Deke: Upgrading Safety could push Saints over the top!
by Deke Bellavia,posted Mar 17 2014 4:54PM
How many times have we heard it said that "offense wins games, but defense wins Championships?" I'd say we've heard it a lot! When you look at the NFL, it could not be more evident than it is now. And when you dig deeper into NFC numbers, it's easy to see that if you don't have a legit defense, then your chances of getting to the Super Bowl are not good.
Sean Payton has clearly established himself as one of the best offensive minds in the game. We all have come to expect that the Saints offense will consistently rank among the league's best.
With that said, Coach Payton full well knows that having a solid defense gives his team a much better shot a winning another title. At the end of the 2013 NFL Regular Season, the top five defenses were all in the playoffs.
Defense is even tougher in the NFC; four of the top five defensive teams in the NFL are from the National Football Conference. New Orleans had an incredible turnaround, going from 32nd to 4th in just one season. If the Saints are going to get back to the Super Bowl, they will need to play even better on defense in 2014.
In the NFC Divisional Round, the Seahawks #1 defense faced a Saints team that had the league's 4th best defensive unit. And in the other conference semi-final game, the league's 2nd best defensive unit in Carolina squared off against the 49ers, who had the 5th best D in the NFL.
That brings me to the point of the Safety position. The Saints obviously felt like that was a position of need that had to be upgraded, as New Orleans addressed the position on the first day of free agency by signing Jairus Byrd.
The Seahawks and Saints had two of the best four overall defensive units in the NFL year ago, and both ranked #1 and #2 in pass defense as well. Seattle allowed on average 172 yards passing per game, while the Saints allowed 194.1.
By signing Byrd, New Orleans has upgraded a spot that saw a lot of improvement a year ago. Kenny Vaccaro and Jairus Byrd give New Orleans a physical presence in the secondary that is needed.
Let's be real, the Seahawks were a great defensive team in 2013, and at times they were down right nasty! And I mean nasty in a complementary way!
In his rookie Season, Vaccaro established himself as a high energy guy that likes contact. And now with the addition of Byrd, the Saints bring a player that is a ball hawking defender that excels in taking the ball away from opponents. Just last week, Herman Edwards, former Jets and Chiefs coach turned NFL Analyst for ESPN, predicted that Byrd would lead the NFL in interceptions in 2014!
Rob Ryan raised the bar, and now with the addition of Jairus Byrd playing alongside Kenny Vaccaro, the Saints will be expected to have one of the best defensive secondaries.
When you look back at what happened in 2012, what improvements were made in 2013, and what moves have already been made in the early stages of free agency... it's amazing!
The Saints defense, which was once a major concern for people when breaking down the Black and Gold, has become a key strength in less than a year's time. Will the Saints have another top four defensive unit this season? Only time will tell, but I know that before one ball has been snapped, one play has run, or one whistle has been blown, the Saints defense has gotten better.
And folks, it has been a long time since that was the case!
Deke: Upgrading Safety could push Saints over the top!
Please Enter Your Comments Below
Dome patrol 2.0
Original dome patrol was only the linebackers. Let's give this new and improved D the name DOME PATROL 2.0 or better yet. BAYOU BONE CRUSHERS. This defense is a complete unit.
Who Is the New Cornerback ?
WHO DAT did you say ?
How many for a Super Cushion at Cornerback ?
How Fast? How Tall ? How Strong?
Can they get a prayer of Faith answered when the chips are down?
Thank GOD for all the Victories we,ve had past,present & future!!!!Thank GOD for Mr. Benson & Sean & Mickey &our Scouting Dept. Thank GOD for the whole team !
Whodats all that
By signing Byrd the saints also made it extremely challenging for the Seahawks to retain Earl Thomas and other personnel. With several key contributors looking at huge paydays. Earl Thomas is certainly going to want more money than Byrd come contract time, at a time Sherman and Wilson and others are going to be looking to get paid as well.
better def vs reduction of offensive firepower.
Yes def wins championships, ... and yes, Byrd is a fine addition. My question is whether this defensive improvement will outweigh the reduction of firepower on offense. My initial thoughts are "yes" because I trust Peyton and Loomis. However, it is a real question.
Perhaps the "second round" of free agency will prove to fill in the losses (we have a strong history of accomplishing via value player additions) ... and then there's that thing called the draft.
All in all, I think Byrd is a fine addition to a puzzle that has yet to be completed. Not ready to anoint, but looking forward to watching this unfold.
scoot is rubbing off on you Deke
Deke you are always getting close and putting your arm around bobby. Do you have a crush?
Payback time for Sea Chickens
2014 is the year for The Saints and The Who Dat Nation to have some payback time against The SeaChickens and to shut up their mouthing off with some Smash mouth football by Ryan's Saints Defense.