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Fielding an upgraded defensive line, Saints look to improve standings from scratch

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Fielding an upgraded defensive line, Saints look to improve standings from scratch BY JOEL A. ERICKSON | JERICKSON@THEADVOCATE.COM Joel Erickson JUL 29, 2017 - 3:15 PM For all of the moves the New Orleans Saints have made this offseason, the ...

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Old 07-30-2017, 09:57 AM   #1
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Fielding an upgraded defensive line, Saints look to improve standings from scratch

BY JOEL A. ERICKSON | JERICKSON@THEADVOCATE.COM
Joel Erickson

JUL 29, 2017 - 3:15 PM



For all of the moves the New Orleans Saints have made this offseason, the book on the team remains the same.

As long as Drew Brees and Sean Payton are in charge, the offense will be explosive.

But the defense has to carry more of the weight.

The Saints finished 28th in the NFL or worse in scoring defense in each of the past three years. Now, in training camp, Dennis Allen's unit must improve for the team to be a playoff contender.

"Our defense has to improve, and we’ve brought some guys in at every level with the D-line, the linebackers and safeties," general manager Mickey Loomis said Wednesday. "I feel good about the additions, but we’re going to have to get into this training camp and get into the early part of the season to see what the results are."

Injuries crippled the Saints' best-laid plans for defensive personnel the past two seasons, and Allen spent last year constantly tweaking his scheme to account for players moving in and out of the lineup.

"You know, in our league, you never know what's going to happen," Allen said. "All of a sudden, you have an injury or somebody's released, and now you've got to adjust your thought process."

With that in mind, the Saints spent the offseason determined to build depth at all levels of the defense.

New Orleans added edge rusher Alex Okafor, linebackers A.J. Klein and Manti Te'o, brought back safety Rafael Bush and spent five of its seven draft picks on defensive players.

"We're pretty much starting from scratch," defensive end Cameron Jordan said. "Three or four new linebackers, we've got another edge defender in Alex Okafor. We've got two new young guys in (Al-Quadin Muhammad) and Trey (Hendrickson). Hau'oli (Kikaha) is coming back healthy. You talk about the secondary — I don't know what the shape of that's going to be, but I do know this defense has high potential."

Allen's defense suffered at least one major blow before the team even reported for training camp last week.

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Old 07-30-2017, 10:02 AM   #2
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Re: Fielding an upgraded defensive line, Saints look to improve standings from scratch

Without even factoring in any actual play on the field, the defense is already improved over the past few years in depth alone.
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Old 07-30-2017, 10:22 AM   #3
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Re: Fielding an upgraded defensive line, Saints look to improve standings from scratch

Look forward to see what Rankins can do after a full healthy offseason. We need him to be a bad man.
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Old 07-30-2017, 11:32 AM   #4
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Re: Fielding an upgraded defensive line, Saints look to improve standings from scratch

I just have a feeling David Onyemata going to have a break out season, better than Sheldon Rankins
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Old 07-30-2017, 11:56 AM   #5
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Re: Fielding an upgraded defensive line, Saints look to improve standings from scratch

Originally Posted by nola_swammi View Post
I just have a feeling David Onyemata going to have a break out season, better than Sheldon Rankins
I hope you are right. That would men Fairley will not be missed whatsoever.
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:21 PM   #6
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Re: Fielding an upgraded defensive line, Saints look to improve standings from scratch

Originally Posted by nola_swammi View Post
I just have a feeling David Onyemata going to have a break out season, better than Sheldon Rankins
I don't know about better, but definitely agree with a breakout. Everyone outside the Saints thought he was a longshot, a "raw, project type player"...but then he played significantly last year.

The fact that he's still out there this year and getting some reps with the ones means he's improving, and you know the sky is the limit with this guy. I think he's going to be dangerous.

Toss in an improved, already good Davison and a possible Zimmer...cha-ching!
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:30 PM   #7
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Re: Fielding an upgraded defensive line, Saints look to improve standings from scratch

Originally Posted by WillMacKenzie View Post
I don't know about better, but definitely agree with a breakout. Everyone outside the Saints thought he was a longshot, a "raw, project type player"...but then he played significantly last year.

The fact that he's still out there this year and getting some reps with the ones means he's improving, and you know the sky is the limit with this guy. I think he's going to be dangerous.

Toss in an improved, already good Davison and a possible Zimmer...cha-ching!
Fairley who?
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Old 07-30-2017, 04:09 PM   #8
 
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Re: Fielding an upgraded defensive line, Saints look to improve standings from scratch

Originally Posted by WillMacKenzie View Post
I don't know about better, but definitely agree with a breakout. Everyone outside the Saints thought he was a longshot, a "raw, project type player"...but then he played significantly last year.

The fact that he's still out there this year and getting some reps with the ones means he's improving, and you know the sky is the limit with this guy. I think he's going to be dangerous.

Toss in an improved, already good Davison and a possible Zimmer...cha-ching!
Makes you wonder why we even signed Fairly. If we follow the NE Patriots model, we let him walk and rely on our young talent. And the bonus is much better CAP management.
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Old 07-30-2017, 04:16 PM   #9
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Re: Fielding an upgraded defensive line, Saints look to improve standings from scratch

Originally Posted by SmashMouth View Post
Makes you wonder why we even signed Fairly. If we follow the NE Patriots model, we let him walk and rely on our young talent. And the bonus is much better CAP management.
Water under the bridge. Let's just win Lombardi trophy number two and move on!
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Old 07-30-2017, 05:25 PM   #10
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Re: Fielding an upgraded defensive line, Saints look to improve standings from scratch

Originally Posted by nola_swammi View Post
I just have a feeling David Onyemata going to have a break out season, better than Sheldon Rankins
He's already supplanted Tyeler Davison as a starter so he's headed in the right direction.
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