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Five defensive players to watch during Saints training camp

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; 1. Is cornerback Patrick Robinson completely healed from a torn ACL suffered last season in Week 2? If so, he may reclaim the starting job at left cornerback. He lined up with the first unit during OTAs and minicamp, which ...

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Old 07-22-2014, 05:46 PM   #1
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1. Is cornerback Patrick Robinson completely healed from a torn ACL suffered last season in Week 2? If so, he may reclaim the starting job at left cornerback. He lined up with the first unit during OTAs and minicamp, which suggests that Robinson, a former first-round pick whos entering the final year of his contract, is ready for the challenge. If hes not

2. Maybe cornerback Champ Bailey is ready for that duty. The question surrounding Bailey is obvious: How much does he have left? Hes 36 years old and while he has a Hall of Fame resume 52 career interceptions, nine forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, 235 passes defensed and 12 Pro Bowl appearances in 15 seasons he missed 11 regular-season games with a foot injury last season and didnt record an interception for the first time in his career. The best-case scenario might be Robinson claiming the starting position and Bailey starting at nickel. His experience is invaluable; the Saints believe he has life left in his legs, too.

3. Linebacker Victor Butler missed all of last season with a torn ACL, so hes almost like a free agent signee (again) this offseason. If hes healthy, he could join the starting unit and if hes what the Saints believed he was when he was signed as a free agent and no one knows that better than defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who was Butlers defensive coordinator in Dallas then hell be a valuable addition to a Saints defense that was outstanding last season. Another pass rusher is never a bad thing. Bookend rushers Cameron Jordan (12.5 sacks) and Junior Galette (12 sacks) were more than most blockers could handle last season.

4. Jordan and Galette should draw increased attention this season, which could pave the way for defensive tackle Akiem Hicks to shine even more than he did last season, when he posted 4.5 sacks. There were times last season when Hicks appeared pretty close to unblockable. If opposing offensive lines are forced to single up on him because of the attention they have to give Jordan, a first-time Pro Bowler last season, and Galette, then Hicks could have the kind of year that defensive tackles dream of, in terms of pass rushing. Hes an every-down force (72 tackles last season) who has room to improve.

5. Safety Jairus Byrd had back surgery this offseason, so training camp will be an opportunity for everyone to see (1) how well he has recovered from surgery and (2) the ball-hawking skills that made him a priority for the Saints in free agency. Byrd has 22 interceptions, five fumble recoveries and 11 forced fumbles in five NFL seasons. The Saints are counting on his ability to attack the football to help the defense create more turnovers this season (only once in his career has he had less than three interceptions in a season; three times, hes had at least four). His talents should allow fellow safety Kenny Vaccaro to concentrate on fewer responsibilities and make the secondary even more formidable than last season.

Five defensive players to watch during Saints training camp

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Old 07-22-2014, 06:37 PM   #2
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Re: Five defensive players to watch during Saints training camp

Victor Butler, I can't wait to see him play
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:56 PM   #3
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Re: Five defensive players to watch during Saints training camp

The American Journal of Sports Medicine found that returning ACL injury players have diminished performance on the field. There are some that beat the odds but those cases are few and far between. The key is having the injury at a young age. Robinson is older, same with Butler. They are in their late 20's.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:04 AM   #4
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Re: Five defensive players to watch during Saints training camp

Jean-Baptiste, Sunseri, Fortt, and Powell are also guys I look forward to watching this preseason.
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:38 AM   #5
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Re: Five defensive players to watch during Saints training camp

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Old 07-23-2014, 06:41 AM   #6
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Re: Five defensive players to watch during Saints training camp

Patrick Robinson - check
Victor Butler - check

the others i am not so worried about.

I knock Roy Boy but one thing he is usually very good at is LB
Saints three mid rounds picks

Ronald Powell - OLB that can give the studs a break by season end with spot duty? this could be a huge pick when you do the redrafts in 2019.

Vinnie Sunseri - I like the pick and can live with risk. Smart aggressive hard hitting football players always are welcomed. he can become our 4th S right out of the gate on the depth chart

Khairi Fortt - a pick i still do not get. Pierre Desir was on the board even. it is impossible to ever have too many corners. This kid kid needs a ton of work and i am hoping that is all he needs. instincts I question big time. angles he takes are not so good to put it nicely. he is in the same boat as Tavon Rooks. ok surprise me but i am not holding my breath

UDFA
Brian Dixon, CB, Northwest Missouri State - I am really looking forward to see what this kid can do

runner up defensive UDFA
George Uko, DT, Southern California
Pierre Warren, S, Jacksonville State
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:22 AM   #7
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Re: Five defensive players to watch during Saints training camp

Um.... Vaccaro.... Hello???
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:46 PM   #8
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Re: Five defensive players to watch during Saints training camp

I think White stays as the #3, in my opinion he is the best #3 in the league. The battle should be Bailey and Robinson, not bad comp. there. If Robinson is 100% I think its his to lose if not Bailey and the rookie(Baptiste) fight it out. Can't wait to see how this shakes out.
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:57 PM   #9
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Re: Five defensive players to watch during Saints training camp

I'll be curious to see how many snot bubbles Raphael Bush puts on WR's going across the middle... just kidding.

I'm intrigued to see how PRob and VButler perform coming off major knee injuries and also the young bucks - Powell & Sunseri.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:00 AM   #10
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Re: Five defensive players to watch during Saints training camp

Originally Posted by K Major View Post
I'll be curious to see how many snot bubbles Raphael Bush puts on WR's going across the middle... just kidding.
the defensive player that get the most bubbles gets a game ball
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