Are PayLoo Standing Pat On Defense?

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Don't be too surprised if Sean Payton turns most of his attention now to the offense. The recent roster tweekings make it look as though he believes he has his defense already in house.

 
Quick Out, March 13, 2013

So, here’s something new. I’m going to start writing short posts on a single subject—sorta like my own version of Twitter, but better because I don’t have to deal with Twitter.

And then, y’all can comment on it? See? The beauty is that you guys do all the work, and I get all the page hits. So, in advance: molto grazienzo. Or something. Couldn’t have done it without you.

Anyway, there’s the first Quick Out.

It is my considered opinion that the re-signing of Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith, coupled with the loss of Chase Daniel and Jermon Bushrod, signals Payton’s intention to stand pat on defense—for now—and retool the offense first. We now need a legitimate left tackle (unless you think Charles Brown is that guy, in which case no more beer for you). We need a backup quarterback, even if we hope he never plays a down. What we don’t need any longer is another defensive end, or depth at inside linebacker. What’s more, I haven’t come across anyone seriously linking an available free agent pass rusher to the Saints (other than Paul Kruger, and he’s gone). That may mean they indeed intend to take care of that in the draft…or it might mean they think they’ve got the line and the linebackers taken care of now, and it’s the secondary they’re looking to fix. (Meeting with Derek Cox, for example.)

And Larry Holder agrees with me. Hell, Sean Payton agrees with me:

Payton pointed out how the Saints have a history of finding their best values where there’s a need for the team.

“Where there’s a need for the team.” Apparently, Sean and Mickey see different needs than almost everyone.

I’m not saying that the Saints definitely won’t be drafting a pass rusher in the first round…but I reiterate: don’t be surprised if Loomis and Payton buck the conventional wisdom and draft a top tackle, like Lane Johnson or D.J. Fluker. Or even trade down in order to pick up a serviceable tackle and another weapon. My preference is a top-notch tight end, like Tyler Eifert, to pair with Jimmy Graham. That also allows us to run a lot of heavy formations, which will come in handy in the snow in MetLife Stadium.

And there’s another aspect of the Saints’ free agent behavior that I’d like to point out: they’re sticking with their guys. I would think that’s a popular move in the locker room, rather than treating everyone as if they’re expendable the moment a shinier object appears.

Posted by Himself in Quick Out | 5 comments

5 Comments

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  • PhilistineMarch 13, 2013 at 8:52 pm

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    Charles Brown is a cloud of probabilities, since we’ve hardly seen him. He looked pretty good last season when he played, but he was injured early and put on IR.

    You’re right on the money regarding DE and LB. Interestingly, most of the current rumors are of the Saints looking at DBs – AMEN. PayLoo have determined after considerable experimentation that drafting DBs is very risky (or their system for picking them sucks), so free agency seems like the right place to find one.

    They’ll probably find a retread for backup QB in free agency, unless they want to take a flyer on one of them new-fangled read option QBs everyone’s talking about. That leaves OL, DL and TE – pretty much what I said earlier. I wouldn’t say that they’re standing pat on defense, though; they’re just not starting from scratch, which is fine with me.

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    • PhilistineMarch 13, 2013 at 10:23 pm

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      Update: Since Jonathan Casillas signed with the Bucs, the Saints might now be a little more interested in drafting or signing a linebacker.

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  • PhilistineMarch 14, 2013 at 4:54 pm

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    BAM! The Saints signed Keenan Lewis! The Saints’ addressed their biggest need. How about a new left tackle? Or how about adding bookend Namdi Asomugha? Let’s hope that Lewis is the next Jabari Greer signing instead of the next Jason David.

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    • HimselfMarch 14, 2013 at 5:15 pm

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      So…what happens to Jabari Greer? And Patrick Robinson?

      I really don’t know much about Lewis, even though Herself is a Steelers fan. Can he tackle? Can he blitz? Could he be a strong safety? Wouldn’t it be great to have a strong safety who could cover, as well as do all the in-the-box things?

      Just rambling here…

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  • PhilistineMarch 14, 2013 at 6:28 pm

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    From the official statement: “Lewis moved into the starting lineup for the first time in 2012, opening all 16 contests for the Steelers at left cornerback and posted 78 tackles (63 solo), an NFL-leading 28 passes defensed and one forced fumble for the NFL’s top-ranked defense both overall and against the pass.” He’s 6′, 208 lbs. They signed him for five years at 26 mil.

    He’s big, can tackle and can defense passes – though he’s not a big interception guy. The rumor mill has the Saints looking at Asomugha too, although that might have been a contingency plan on the part of the Saints. So – bookend CB acquisitions? Just a bookend for Jabari Greer? Get all three if Jabari restructures? The Saints are/were woefully deficient at CB. As for Robinson – who cares? Trade him for a case of jock itch salve – I’m sure that will be a win for the Saints.

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