defense, from a learning curve standpoint, they pick things up pretty quickly," Payton said. "Obviously one of them is playing the Mike over a guard bubble and the other is playing weakside, talking about Jon Vilma now, there are some nuances to the inside linebacker positions, but both of them have handled it well (as well as) the transition of this defense and I think their experience has really helped."

Lofton, who led the Saints in tackles last season, agreed. Lofton said it should help the Saints' defense that the unit now has two former middle linebackers on the inside helping each other out.

"We work really well together," Lofton said. "With him coming in last year and moving to Will and me staying at Mike, and having two great leaders on the field that only helps the defense."


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homerj07 06-12-2013 10:42 AM

Re: New Orleans Saints LBs Curtis Lofton, Jon Vilma working well together on the inside: Notebook
 
Lofton has been a good pickup. I hope that continues!

Rugby Saint II 06-12-2013 02:11 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints LBs Curtis Lofton, Jon Vilma working well together on the inside: Notebook
 
With Hawthorne rotating in I feel pretty good about this group. Actually, Hawthorne may be starting over Vilma when all is said and done. Now cross your fingers that no one else in the LB'ers go down.

rezburna 06-12-2013 06:09 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints LBs Curtis Lofton, Jon Vilma working well together on the inside: Notebook
 
I'm glad we kept Vilma. He's not the athlete he was, but he knows the game.

|Mitch| 06-12-2013 07:20 PM

Re: New Orleans Saints LBs Curtis Lofton, Jon Vilma working well together on the inside: Notebook
 
I want to see if Reddick gets mixed into the rotation...

halloween 65 06-18-2013 09:56 AM

Re: New Orleans Saints LBs Curtis Lofton, Jon Vilma working well together on the inside: Notebook
 
I've got high hopes for Reddick!!


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