My name is Holden Blake, and I am probably the biggest Saints fan you will ever meet. I have been through the lows of the “aints” to the highs of Super Bowl Champs. I live and die by my team and definitely love my Saints. I would like to share just a few thoughts on the Saints defense for 2013.
As many know by now, the Saints are moving from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense and have fired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuola. I think both moves are great and a step in the right direction. So who will be the new DC? Who will fill all those positions of need on defense? Well Sean Payton is taking control of the DC as we speak, and I personally would love to see Rob Ryan in town next year.
Rob Ryan is that spark we need to ignite our players and it is known he is not afraid to take chances. I think Rob Ryan would do wonders for our newly acquired 3-4 defense. As far as the positions go, I believe DE/LB Junior Galette and DE/LB Martez Wilson will flourish in this Saint defense. Add them into the equation with Chris Chamberlein and David Hawthorne and that’s a good outside linebacking core. I have also seen the idea of Roman Harper moving to linebacker by Andrew Doyle. That, in my opinion, would be a great idea to at least try. He would be a good cover linebacker and also a very good pass rusher; which is not at all an impossible transition. So who takes Harper’s spot at safety? Well, there are potentially several options. I have seen where Andrew believes we could trade or release Vilma for cap space and possibly acquire someone, but Vilma plays far too critical of a leadership role to be released or traded. I think he should be the leader and center of that defense. The possibility of the Saints signing a free agent safety is definitely an option. Ed Reed is the biggest safety in free agency this year. If the Saints did sign him, he would be the ball hawking safety they’ve needed since Sharper retired. But do the Saints really have enough cap space to even consider bringing in a guy like Reed? So what about drafting a safety? Possibly. Kenny Vaccaro could suit up day one and be an impact in our secondary. However, I feel there is a better option, which is to simply play Isa Abdul-Quddus. I was very impressed with the way he played last year and made an impact on that defense. The only problem was that he just didn’t get enough playing time. Rafael Bush could serve as the backup, who I also was very impressed with. With moving Quddus into the starting rotation, the Saints could experiment Harper at LB and save their draft pick for a pass rusher that they desperately need. Possibly a Barkevious Mingo if available? I think with that move the pass rush improves drastically and our defensive backfield would improve also. So maybe the answer to the Saints defensive struggles come from within the organization and the draft.
My 2013 Starting Defense
DEs Will Smith, Cam Jordan
DT- Brodrick Bunkley
OLBs- David Hawthorne, Chris Chamberlein
MLBs- Jonathon Vilma, Curtis Lofton
CBs- Jabari Greer, Patrick Robinson
FS- Isa Abdul-Quddus
SS- Malcom Jenkins
Key reserves Barkevious Mingo (if drafted), Akiem Hicks, *Sedrick Ellis, Junior Galette, Martez Wilson, *Johnathon Casillas, *Rafael Bush, *Elbert Mack, Corey White.