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Humber, Hawthorne give Saints confidence in depth at inside linebacker .

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Humber, Hawthorne give Saints confidence in depth at inside linebacker August 20, 2013 at 9:41 AMBradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter Email: bhandwerger@wwltv.com | Twitter: @wwltvsports METAIRIE, La. — The names of New Orleans’ starting inside linebackers Friday night were ...

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Old 08-20-2013, 07:36 PM   #1
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Humber, Hawthorne give Saints confidence in depth at inside linebacker .

Humber, Hawthorne give Saints confidence in depth at inside linebacker August 20, 2013 at 9:41 AMBradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
Email: bhandwerger@wwltv.com | Twitter: @wwltvsports

METAIRIE, La. — The names of New Orleans’ starting inside linebackers Friday night were relatively unknown.

Only the most informed of Saints fans could have told you who Ramon Humber and David Hawthorne were prior to it.

And now?

Now those previously concerned with the Saints’ depth at inside linebacker are less so thanks to an extraordinary effort by Humber and a solid one by Hawthorne.

With Curtis Lofton forced to take three days off during preseason so far – four including the preseason game against Oakland – and Jonathan Vilma undergoing arthroscopic surgery to his left knee, it’s likely that Humber, if not also Hawthorne, earned more playing time with their combined effort against the Raiders.

“Both of those guys played well,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “With the snaps that they’re receiving and the reps that they’re receiving, going into the start of the season we just have to develop and train and be ready to play. Knowing how the season unfolds, all of these guys will end up in roles that are significant.”

Hawthorne finished with three tackles while Humber was all over the field, ending with a game-high nine tackles, one sack and one quarterback hit. The two combined to stuff Darren McFadden on a fourth-and-one on the opening series of the game.

But while those unfamiliar with the team didn’t see it coming, those on it were unsurprised at the result.

“They come in here every day, work, extra film study,” Lofton said. “Ask questions. If they don’t understand something, they stay extra. That’s just them. They’ve got a great work ethic and they come out in practice and do it every single day.”

Humber and Hawthorne made their way to New Orleans in different ways. The latter signed a multi-year multi-million dollar free agent deal in 2011. The former has signed multiple one-year contracts since 2010, playing a key special teams role in each of the past two seasons.

For Humber, the sudden spotlight isn’t what he’s looking for in football. Following practice Monday, he tried to quickly escape the throng of media assembled around the podium.

When stopped and asked about whether he liked the attention, he responded in a low tone, “No, I do not to be honest.”

Still, he answered the questions, saying he gained confidence in his performance Friday. But he’s not allowing himself to let his ego grow beyond its means.

“Me, just in general, I know what I can do, how I can perform,” Humber said. “Just being able to go out there and have a game like that, it’s (brought) up a little bit more, but I’ve still got to be humble, still got to look at the details that you messed up on.”

Humber and Hawthorne are entering their fifth and sixth seasons in the NFL, respectively, and that’s a significant point in their careers. Including Lofton, who also is entering his sixth year, three of New Orleans’ top four choices at inside linebacker are entering their prime football years.

“Football has got to slow down,” Lofton said. “It slowed down for me and it’s starting to slow down for those guys. You can see that in how they played this past week.”Humber, Hawthorne give Saints confidence in depth at inside linebacker | wwltv.com New Orleans
Humber is officially a lock for the 53.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:50 PM   #2
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Re: Humber, Hawthorne give Saints confidence in depth at inside linebacker .

I'm not so sure 1 of the 2 will not be a back-up but start. Possibly both.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:58 PM   #3
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Re: Humber, Hawthorne give Saints confidence in depth at inside linebacker .

Originally Posted by halloween 65 View Post
I'm not so sure 1 of the 2 will not be a back-up but start. Possibly both.
I know its pre-season and all of us know only a fraction of what the coaches know (ie. Roman Harper), but I've been more impressed with Hawthorne/Humber than Vilma/Lofton at ILB.

Is it just me or am I all alone on this?
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:21 PM   #4
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Re: Humber, Hawthorne give Saints confidence in depth at inside linebacker .

I was actually more excited about the signing of Hawthorne last offseason than of Lofton after having seen couple of Seattle's games where he absolutely dominated.

Unfortunately, he suffered that injury last preseason which really put him in a bad spot to compete for a starting role or to be relevant in the Saints' defense in general.

I'm not saying that he has now fulfilled my expectations, but it's certainly looking much more promising that he'll actually be able to contribute something tangible this year as opposed to last year.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:47 PM   #5
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Re: Humber, Hawthorne give Saints confidence in depth at inside linebacker .

I know Hawthorne was considered a good coverage linebacker while he played in Seattle.

How is Humber in coverage?
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:03 PM   #6
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Re: Humber, Hawthorne give Saints confidence in depth at inside linebacker .

Lets hope they both play well.
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:15 AM   #7
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Re: Humber, Hawthorne give Saints confidence in depth at inside linebacker .

if Hawthorne has a bounce back season we will all be happy
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:53 AM   #8
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Re: Humber, Hawthorne give Saints confidence in depth at inside linebacker .

I still think Vilma has a lot to contribute but I also wouldn't mind seeing Hawthorne/Lofton as the main ILB combo in there.

I always have been impressed with Humber but I've seen something from him this preseason that I haven't noticed before and that is his range. He has a lot more speed than I remember, or maybe his reads have improved. Either way he is getting to the ball much faster.

I'm sure there will be plenty of chances to get everybody some playing time. You don't have to always have a pass rusher at your OLB in a 3-4 and I could easily see Hawthorne or Vilma getting in on obvious run downs or spots where you want a little more pursuit ability. I have a feeling they're going to be shuttling people on and off the field so much it will keep the other team guessing.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:29 AM   #9
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Re: Humber, Hawthorne give Saints confidence in depth at inside linebacker .

I say leave Humber in as a starter. He looks good.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:14 PM   #10
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Re: Humber, Hawthorne give Saints confidence in depth at inside linebacker .

Could Humber and Lofton both start?
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