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Defensive line the early favorite for New Orleans Saints' comeback unit of the year

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; If the New Orleans Saints had gotten this kind of production out of their front four pass rushers last year, former defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo might still have his job. That's not meant to take anything away from new Saints ...

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Old 09-09-2013, 08:50 PM   #1
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If the New Orleans Saints had gotten this kind of production out of their front four pass rushers last year, former defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo might still have his job.

That's not meant to take anything away from new Saints coordinator Rob Ryan, who figured out a way to get the most out of his big men up front against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Ryan's versatile scheme worked brilliantly in the 23-17 victory, and he deserves a game ball for the way he mixed up his pressure packages and coverages to keep the Falcons off balance all afternoon.

But any defensive scheme is bound to be more successful if the guys up front can bring as much consistent pressure as Saints like linemen Cameron Jordan, Akiem Hicks, Tyrunn Walker and Tom Johnson and outside linebackers Junior Galette and Parys Haralson did throughout Sunday's game.

"When you get pressure on a quarterback, that disrupts everything," said Haralson, who recently arrived in New Orleans after playing for several dominant San Francisco 49ers defenses under multiple coordinators in recent years. "Whether that's here or San Francisco, it doesn't matter. That's just a universal rule in football."

That pressure was lacking last year when the Saints relied on their four-man front more than ever under Spagnuolo, who didn't blitz as often as Ryan or former coordinator Gregg Williams.

But the Saints' big men up front all went into beast mode on Sunday.

Galette, Haralson and Hicks each had a sack. Galette also forced an offensive holding call to negate a key third-down conversion in the fourth quarter. Jordan, who played every snap, wreaked havoc consistently against the pass and the run, helping to force an intentional grounding penalty at one point. Johnson, Walker and inside linebacker Curtis Lofton each knocked quarterback Matt Ryan to the ground while helping to force incomplete throws.

The best part of their performance is that it came heavily from young, up-and-coming players who are still just scratching the surface of their potential.

"We know we're not there yet, where we want to be," Galette said after Sunday's game. "But we've got guys up front that are so talented, under the radar guys, guys that were undrafted like Tyrunn and Tom Johnson. When Glenn (Foster) comes back (from an ankle injury), he's gonna add fuel to the fire. Cam, everybody knows about Cam. But I still feel like he's underrated.

"Everybody on the d-line just has a chip on their shoulder. We just want to get after it. A credit to our back end, too, they really did a good job getting Matt Ryan to hold onto the ball."

Read more: Defensive line the early favorite for New Orleans Saints' comeback unit of the year | NOLA.com

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Old 09-11-2013, 12:55 PM   #2
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Re: Defensive line the early favorite for New Orleans Saints' comeback unit of the year

I hope Bunkley is ok.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:02 PM   #3
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Re: Defensive line the early favorite for New Orleans Saints' comeback unit of the year

This unit ever gets healthy - look out...

You could rotate fresh players in every series without a dropoff in performance...

In fact, you could create matchup problems for opposing blocking schemes...
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:08 PM   #4
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Re: Defensive line the early favorite for New Orleans Saints' comeback unit of the year

Out for several weeks.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:17 PM   #5
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Re: Defensive line the early favorite for New Orleans Saints' comeback unit of the year

Let's see the Worst Defense in the History of the NFL and they'll be comeback unit of the year? Where else can they go? Oh yeah, "The sky is above our heads"
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