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New Orleans Saints can easily overcome loss of Victor Butler

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; By Jeff Duncan, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune Follow on Twitter on June 12, 2013 at 9:51 PM, updated June 13, 2013 at 1:47 AM Take a deep breath, Saints fans. It's going to be OK. Victor Butler's injury will not ...

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Old 06-13-2013, 06:54 AM   #1
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By Jeff Duncan, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
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on June 12, 2013 at 9:51 PM, updated June 13, 2013 at 1:47 AM

Take a deep breath, Saints fans. It's going to be OK. Victor Butler's injury will not derail the Saints' season.

I wasn't as high on Butler as colleague Mike Triplett. While I see Butler's season-ending knee injury as certainly a blow to the Saints' defense, I think it's far from a "devastating" one. The Saints have enough depth to withstand the impact of his loss and enough time to plan to compensate for it.


First of all, let's set the record straight: Butler was far from dominant player. Sure, he was a solid addition, a veteran player in his prime who was penciled in to start at strongside linebacker. But I don't think anyone in Saints camp saw him as a difference maker.

After all, if Butler were such a force, he'd have been tried at the Jack linebacker spot instead of the strongside position. As I wrote last week, the Jack is the glamor position in the 3-4 scheme. It's the play-making spot. New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan knows Butler well from their time together in Dallas. If he felt Butler was the best pass rusher on the defense he'd have had him at Jack instead of Will Smith and Junior Galette, the two guys who were seeing the majority of snaps at the Jack.

Moreover, the Saints weren't paying Butler to be a major player. Butler signed a two-year deal that would pay him a maximum of $3 million in that span. That's bargain-basement compensation for a starting outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. If the Saints or anyone else felt he was a difference maker he'd have earned a much more lucrative deal on the open market.

And third, his statistics were only modest with Dallas. He never had more than three sacks in a season and didn't make a dent in the two games he started, totaling two tackles and zero sacks in more than 90 snaps. In fact, his totals of 25 tackles and three sacks in 289 snaps last season were roughly the same as Galette's numbers (21 tackles, five sacks) in 298 snaps. The difference: Galette was credited with about twice as many quarterback pressures.


Here's how colleague Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com evaluated Butler's four-year tenure in Dallas:

"The Cowboys had hopes their fourth-round pick (110th overall, 2009) would contribute on special teams and provide solid pass-rush skills. Butler was inconsistent with the Cowboys, and after visiting at least four NFL teams this offseason, he found a home with the Saints. Butler has potential but needs to solve the inconsistency problems."

Another longtime Cowboys observer, Jean-Jacques Taylor, called Butler "another wasted draft pick" after he played just three snaps in a 38-31 loss to Washington in Week 11:

"Victor Butler, who has shown an ability to rush the passer this season, had his most limited playing time of the season. At a time when a young player such as Butler should be pressing for playing time, his keeps getting reduced. Yet another unproductive draft pick."

None of this to disparage Butler, who was allowed to walk in Dallas largely because of the Cowboys' decision to switch to a 4-3 scheme under Monte Kiffin.


But it's also to lend a dose of perspective. Butler's loss is significant. But let's not get carried away here. This isn't Terrell Suggs or Elvis Dumervil we're talking about.

I expect Martez Wilson or even Will Smith to slide into Butler's spot without much if any dropoff in production. Behind them, look for Ramon Humber or one of the newcomers Baraka Atkins, Rufus Johnson and Chase Thomas to vie for playing time. Whichever one emerges in training camp will likely earn the fourth roster spot at outside linebacker. Regardless, the Saints will be fine.

New Orleans Saints can easily overcome loss of Victor Butler | NOLA.com

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Old 06-13-2013, 07:12 AM   #2
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Re: New Orleans Saints can easily overcome loss of Victor Butler

easily overcome ? makes the lb corp less flexible
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:32 AM   #3
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Re: New Orleans Saints can easily overcome loss of Victor Butler

So does every injury to every position group. Still the sky isn't falling.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:37 AM   #4
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Re: New Orleans Saints can easily overcome loss of Victor Butler

Define depth.

Worse D in the league has depth?
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:40 AM   #5
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Re: New Orleans Saints can easily overcome loss of Victor Butler

that's some good data there.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:53 AM   #6
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Re: New Orleans Saints can easily overcome loss of Victor Butler

I thought the mini camp and ota's didnt mean too much that training camp and preseason was the deciding factor. Why is he taking such a dump on butler basically calling him a scrub player. A few teams didnt think so and neither did us. Im not saying he was gonna be demarcus ware but just never got his time to shine over ware and spencer. I do think we will be ok but no need to crap on him though.


The end is nigh
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:58 AM   #7
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Re: New Orleans Saints can easily overcome loss of Victor Butler

I REALLY was anxious to see what BUTLER could bring to the table . . with more playing time and EXPERIENCE with the 3-4 scheme . . . . there is no way his numbers weren't going to climb . . . don't leave out his CONFIDENCE ! ! !! I think he would have been a DIFFERENCE MAKER . .. . but now its time for the next man to step up and . .. . DO HIS JOB (SEAN PAYTON VOICE) . . . .. LOL WHO DATT! !!!!!
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:14 AM   #8
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Re: New Orleans Saints can easily overcome loss of Victor Butler

Originally Posted by Euphoria View Post
Define depth.

Worse D in the league has depth?
OK

Depth - The extent, measurement, or dimension downward, backward, or inward.

Depth has zero to do with talent.

Talent -
A unit of value equal to the value of a talent of gold or silver.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:26 AM   #9
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Re: New Orleans Saints can easily overcome loss of Victor Butler

Originally Posted by Euphoria View Post
Define depth.

Worse D in the league has depth?
We're not the worst defense in the league.

We were the worst defense in the league in 2012.

2013.. different players, different coaches, different scheme, fewer distractions, new head coach.
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:07 PM   #10
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Re: New Orleans Saints can easily overcome loss of Victor Butler

Originally Posted by Danno View Post
We're not the worst defense in the league.

We were the worst defense in the league in 2012.

2013.. different players, different coaches, different scheme, fewer distractions, new head coach.
Same Head Coach
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