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WhoDat!656 08-26-2013 04:47 PM

Saints Preview: Just a Little Bit of ‘D’ Will Do
 
Despite a lack of talent, new coordinator Rob Ryan doesn't have to do much for the Saints to be back on top


They’ve served their Bountygate sentences, and now the Saints can go back to being contenders again … right? General manager Mickey Loomis returned from his suspension in Week 10 last season. Assistant head coach Joe Vitt was back in Week 8, and the players’ appeals were upheld by nonpartisan judge Paul Tagliabue in December. The franchise’s final penance was paid this past April when it forfeited its second-round draft pick.

That was three months after Sean Payton’s reinstatement. Having the eighth-year head coach back is a huge plus, but it’s unlikely that Payton’s mere presence will fix the issues that made the Saints a 7-9 team last season. His primary focus is the offense—which, despite some occasional choppiness, was its usual productive self. Even during an 0-4 start, New Orleans averaged 27.5 points and 401.5 yards per game. For the season, the Saints ranked third in scoring (28.8 points per game) and second in yardage (410.8 per game).

Those numbers were basically identical to what the Saints put up from 2009-11. But it wasn’t enough to compensate for a defense that allowed an all-time worst 440 yards per game. Big plays were always there for the taking; the Saints allowed a league-high 36 gains of 30-plus yards, and they surrendered two of the three 90-yard plays in the NFL last season.

No coach could have succeeded with New Orleans’ defense, particularly after it was ravaged by injuries at cornerback. Still, record-setting futility demands a fall guy. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was an obvious candidate after Payton and Loomis decided to install a new 3-4 scheme in 2013.

To direct the 3-4, the Saints hired Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator—he’s now held the job with four teams in 10 years. The garrulous Ryan is saddled with a lot of the same players Spagnuolo had. They are learning an intricate system that has them operating from a totally unfamiliar alignment. It will be next to impossible for Ryan to turn things around right away. But the good news is he doesn’t have to take this defense to the top, he just has to take it back to the middle. The other side of the ball can handle the heavy lifting.

Read more: New Orleans Saints 2013 Preview: Rob Ryan's defense doesn't have to do much | The MMQB with Peter King

|Mitch| 08-26-2013 05:02 PM

Re: Saints Preview: Just a Little Bit of ‘D’ Will Do
 
Quote:

Defensive end Cameron Jordan’s lack of outside explosiveness will be less of a problem in this new scheme, but that doesn’t mean he’ll thrive.
I lost interest!

WhoDat!656 08-26-2013 05:05 PM

Re: Saints Preview: Just a Little Bit of ‘D’ Will Do
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by |Mitch| (Post 520150)
I lost interest!

In all fairness, the article was written a month ago; I just saw it today.

QBREES9 08-26-2013 10:56 PM

Re: Saints Preview: Just a Little Bit of ‘D’ Will Do
 
Oh ok.

Crusader 08-27-2013 05:55 AM

Re: Saints Preview: Just a Little Bit of ‘D’ Will Do
 
I read the headline and thought "Thats what she said"

Rugby Saint II 08-27-2013 02:40 PM

Re: Saints Preview: Just a Little Bit of ‘D’ Will Do
 
Kenyon Coleman is playing?

TheOak 08-27-2013 02:52 PM

Re: Saints Preview: Just a Little Bit of ‘D’ Will Do
 
Heh... Peter King... the Tebow of MMQBs.

homerj07 08-27-2013 07:37 PM

Re: Saints Preview: Just a Little Bit of ‘D’ Will Do
 
I hate Tebow. BUT - don't insult Tebow that way


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