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Deke Bellavia

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Deke: Goal of Black & Gold defense ? limit big plays

by Deke Bellavia -  bigchief@wwl.com  When it comes to the New Orleans Saints people think offense first, and everything else second.  But, if the Saints are to get back to the Super Bowl this season, the Black and Gold defense will have to tighten up , especially when it comes to giving up big plays.

''Defensively, we gave up more last year than we ever have at 99," said Assistant Head Coach Joe Vitt.  "The big plays on offense, we would like to keep that number exactly where it is.  We have to get that number on defense down to about 75.''

Vitt spoke to us following the team's OTA's on Airline Drive today.

So how will the Saints be able to get those numbers more in their favor defensively this season?  ''Just a little bit more zone defense and not selling the farm is going to give you an opportunity to keep those big balls off your back,'' Vitt said.

Key additions to the Saints defense this season are expected to come in and make an impact right away.  The first major addition was made when Coach Sean Payton hired Steve Spagnuolo as the Black and Gold’s Defensive Coordinator.

The Saints were also able to land free agent linebackers Curtis Lofton, David Hawthorne and Chris Chamberlain, and picked up fee agent DT Brodrick Bunkley to help aid a D-line that needs some upgrading.

Coach Vitt likes what he sees in his new DT so far.  ''We are really happy so far with Bunkley. This is a very serious man who is serious about his craft and his trade.  He comes to work every day and wants to get better.''

Although he did not have a good season in 2011, Coach Joe Vitt says that Sedrick Ellis is a player that the team is counting on very much.  

''We haven’t lost confidence at all in Sedrick Ellis but healthy competition is always good.  There is a lot of competition in that room right now.  It is going to be interesting to see how it shakes out.''

The Saints defense had the ''bend but don’t break'' mindset last season, and more times than not it worked.  With that said, when it counted the most, that formula did not work.  But it looks like the goal for the Saints defense this season is consistency in all fronts.

They say that the last game you play is the one that is the freshest in the minds of all.  And in their last game the Black and Gold played, the Saints gave up far too many big plays, including a 14-yard TD reception that eventually ended what was potentially looked to be a storybook season!

So what are the initial goal s of Coach Vitt, Steve Pagnuolo and the Black & Gold defense?  Covering better, a more consistent pass rush, and getting off the field.  Solid objectives and goals the team has to achieve to finish better than last seaon.


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Locations : New Orleans
People : Brodrick BunkleyChris ChamberlainCurtis LoftonDavid HawthorneJoe VittSean PaytonSedrick EllisSteve Spagnuolo




 
05/24/2012 5:01PM
Deke: Limiting big plays is goal for Black & Gold defense this season!
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05/25/2012 2:58PM
Saints Pep Rally
As a fan base, and for those fans that are local, we need to act soon. A statement has to be made directly to Mr. Benson. New Orleans and its fans put on the biggest post Super Bowl celebration that the NFL has ever seen. The Super Bowl party continued during the entire off season. It is time to show Mr. Benson that same kind of spirit, once again. At this point, talk is cheap. Action is now required. I am asking on many forums, for the local Saints fans to prepare for a Saints Pep Rally. About 50,000 fans should send the message. On a given Friday, at 6 pm central time, right as the NFL network is about to air NFL’s Total Access, and before the July 16 deadline to sign Drew to a long term contract has come and gone, the 50,000 strong Saints Pep Rally should take place at the Saints training facility. The theme will be simple. PAY DREW BREES! SIGN DREW NOW! Saints fans, we can not put Drew in a position to accept a one year contract, because of the love he has for our city and fan base. We need to back him, now. I want him happy and focused on the upcoming season. I want him to know, that we appreciate what he has done for the region, and simply put, we have his back. To all Saints fans, feel free to post this idea in any forum you desire and begin organizing with your friends to pick a Friday date, soon.
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