This is the third offseason in a row I am clamoring for a difference maker on defense. In 2011, I wrote this. Unsatisfied with how that year went, I essentially wrote the exact same piece in 2012. Here we are again, for the third straight year, and I'm singing a familiar refrain we're all starting to know a little too well. The Saints haven't had a 2009 version of Darren Sharper since, well, Darren Sharper in 2009. And once again we're waiting for that to happen. Don't get me wrong, I like the Keenan Lewis signing. The guy is a good player and I think he represents an upgrade. But I view him as a solid player, not a playmaker. I view him as a guy that will be rock solid in coverage, hopefully, but I don't think he's the ballhawk "difference maker" that turns in a 6+ interception season. Could that guy be Nnamdi Asomugha, Victor Butler or the 15th overall pick? I have no idea. Could a guy like Martez Wilson or Junior Galette finally explode onto the scene this year? Maybe, but I kind of doubt it. I do know this defense isn't going to get much better without a player that's so good he makes everyone around him better. One thing is for sure, the guys currently on the team aren't manifesting themselves as that guy. At least not on a consistent level.
Maybe re-signing Will Herring has a place on this team for depth purposes. I didn't love it, but I'm sure the Saints are just doing due diligence in creating competition for camp. That sure isn't what I have in mind with this post, though. And honestly, I want to see Asomugha, Butler and the #15th pick as a defensive player on this team. The more gambles you take on quality players, the better the chance you hit yahtzee with one of them. That's what the Saints need at this point. One guy could change everything. And much like I've said before, I could care less what position he plays, I just want him to make a difference. Will a playmaker please stand up?