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The cry for more turnovers resonates with the defense

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; “Ball, ball, ball!” This cry can be heard echoing between the Allegheny Mountains whenever the ball hits The Greenbrier grass during practice at the New Orleans Saints’ training camp. It doesn’t matter if it has been fumbled or if it ...

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Old 08-06-2014, 06:34 PM   #1
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“Ball, ball, ball!”

This cry can be heard echoing between the Allegheny Mountains whenever the ball hits The Greenbrier grass during practice at the New Orleans Saints’ training camp. It doesn’t matter if it has been fumbled or if it is an incomplete pass. Secondary coach Wesley McGriff never wants his men to leave things to chance -- even when the outcome is obvious.

There’s a reason for this.

“At the end of every play the ball is the issue,” McGriff said. “So if we can get a lot of guys around the football, we have a high probability of taking the ball away. Be ball conscious.”

That has been the biggest theme of training camp thus far. The Saints created a paltry 18 turnovers last season, and are aware that doubling that number, while not a neccessity, would help them make a deep march into the playoffs.

It remains to be seen if the increased emphasis on creating turnovers in practices will translate into success on Sundays. Despite efforts to create them, the opportunities can be difficult to come by. Despite ranking fifth in yards allowed last season, the Saints finished in the bottom of the league in turnovers. In 2012, when it allowed 7,042 yards, New Orleans created 26 takeaways.

Granted, the 2012 team was on the field more often, and the porous play of the unit might have led to offenses taking more risks, but that group still averaged a turnover every 41 plays. Last year’s team averaged one every 55 plays.

Many of the moves made on the defensive side of the ball this offseason was with an eye toward improving that ratio, including the signings of safety Jairus Byrd, who has intercepted 22 passes over his five years in the league, and cornerback Champ Bailey. But bringing in a few new troops isn’t enough to turn this around.

“You don’t put all that on one man,” defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said. “We have an excellent defense. We’re going to work. We are going to strive to be better on these turnovers. We have to be. It is not just a one man job. It has to be all of us.”

So, the rest of the defense not only needs to take advantage of the opportunities that exist, they also need to find more ways to create them. That starts with jumping on the ball whenever it hits the grass, but it also means going about business with an entirely different mindset.



“What you have to do is make a conscious effort every single day to get the ball,” McGriff said. “The next thing you have to do is make sure you have strong population around the football on every play. I think the more aggressive you are with your hands, the more people you have around the football, you increase your opportunities to create turnovers.”

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Old 08-06-2014, 07:05 PM   #2
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Re: The cry for more turnovers resonates with the defense

I think the signing of Byrd and a year of experience for Vaccaro will make turnovers almost automatic.
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:05 PM   #3
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Re: The cry for more turnovers resonates with the defense

"...fifth in yards allowed last season"?

I thought the Saints were fourth. By 180 yards.

2013 NFL Team Total Stats - National Football League - ESPN

Anyone know the author's metric?
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:56 PM   #4
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Re: The cry for more turnovers resonates with the defense

Just make sure of the tackle first.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:45 PM   #5
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Re: The cry for more turnovers resonates with the defense

We left a lot of points on the field defensively last year. As good of a turnaround our defense made last year we sucked at interceptions.
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:48 AM   #6
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Re: The cry for more turnovers resonates with the defense

Does anybody else see the position Bailey's ankle is in on this pic? Pretty scary, if Lorig rolls that ankle. Could become a season ending injury. Hope that players are more conscious of the location of there ankles as well. It only takes one 200+ lbs. guy to roll on it and they are done.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:03 PM   #7
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Re: The cry for more turnovers resonates with the defense

get the ball. strip the ball. jump on the ball.

oh yeah do not forget to tackle the guy first.

i am looking at Hicks and Jenkins to continue to improve and at the least collapse the pocket more this year. the resulting QB pressures will be huge.

If Hicks and Jenkins can do this and Jr and Jordan continue at their pace of dbl digits sacks the secondary and LB should have more than few easy picks come their way.

who knows hicks might just join the bakers dozen club this year for sacks.

it all starts up front.
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:26 AM   #8
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Re: The cry for more turnovers resonates with the defense

Byrd, Bailey-great hands. Vaccarro will be better after his rookie year and Rafael Bush developed late last year. If Cam Jordan, Hicks and Junior Galette can improve too which I believe they will then I forsee an improved pass rush with what should be a vastly improved secondary which is suddenly loaded with ballhawks. I still see an overall mediocre LB core but Ryan seems to be a genius like his dad so I'm very confident. I'm hoping we get nearly 18 TO in INT alone this year.
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