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Smith finding familiar roles in new Saints defense

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; METAIRIE, La. When the Saints' Will Smith burst through the line for his first sack of this preseason, he was lined up at the defensive end spot he's played the first nine years of his career, not at his ...

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Old 08-21-2013, 05:22 PM   #1
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METAIRIE, La. When the Saints' Will Smith burst through the line for his first sack of this preseason, he was lined up at the defensive end spot he's played the first nine years of his career, not at his new outside linebacker spot.

That doesn't mean the Saints are leaning toward making Smith a lineman again, coach Sean Payton said, but does mean the club will routinely play to Smith's established strengths as a pass rusher in its new 3-4 defense.

"If you take any one of these teams that are in a 3-4 front (three linemen, four linebackers), the minute you get into your (substitution) packages, these outside linebackers generally become ends in the pass rush," Payton said.

Smith's sack of Oakland starter Matt Flynn last Friday night came on what Payton said was a tackle-end stunt, in which the tackle slants wide to rush on the edge and the end cuts behind the tackle toward the inside.

For Smith, that play would be "very similar to what he's done for the last (nine) years," Payton said. "That was very familiar to him."

Drafted 18th overall by New Orleans in 2004, Smith lined up as a defensive end, with his hand on the ground, in a 4-3 front.

This season, he sometimes lines up standing upright, and sometimes gets down in a three-point stance as a traditional end might.

Although Smith potentially could get caught in some mismatches with quicker players while trying to cover short passes, the veteran defender has maintained that talk of his transition to a new position is overblown.

"The majority of the time I'm rushing the passer," Smith said. "Every now and then I drop back in coverage and try to guard those speedsters, but I don't do that much and I do what I've been doing the last nine years.

"I'm going to be rushing the passer, I'm going to be playing the run," Smith continued. "For the most part, I'm going to be doing the same thing I've always done and that's why I said it wasn't that big of a transition."


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Old 08-21-2013, 05:32 PM   #2
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Re: Smith finding familiar roles in new Saints defense

As long as he rarely covers, I'm fine.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:34 PM   #3
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Re: Smith finding familiar roles in new Saints defense

Smiths established strength -Contract negotiations.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:59 PM   #4
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Re: Smith finding familiar roles in new Saints defense

Please pardon my skepticism, but he wasn't all that good in the 4-3 to begin with.

May as well try to get something positive from him.
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:02 PM   #5
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Re: Smith finding familiar roles in new Saints defense

John DeShazier: Will Smith transition looks more solid by the day
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:02 PM   #6
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Re: Smith finding familiar roles in new Saints defense

I think we see 8+ sacks from him this year
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:04 PM   #7
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Re: Smith finding familiar roles in new Saints defense

Originally Posted by |Mitch| View Post
I think we see 8+ sacks from him this year
I hope you are prescient Mitch.
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:05 PM   #8
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Re: Smith finding familiar roles in new Saints defense

No question Oak, Smith got one over on the Saints. He Star Capped our cap.
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:13 PM   #9
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Re: Smith finding familiar roles in new Saints defense

Originally Posted by Associated Press View Post
METAIRIE, La. When the Saints' Will Smith burst through the line for his first sack of this preseason, he was lined up at the defensive end spot...doesn't mean the Saints are leaning toward making Smith a lineman again, ...but does mean the club will routinely play to Smith's established strengths as a pass rusher...
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:51 PM   #10
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Re: Smith finding familiar roles in new Saints defense

I'm probably reaching, but its been a long time since Will Smith had a decent D-Lineman next to him. Maybe, just maybe...

1. Will Smith will reap the benefits of having Jordan/Hicks next to him.
2. Monkey's fly out my ass.

Vegas odds are 50/50.
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