The New Orleans Saints have generally been known more for their offense rather than their defense. With that said; Will Smith has been one of the staples of the Saints D since being taken 18th overall in the 2004 NFL Entry Draft.
After suffering a season ending ACL tear, New Orleans and first-year defensive coordinator Rob Ryan are looking for answers to their new 3-4 look. The Saints will also be missing defensive end Kenyon Coleman for the season and have question marks around Jonathan Vilma who’s knee injury has kept him out of action for the past month.
While no team wants to have injuries like these happen there is a silver lining. While injuries are to be expected in the NFL and the ages of these players with Coleman at 34, Smith 32, and Vilma 31 it opens the door for younger players to step up and prove their worth.
Opportunities will arise for linebackers Junior Galette, Martez Wilson and newly acquired Parys Haralson. On the line expect to see Akiem Hicks, Tyrunn Walker and Glenn Foster given more reps in the Saints’ final preseason game according to Mike Triplett of NOLA.com. While this could be a golden opportunity for these players it could also spell disaster for the Saints D.
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