Co-Host of WWL's "SportsTalk with Bobby Hebert & Deke Bellavia," Weekdays 4-8PM
Deke: Saints defense key difference this year
by Deke Bellavia,posted Jan 14 2014 11:40AM
No way! Ain't no way in hell the Saints did what they did, right? Wrong! Of all the things that we could have predicted, none of us, and I mean nobody could have predicted that the Saints defense would do what they did during the 2013 season.
"We were hoping to have a middle-of-the-pack type defense this season," said the Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert. "To have a defense ranked in the top five was incredible. Coach Rob Ryan has to be the Assistant Coach/Coordinator of the Year for what he has done."
And folks, Bobby ain't lying. Sure, the Cajun Cannon wears his Who Dat emotions on his sleeve, and the man bleeds Black and Gold, but the Cajun Cannon has also facts and numbers to prove he is 100% correct.
Only one team in the National Football League had a top five offense and a top five defense and that team was the New Orleans Saints. The Saints made significant strides in improving in all phases on defense. And those strides began to take place when Coach Rob Ryan was hired.
Coach Ryan made an instant impact from day one, and now, in a short period of time, Ryan has the Saints defense as one of the best in the NFL. The way Ryan was able to put his players in the right place at the right time made the defense a good one in 2013; matter of fact, the Saints defense was a real good bunch this season.
From being ranked last or near-last in every major defensive stat in 2012, the Saints made a complete 360-degree turnaround. A year ago, the Saints defense allowed an NFL worst 7,042 total yards. This season the Saints shrunk that number to 4,891. That's 2,151 less yards of offense allowed!
And the numbers only get better for the Saints defense. Let's break it down some more.
2012 versus 2013 Difference
440.1 Yards Per Game 305.7 -134.4
292.6 Pass Yards 194.1 - 98.5
147.6 Rush Yards 111.6 - 36
471 Points Allowed 304 - 167
28.4 Points per Game 19 - 9.4
Is that impressive or what? "The way the Saints defense played this season was something special. I know they had some breakdowns at the end of some games, but overall you would have to give that group flying colors," said Saints Color Analyst Hokie Gajan.
So in the coming weeks as we look back on the season and begin the evaluation process, one thing that we most certainly will point out is how well the defense played during the 2013 season. And the most important move made during the off-season was hiring coach Rob Ryan. And we would not be our genuine, good ole Southern charming selves if we didn't give a big thank you to the Dallas Cowboys.
Dallas fired Ryan a year ago. This past season Dallas finished with a 8-8 record and the Silver Stars missed the playoffs. And guess who had the worst (32nd) defense in the NFL this season? I'll let you stew on that one!
I was very impressed with our defense and how they came back evey week and fought and fought. You cannot ask for anything more. And Deke if you can announce on the radio for the WHO DAT NATION to go and vote on NFL.com for Drew Brees player of the year!
Brees player of the year huh???
How could you vote dree brees player of the year?? If I have to pick a player of the year from the black and gold.. it would have to be out of akiem hicks, galette,or cam jordan not brees
Drew Brees is the best player to ever wear a Saints uniform!! Please stay off this site if you cant think of something positive to say. He is still playing at the very highest of level in the NFL. If anything, give him a wide receiver and a little blocking and you will be telling everybody how great he is next year. Bandwagon fans like you make me sick!