Originally posted on The Football Fan Spot  |  Last updated 8/23/12

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 02: Will Smith #91 of the New Orleans Saints speaks to members of the media during Super Bowl XLIV Media Day at Sun Life Stadium on February 2, 2010 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Will Smith, the Saints’ leading pass rusher on the defensive line last season, has been suspended for the first 4 games of the season for his role in the Saints’ bounty scandal. On paper, this seems like a huge blow to an already bad Saints’ pass rush. Smith wasn’t great last season, with 7 sacks, 7 quarterback hits, and 34 quarterback pressures on 630 pass rush snaps, including playoffs, a respectable, but not great 9.2% pass rush rate, but this team was the league’s worst rated pass rushing team last season in terms of pass rush productivity (sacks + .75 hits + .75 pressures/total pass rush snaps). They may have had 33 sacks, not a terrible number, but they blitzed more than any team in the league to do even that. However, the Saints may have a diamond in the rough waiting in the wings behind Smith. Junior Galette, a 2010 undrafted free agent, played very well as a situational pass rusher last season and will be the starter in Smith’s absence this season. On 339 pass rush snaps, h...
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