When the New Orleans Saints signed veteran NT Shaun Rogers recently, some personnel evaluators felt the team might be taking a risk based on the inconsistency during his 10-year career. However, Saints head coach Sean Payton seems pretty pleased with the move.
“I think the one thing was we saw the ability and we saw the talent. He hadn't been on a team that had won during his career and I think all of us were impressed with the interview process and visiting with him,” Payton explained. “When you get to where you're grading and bringing in veteran players, veteran free agents, to your teams, you're looking at a number of things that concern you or don't. Number one I liked this guys just in the conversations that we had. I think there's always that part of the coach that feels, hey, we can help elevate the level of his play. In the environment that we have can help. I think the key is having a vision for what you're asking him to do. I think we do and I think we communicated that well to him. He's big. I think he'll get his weight down to a point and I think he's more efficient when he's at that lower weight than not. I like him. I like him a lot. That's something we're going to have to work on.”
Remi Ayodele was the starter at nose tackle last season and played in roughly 60 percent of the defensive snaps.
“Remi is a guy who has gotten 28 or 30 snaps a game and quite frankly he has played pretty well. The one thing about that position is you're on the field, you're off the field, you're on for the run, you're off for some pass, you put together some combinations for pass groups depending on the odd packages and the even fronts,” Payton said. “The point I'm making is it's easy for the guy who's being productive to get him in the roll and your challenge is when the roll is five people or six people. In other words you're limited. That's a little different than the roll with two or three different tight ends or the role of quarterback, receiver, safety. Those guys are on or off the field for good reason, what they're being asked to do. I see him as a nose, I see him competing for those snaps at that position. Remi – the same way.”