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Saints' Ryan Nielsen excited for Sheldon Rankins, David Onyemata in 'next man up' approach

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Saints' Ryan Nielsen excited for Sheldon Rankins, David Onyemata in 'next man up' approach By Herbie Teope hteope@nola.com , NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune The outlook for the New Orleans Saints' defensive line appeared bleak when Nick Fairley's heart condition landed ...

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Old 08-01-2017, 02:03 PM   #1
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Saints' Ryan Nielsen excited for Sheldon Rankins, David Onyemata in 'next man up' approach



By Herbie Teope hteope@nola.com,
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The outlook for the New Orleans Saints' defensive line appeared bleak when Nick Fairley's heart condition landed him on the non-football illness list in late June.

Fairley started all 16 games in 2016, totaling 43 tackles (29 solo) and 6 1/2 sacks on 723 defensive snaps, which ranked as the second-most among the defensive linemen behind defensive end Cameron Jordan.

First-year defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen concedes there is a hole to fill within the interior of the frontline defenders.

But Fairley's absence has allowed others to step up through five days of training camp.

"First, Nick is in our thoughts and prayers and hopefully he's going to be OK through this whole thing," Nielsen said. "But we've taken the approach the next man up and that's how you have to approach things.

"We just can't put our heads down and sulk about it. Although he's with us -- not physically -- but the next man up and some other guys will have an opportunity to get some more reps, and we'll see what they can do."

The Saints' Plan B to replace Fairley's production involves a pair of second-year pros in Sheldon Rankins and David Onyemata, both of whom have consistently lined up with the first-team defense.

Rankins and Onyemata, who has worked in place last year's starter Tyeler Davison, are making the most of their repetitions. Coach Sean Payton even mentioned Rankins and Onyemata by name Sunday as among a group of players who stood out Saturday, which marked the first day of camp in full pads.

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Old 08-01-2017, 05:21 PM   #2
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Re: Saints' Ryan Nielsen excited for Sheldon Rankins, David Onyemata in 'next man up' approach

play them draft picks
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