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Saints finally stable at linebacker, but who plays where?

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Someone finally locked the revolving door at the New Orleans Saints practice facility leading to the linebacker room. Yes, the Saints spent significant dollars to secure former Jets defender Demario Davis. Yes, he's potentially the fifth different Week 1 starting ...

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Old 05-15-2018, 04:26 PM   #1
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Someone finally locked the revolving door at the New Orleans Saints practice facility leading to the linebacker room.

Yes, the Saints spent significant dollars to secure former Jets defender Demario Davis. Yes, he's potentially the fifth different Week 1 starting middle linebacker in the past five seasons. That doesn't include those filling in as the quarterback of the defense because of injury or ineptitude the past few years.

All of that aside, the Saints linebacker corps is easily the most stable it's been since the days of Jonathan Vilma, Scott Fujita and Scott Shanle.



The stable of players like A.J. Klein, Craig Robertson, Alex Anzalone, Manti Te'o, Nate Stupar and Michael Mauti are all returning to the field for the start of the 2018 on-field workouts next week. New Orleans also added youngsters like undrafted rookies Colton Jumper and KeShun Freeman, as well as veteran Jayrone Elliott.

The Saints can actually claim a depth chart at linebacker. No longer will defensive coordinator Dennis Allen and position coach Mike Nolan grasp at straws.

There's no longer the need for the Saints to gamble on the health of Dannell Ellerbe. The Saints can stop relying on a hope and a prayer that 2015 first-round pick Stephone Anthony gets it. Or if the team can fill up James Laurinaitis' tank one more time.

Just about the entire wall of linebackers understand Allen's system. Now here comes the challenge for Nolan and Allen:

Who starts where? And which veteran(s) might be on the outside looking in roster-wise?

"You can't ever have enough good football players," Allen said after last Saturday's rookie minicamp. "A lot of times guys get caught up about where a guy is on the depth chart right now and that's really not any of our concern, no different than what we did last year. We're going to put all those guys out there. We're going to move them around. We're going to let them compete."

The Saints opened the wallet very wide for Davis in free agency to the tune of $8 million on average the next three seasons, including $16 million in guaranteed money.

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Old 05-15-2018, 07:02 PM   #2
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Re: Saints finally stable at linebacker, but who plays where?

SLB (2) 53 - A.J. Klein, 56 - Michael Mauti (FA 2018)

MLB (3) 56 - DeMario Davis (FA 2018), 51 - Manti Te'o, 54 - Nate Stupar

WLB (2) 47 - Alex Anzalone, 52 - Craig Robertson
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:18 PM   #3
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Re: Saints finally stable at linebacker, but who plays where?

WLB (2) 47 - Alex Anzalone ... will he stay healthy though?
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:24 PM   #4
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Re: Saints finally stable at linebacker, but who plays where?

Originally Posted by jeanpierre View Post
SLB (2) 53 - A.J. Klein, 56 - Michael Mauti (FA 2018)

MLB (3) 56 - DeMario Davis (FA 2018), 51 - Manti Te'o, 54 - Nate Stupar

WLB (2) 47 - Alex Anzalone, 52 - Craig Robertson
I can't be mad at this lineup! For me, I'd switch the bottom two and put Robertson as the starter.

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Old 05-15-2018, 09:27 PM   #5
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Re: Saints finally stable at linebacker, but who plays where?

Anzalone has the speed I want at WLB.
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:19 AM   #6
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Re: Saints finally stable at linebacker, but who plays where?

Originally Posted by K Major View Post
WLB (2) 47 - Alex Anzalone ... will he stay healthy though?
Anzalone now has had NFL medical care, NFL physical training for a year; let's see if he can play fourteen to fifteen games...

Should Anzalone miss extended time, decide to apply either the Lewis/Breaux standard of availabilty or the Armstead/Ellerbe standard of availability...
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:50 AM   #7
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Re: Saints finally stable at linebacker, but who plays where?

Originally Posted by jeanpierre View Post
Anzalone now has had NFL medical care, NFL physical training for a year; let's see if he can play fourteen to fifteen games...

Should Anzalone miss extended time, decide to apply either the Lewis/Breaux standard of availabilty or the Armstead/Ellerbe standard of availability...
Yep. Fingers crossed he can stay somewhat healthy. Lots of upside but jury is still out. Anzalone will continue to be "injury prone" until he proves otherwise.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:19 AM   #8
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Re: Saints finally stable at linebacker, but who plays where?

Originally Posted by K Major View Post
Yep. Fingers crossed he can stay somewhat healthy. Lots of upside but jury is still out. Anzalone will continue to be "injury prone" until he proves otherwise.
A couple of years back Hagan and I had a conversation about whether some schools really had their players' best interests at heart...

In context, we were discussing players in a draft (surprise) and how some were injury prone in college and had a relatively healthy professional career...

Some players just have chronic injuries; of course, the cause(s) are an amalgam of congenital issues, team injury management, primary/secondary related injuries...

I'd brought up whether some schools were getting their athletes the best possible medical care; we were going to do some research, but never got around to it...

With Anzalone, liked the player, suspect of his injury history; but upon further review, it seemed an inordinate number of UF players had recurrent injuries...

A year removed, with a third round pick invested, fingers crossed here as well that he can stay healthy and be available, excelling, on game days...
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:34 AM   #9
 
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Re: Saints finally stable at linebacker, but who plays where?

Did we not previously waste another draft pick on an injury prone UF linebacker?

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Old 05-16-2018, 08:37 AM   #10
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Re: Saints finally stable at linebacker, but who plays where?

Originally Posted by SmashMouth View Post
Did we not previously waste another draft pick on an injury prone UF lber?

Ronald Powell ... he went in the 5th due to his medical. Never got past special teams while with the Saints.
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