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Offseason spotlight: Did Saints add enough pieces on defense?

  • By NFL.com
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Rookie first-round pick Malcolm Jenkins is part of a revamped secondary for the Saints.


As part of NFL Network's 32 teams in 32 days series, airing daily on Total Access, NFL.com takes a look at a key question facing each NFL team.

NFL Network analysts Brian Billick and Solomon Wilcots discuss the defense of the New Orleans Saints. Did the Saints add enough pieces during the offseason to make themselves a legitimate playoff contender in 2009?

Read their takes and then enter the discussion below.


Billick: Better enough?


That's a question we really won't know the answer to until we get into the season, obviously. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was a huge addition for the Saints.

More than just the talent the Saints have accumulated, though, it's going to take a change in their overall mindset to find balance and to not rely solely on that explosive offense. That means coach Sean Payton and his play calling, that means Drew Brees, the entire team.

In addition to the defensive additions, the Saints will also get some young players back from injuries that I think should make a difference. So many players -- Scott Fujita, Randall Gay, Brian Young, Sedrick Ellis, Mike McKenzie -- missed time last season.

There's no question, to me, that the Saints will be better on defense. But the key is, will they be better enough?


 

Wilcots: Playmakers needed


The Saints have thrown enough at the defense this offseason.

Along the defensive line, they have solid backups in Paul Spicer and Bobby McCray behind Charles Grant and Will Smith. They got Sedrick Ellis on the inside last year. They should be so much better.

In the secondary, they got veteran safety Darren Sharper, a guy who can make plays on the ball. They really needed playmakers back there. They drafted Malcolm Jenkins a year after taking Tracy Porter in the second round. They should be so much better there, too. It was really the back end of the defense where they lacked playmakers, and they should have those now.

No doubt Gregg Williams factors in. You're talking about blitzing up front and picking off passes in the back. They will be aggressive, that much I do know.


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