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How Saints' precocious young defense might take next massive step in 2018

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Old 09-09-2018, 09:16 AM   #1
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:19 AM   #2
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Re: How Saints' precocious young defense might take next massive step in 2018

BY JOEL A. ERICKSON | jerickson@theadvocate.com Sep 5, 2018 - 8:42 pm

A Saints defense that had spent four seasons wandering in the wilderness finally caught a glimpse of the promised land last season.

Built to last with several savvy moves in free agency, New Orleans needed star power, and a pair of brilliant, ballhawking rookies by the names of Marshon Lattimore and Marcus Williams provided the big plays necessary to transform the Saints defense into a unit that could hold up its end of the bargain in a partnership with Sean Payton's always-explosive offense.

New Orleans finished third in the NFL in interceptions, seventh in opposing passer rating and 17th overall, a far cry from the basement finishes that plagued the Saints for so long.

Now, the Saints hope Dennis Allen's defense can take the next step by surrounding its young core of talent — a group that includes prized first-round pick Marcus Davenport on the line — with a trio of veterans who both fill holes and come bearing Super Bowl experience.

"There’s a calming influence, and there’s a work ethic," Payton said. "There's a lot of things that go into it. The locker room, (showing younger players) how to prepare."

Demario Davis, an attacking, bulldozing linebacker from the New York Jets, brings a presence to the running game the Saints sorely needed after struggling a year ago, but he's also one of the most respected leaders in football off the field, an outspoken member of the Players Coalition.

New Orleans needs Davis's calm off the field and his physical presence on it to set a tone for the rest of the defense.

"You want to inflict fear into your opponent by the way that you play," Davis said. "My biggest thing is, when I turn the tape on, I want to jump out, and I want them to watch 56 the whole game. If they don't, they’ll have a long day."

Safety Kurt Coleman brings savvy to the secondary and Super Bowl experience, the kind of experience that can limit busted coverages and help New Orleans improve on third down.

"The kind of characteristics he had, the traits that he had, he's smart. He plays tough," general manager Mickey Loomis said. "I think he’ll help a young group back there. I know he will."

The same could be said for Patrick Robinson. A disappointment in his first five seasons in New Orleans, Robinson has developed into one of the NFL's best nickel backs in his time away, filling both a need in the secondary and bringing the experience of winning a Super Bowl ring to a young team with designs on football's biggest prize.

"He looks like a guy who’s been there, played that position, and has had that experience," quarterback Drew Brees said. "He’s seen that route and that concept. I see him in his communication. He is much better with his communication with other defensive backs out there on the field. Like when they start seeing different looks and splits, and ‘Hey, watch for this, watch for that.'"

That's the kind of insight that can take this defense to the level.

For the first time in years, the New Orleans defense has the talent to be a top-10 defense; if the Saints' ability to read offenses catches up to its natural ability, the sky is the limit.

“Your best?!? Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home (with) the prom queen.” - Sean Connery in The Rock
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Old 09-09-2018, 02:55 PM   #3
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Re: How Saints' precocious young defense might take next massive step in 2018

They will get there eventually. We start slow again. We missed Peat in the line up.
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Old 09-09-2018, 02:56 PM   #4
 
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Re: How Saints' precocious young defense might take next massive step in 2018

What is this massive step you speak of?
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:02 PM   #5
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Re: How Saints' precocious young defense might take next massive step in 2018

Originally Posted by SmashMouth View Post
What is this massive step you speak of?
It was more like stumbling down the stairs......
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:04 PM   #6
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Re: How Saints' precocious young defense might take next massive step in 2018

I don't believe I heard Demario Davis or Cam Jordan's name called all game.
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:19 PM   #7
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Re: How Saints' precocious young defense might take next massive step in 2018

Oh they took a massive step all right, further down the rankings than the 2012 spags D.
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:22 PM   #8
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Re: How Saints' precocious young defense might take next massive step in 2018

Lol
Worst D we have had in a long time
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:37 PM   #9
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Re: How Saints' precocious young defense might take next massive step in 2018

Wasn't able to watch (Jags vs NYG). Did the group selfie thingy happen? Just once? If so...embarrassing. Until you are an elite unit, its just more embarrassing doing that when you get fed a 40+ burger.
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:38 PM   #10
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Re: How Saints' precocious young defense might take next massive step in 2018

Originally Posted by Barry from MS View Post
Wasn't able to watch (Jags vs NYG). Did the group selfie thingy happen? Just once? If so...embarrassing. Until you are an elite unit, its just more embarrassing doing that when you get fed a 40+ burger.
They had nothing to selfie about, Lattimore, Crawley and Marcus Williams would have been more help laying on the turf every play.

They were all awful
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