Originally posted on The Saints Nation  |  Last updated 1/24/13
Sean Payton wasted no time in his first 48 hours back as he fired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo just one year into his new job. Less notably, The Saints also fired defensive backs coach Ken Flajoe who was the defensive coordinator of the Rams under Spagnuolo. They were relieved of their duties in tandem, suggesting neither really were the right fit in New Orleans. It also seems clear they are taking the brunt of the blame of the Saints securing the "worst defense in NFL history" title, though Sean Payton added: "Philosophically we are changing our defense to a 3-4 alignment". That's something my friend Marijn has been clamoring for for years, so I know he is salivating at the news. Whereas in year's past I would always contend they didn't have the linebackers/personnel to pull off a 3-4, I think that's changed and the timing for this is actually good. Clearly "Spags" ran a 4-3 system and the Saints didn't have the players to pull off his system that well. The fact of the matter is the Saints do have talent on defense, though, regardless of the season they just had. I do believe a 3-4 system could be a better fit for their best talent. Why?  Well, first of all, they have the interior linebackers for it. Picking up Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne this past offseason improved them in that department. While they aren't quite as thick as you'd ideally need at that position, they both tackle well and it will put less demand on them laterally which is arguably their biggest weakness. In addition, it suggests the Saints are going all in with the development of young budding players Junior Galette and Martez Wilson. Both are highly gifted athletes, but "tweeners" in the 4-3 system. In the 3-4 they could be full time outside linebackers, making them extremely dangerous off the edge blitzing. Don't rule out Roman Harper as a backer in the 3-4 scheme either. Akiem Hicks and Cam Jordan are others that I think will fit the system well on the defensive line. The big question is whether or not they can find a prototypical NT to anchor that middle interior position, which is key to a 3-4 being successful. I'm not sure Bunkley can be that guy. I think Hicks immediately moves to end in a 3-4 scheme, but they need a mammoth NT to anchor this line and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Saints go nose tackle in the 1st round of the draft now, depending on what happens with Jermon Bushrod. This offseason just got a lot more interesting and a lot more fun. Stay tuned for the new defensive coordinator hire, which I'm sure will happen real soon. As much as I was hoping for Lovie Smith, he runs a 4-3 defense, so he's likely not the right fit given the philosophical change. Thoughts on Spags getting canned?  
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Le’Veon Bell reportedly missed ‘several’ drug tests

Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NCAA rules that hanging out with hip-hop star Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

RUMOR: Celtics sign Green, Zeller and two others to contract deals

Kevin Durant Thunder jerseys going for less than 50 cents in OKC

Why are Saints holding out on contract talks with Drew Brees?

Jay Gruden gives out primo parking spots to hard-working players

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

Report: Rangers pushing trade efforts for Sale

Russell Martin day-to-day after sauna-related mishap

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

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

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