Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 2/26/14
New Orleans Saints: State of the safety positionThe Saints made the ultimate upgrade on the defensive side of the ball when they hired Rob Ryan and brought in first round draft pick Kenny Vaccaro. This season, the safety position was one of the main focuses because of these offseason moves. So, what impacts did it make this season and what do the Saints need to improve for next season? This is what I will discuss in my breakdown of the New Orleans Saints’ safety position. The three safeties on the Saints roster include: Kenny Vaccaro, veteran Malcolm Jenkins, and Rafael Bush, who has been with team for two years. Let’s talk about Vaccaro first, since he was paid the most attention this season. He started off the season impressively and lived up to Who Dat’s expectations. Having a phenomenal game in week 3, recording five solo tackles, a 29-yard interception return and a special teams stop, he got fans excited for what was to come. He registered 92 tackles his rookie season, which was unfortunately cut short by an ankle injury in the Saints’ second-to-last regular season game. The Saints are lucky this didn’t happen earlier in the season. I am more excited than ever to see what he can do next season, but in the meantime it’s all about his recovery. He may not be as well known as Vaccaro or Jenkins, but if you pay attention to Rafael Bush’s numbers, you will be able to see how much talent this guy has. Joining the team at the end of the 2012 preseason, he immediately showed his worth, leading the special teams unit with a fumble recovery and 15 stops. Other stats include 13 tackles (nine solo), one interception, one forced fumble and one pass defensed. In the 2013 season, he was given a bigger chance to shine due to Vaccaro’s injury, and didn’t disappoint. Is it a wise investment to keep him and his he a priority player? His contract is up in March, but sources say that both sides are interested in working something out. I think the Saints need Bush on their roster because of his talent and potential. There is a possibility he will become a starter opposite of Kenny Vaccaro next season. Lastly, Malcolm Jenkins has been a familiar name on this roster ever since the Super Bowl season in 2009. Now, his contract is in question and the open market plays a big role in this. Could this possibly lead to his departure and if so, would that hurt the Saints? It seems like we have been waiting for Malcolm to reach his potential as a player ever since he joined the team. We’ve seen him make some great plays, but he is never consistent. Should he have gotten cut along with Roman Harper? If the Saints do not renew his contract, maybe he will find a place with a team that could help him reach his potential. If this is the case, the Saints will need to sign a safety in free agency. Rob Ryan’s 3-4 defense fits this team perfectly and it seems like the Saints organization is focusing this offseason on making moves to complement this. Ryan uses safeties more in the 3-4, especially in blitz schemes. Previous defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s defense was more about coverage and less about the blitz. This is what hurt the Saints so much in 2012. There were no pressure situations up front and no matter who is on secondary, no corner or safety can cover for more than 7-10 seconds. Kenny Vaccaro fits perfectly with Rob Ryan’s defense. Rafael Bush is on his way to becoming a key figure in it and Malcolm Jenkins time may be over. isportsweb | isportsweb - Sports in Perspective
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has torn labrum

Report: Antonio Tarver suspended six months, fined $50,000 for positive test

Texans owner wants team to draft a top quarterback

Subban undergoes larynx surgery, out at least eight weeks

Report: Raiders staying in Oakland for 2016 season

Cavaliers showing trade interest in Kings’ Ben McLemore


Report: Rockets shopping Dwight Howard

Jim Fassel takes issue with Cam Newton's warmup MVP cleats

Report: NFL upholds Vontaze Burfict’s three-game suspension

NFL owners reportedly concerned with Raiders-gang connections in LA

T'Wolves getting calls about Rubio ahead of trade deadline

Jarryd Hayne wants to return to NFL

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

Franchise tag has been a useful tool for John Elway, Broncos

The 16 best NBA All-Star Game sneakers ever

Eight most potentially combustible MLB clubhouses

Matt Barnes coyly denies IG post was shot at Derek Fisher

NHLers who should be dealt to contenders before deadline

Robert Kraft compares Tom Brady to Peyton, Eli Manning

WATCH: Markieff Morris appears to flip the bird to heckler

Prediction for each NBA award heading into the All-Star Break

Did Clippers reenact Paul Pierce stabbing during pregame intros?

Kobe Bryant gives LeBron James his game-worn Kobe 11s

Terrell Owens tells Skip Bayless to stop ‘misinforming’ people

8-year-old Panthers fan writes adorable letter to Cam Newton

Saints News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker