Originally posted on The Saints Nation  |  Last updated 4/23/12
This season will kick off with a brand new look on defense for the New Orleans Saints. With suspensions being inevitable for MLB Jonathan Vilma, SS Roman Harper and DE Will Smith, a couple players stick out to me that need to step up in order to run a successful defense. Curtis Lofton will need to take a leadership role right from the get-go of training camp and OTA’s. One of the biggest leaders in Vilma will be gone for at least four games: Vilma expects a two to six game suspension, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him feel the wrath of Roger Goodell as Sean Payton has. Lofton needs to show that he can take control and run this defense as Vilma has done in the past seasons to get the players fully behind him.

Another player that needs to step up, for the suspension of Will Smith, is Junior Galette. He shows great potential and has a tremendous work ethic. He has been ranting on Twitter about how he is stepping up his game this year. I asked him via Twitter about the hype he is bringing and he told me “Not one thing in my life I said I would do n didn’t do it #FACT.” If he can cash the checks he’s making, then he will be a tremendous back-up, if not future starter. He is one player that I am looking forward to seeing because I always seemed to catch a glimpse of him near the opposing quarterback. If he can step up and hit the quarterback, the Saints will be in good shape for the return of Smith.

One last player that I believe needs to step up is Johnny Patrick. With Tracy Porter signing with the Broncos, and Leigh Torrence with the Redskins, Patrick shoots up the cornerback depth chart. Last year he played a filler role in the defense, but I predict that he won’t this year. It seems as if he will play a role much similar to the one Patrick Robinson did last year. It won’t be as demanding because some other corners will also get a chance at this role, but he will definitely be playing more this year than last. I feel as though Johnny Patrick will be able to step up his game and be a crucial part of the cornerbacking corps.

Even if the players I mentioned step up as they should, it is all up to Spags to flip the attitude of this defense. Can he change the minds of a “dirty defense?” The Saints really need to focus on getting a couple defensive players to accommodate Spags’ coaching style. He plays more coverage than blitzing, as oppose to Gregg William’s defense that was blitz happy. I believe that he will help the Saints keep points off the board on defense, but with lack of depth, I don’t see it being a huge amount. I do see big improvements in stopping the run. Spags always seems to have his D-line in check, and getting to the passer and the runner. Without blitzing as much, more players will be deeper to stop long runs that have been a lingering problem for the Saints for a long time.

[follow]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia becomes first player ever banned by MLB for PEDs

Eight bold predictions for NBA All-Star Weekend

Iowa athletics department under federal civil rights investigation

2016 Naismith Hall of Fame finalists announced

Hasselbeck ‘strongly leaning towards playing’ in 18th season

Pitchers to wear new protective headwear in spring training

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Klay Thompson: Warriors will shoot for all-time wins record

Bryce Harper 'squashed' beef with Jonathan Papelbon

WWE has record revenue despite perceived troubles

CC Sabathia declares himself ‘ready to go’ after alcohol rehab

Report: Suns still want to deal Morris before trade deadline

Report: Celtics could offer best deal for Dwight Howard

Is there a place for Aaron Hill with the Brewers?

The market for forwards may shape the NHL trade deadline

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

The most intriguing NBA story lines for the rest of the season

Report: Timberwolves ‘lament’ Andrew Wiggins missing weight-lifting sessions

Kevin Durant to the Warriors makes little sense

City of Atlanta, Braves fighting over iconic Hank Aaron statue

Brock Osweiler hopes to remain part of ‘very special’ Broncos

Kobe Bryant receives great gift from ‘media’ member

Ranking the best NBA/ABA Dunk Contests ever

LeBron to be immortalized with Akron Zips bobblehead

Four best free-agent destinations for Matt Forte

NFL 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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

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

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker