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WhoDat_WeDat 08-23-2013 05:03 PM

After showing by Humber and Hawthorne, Saints view ILB position as a Strength o
 
Source:http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2013/0...n-as-strength/

METAIRIE, La. Between Jonathan Vilma's latest knee surgery and Curtis Lofton's mysterious absence late last week, it's hard to know who might see the most work at inside linebacker in the Saints' new defensive scheme.
Good thing for New Orleans that it appears to have solid depth in that area.
Roman Humber and David Hawthorne demonstrated that in Friday night's preseason game against Oakland.
"Both those guys played well," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "With the snaps that they're getting, the reps they're getting we just finished talking about this a little bit going into the start of the season, we just have to continue to develop and train and be ready to play.
"Knowing how the season unfolds, all of these guys end up in roles that are significant. We just don't know which game," Payton added. "Hopefully you stay as healthy as possible, but with the roster size that it is and the length of the season, that's pretty normal."
Humber, a fifth-year pro who was undrafted out of North Dakota State, filled in for Lofton at strong-side middle linebacker and was credited with nine tackles, including a sack and a stop on fourth-and-short.
Hawthorne, in his sixth season, had three tackles while playing Vilma's weakside spot.
They manned the middle of a unit that allowed 130 yards, one offensive touchdown and sacked Raiders starter Matt Flynn in the first half, after which mostly reserves came in.
Lofton, who has a history of back problems, returned to practice Monday but declined to discuss why he did not play Friday. He said he sees inside linebacker as one of the strengths of New Orleans' defense.
He was not surprised by the showing of Humber and Hawthorne, whom he's seen working extra in the film room and after practice. They've been sure to ask as many questions as it takes to nail down their assignments. Lofton also said their maturity is helping them cope better with the speed of the game.
"We're all in our prime," Lofton said. "Football has got to slow down. 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."
The 28-year-old Hawthorne started 10 games last season, but was hampered by left knee and right hamstring injuries and has said he is eager to show he can provide more support to his unit than he did a year ago.
Humber, who started his career in Indianapolis in 2009 and played against New Orleans in the Super Bowl, joined the Saints in 2010 and has seen much of his work on special teams.
"This year is different," Humber said. "I think this year I came in a little hungrier and little more focused. I'm really just focused on being all I can be out on the field and not just being known as a special teams player."
Humber said he feels comfortable playing either inside linebacker spot. That means he, too, could be a candidate to fill in on the weak side should Vilma's rehabilitation from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee not be complete when the regular season opens Sept 8.
"Anywhere they need me, I'll play," Humber said. "It doesn't really matter to me, just as long as I get the opportunity to play."
For now, though, Hawthorne is working as the starter in Vilma's spot, and it is not at all clear when Vilma, who has had recurring left knee problems the past two seasons, will be back.
When Payton was asked if he could estimate a timeline for Vilma's return, he responded, "No," and abruptly walked away from reporters.

Danno 08-23-2013 05:15 PM

Re: After showing by Humber and Hawthorne, Saints view ILB position as a Strength o
 
If the light has truly come on for Humber, and Hawthorne returns to his Seattle era form, they just may be the two best ILB's on this team.

blackangold 08-23-2013 05:51 PM

Re: After showing by Humber and Hawthorne, Saints view ILB position as a Strength o
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Danno (Post 519353)
If the light has truly come on for Humber, and Hawthorne returns to his Seattle era form, they just may be the two best ILB's on this team.

Very true... i have to say I was absolutely shocked at how well humber played. I have always enjoyed watching the guy but in that preseason game he looked like a all-pro ILB.

westbankdaze 08-23-2013 06:50 PM

Re: After showing by Humber and Hawthorne, Saints view ILB position as a Strength o
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Danno (Post 519353)
If the light has truly come on for Humber, and Hawthorne returns to his Seattle era form, they just may be the two best ILB's on this team.

Which isn't saying much.

halloween 65 08-23-2013 07:07 PM

Re: After showing by Humber and Hawthorne, Saints view ILB position as a Strength o
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Danno (Post 519353)
If the light has truly come on for Humber, and Hawthorne returns to his Seattle era form, they just may be the two best ILB's on this team.

I don't see Vilma playing to many games if any before he's down again. Lofton only good on the run. Humber and Hawthorn are much more versitile, Reddick is doing good and is a natural ILB that could be at the least a good backup. I would let Vilma go, start Humber and Hawthorn, let Reddick get baptism by fire in relief of both, and play Lofton on run downs and in a 4-3 set only.

homerj07 08-23-2013 08:01 PM

Re: After showing by Humber and Hawthorne, Saints view ILB position as a Strength o
 
Vilma? Think we will see him again

QBREES9 08-23-2013 09:32 PM

Re: After showing by Humber and Hawthorne, Saints view ILB position as a Strength o
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by homerj07 (Post 519394)
Vilma? Think we will see him again

good question. I would say yes.

RockyMountainSaint 08-23-2013 09:39 PM

Re: After showing by Humber and Hawthorne, Saints view ILB position as a Strength o
 
2 Attachment(s)
I am pulling for the both of them.

Utah_Saint 08-23-2013 11:21 PM

Re: After showing by Humber and Hawthorne, Saints view ILB position as a Strength o
 
I think Lofton, Vilma, Hawthorne and Humber will make a pretty good rotation.

QBREES9 08-24-2013 05:23 AM

Re: After showing by Humber and Hawthorne, Saints view ILB position as a Strength o
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Danno (Post 519353)
If the light has truly come on for Humber, and Hawthorne returns to his Seattle era form, they just may be the two best ILB's on this team.

True


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