I think Evans is sort of a quiet guy, so he probably leads by example more than anything else
That's the kind of guy I think of when I think of a Captain of the Offensive Line. The quiet monster. Not the guy that screams "run" 10 times a game after he blows his assignment. :mad:
Great article here by Jeff Duncan of The Times Picayune. He assesses the Saints defense with some pretty good points and analysis.
New Orleans Saints defense needs playmakers more than time to become dominant
Overreaction Monday turned into Damage Control Monday for the New Orleans Saints and their beleaguered defense.
One bad performance can be chalked up to happenstance.
Two poor efforts signal a trend. And a call to circle the wagons.
That's why Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo moved up his normal press briefing from Friday to Monday in the wake of Carolina's 35-27 strafing of New Orleans. Spags knew the arrows would fly and he bravely elected to take and deflect as many as possible during his 18-minute session with reporters.
Spags was sitting down but it was a stand-up effort. He admirably admitted he could have called a better game to put his players in better position to be successful on certain downs. He admirably refused to point fingers or make excuses.
"I don't think we're that far off," Spagnuolo said. "... If you get stuck on stats, you're going to say I'm full of baloney. But I believe it."
Indeed, the Saints defensive numbers are pretty disturbing.
They've allowed the most yards (922) and the second most points (75) in the NFL. Elias Sports Bureau tells us the 75 points are the most allowed by a team that won a postseason game the previous season since 1994, when the Raiders were drubbed by San Francisco and Seattle 44-14 and 38-9, respectively.
The Saints have allowed seven touchdown drives of 57 yards or more and 12 scoring drives overall. The one turnover to their credit was actually more of an inconsequential giveaway by Panthers quarterback Cam Newton on a desperation pitch on fourth-and-1.
Let's face facts: Right now, the Saints defense isn't very good. Yes, it should improve over the course of the season as the players become more familiar with the scheme and its idiosyncrasies. But to expect this group to transform into the 2007 Giants, a notion many are clinging to because of Spagnuolo's resume, is silly.
Those 2007 Giants featured defensive linemen Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, each a multi-time All-Pro selection. Together they formed one of the most dominant lines in recent NFL history.
Spagnuolo is discovering what Gregg Williams and Gary Gibbs learned before him. The Saints don't have any Strahans walking around. They lack defensive playmakers and have since Darren Sharper retired.
How many third-and-long conversions or dropped interceptions do we need to see before accepting this inconvenient truth?
"There just aren't many difference-makers on New Orleans' defense," former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah wrote in his weekly column on NFL.com Monday. "There are several functional players on the defensive line, but none of them are dynamic. The secondary lacks both speed and ball-hawking skills. In addition to the unit's inability to pick anything off, it has broken up just four of 46 passing attempts. This isn't a new issue for the Saints, who intercepted just nine balls in 2011."
Truth be told, the Saints' 0-2 start isn't really all that shocking.
The Saints defense is adjusting to Spag's new system, which by all accounts is intricately detail-oriented. Quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton are dynamic playmakers with rare skills sets. There's a reason they won the past two Heisman Trophies. And so far in their brief NFL careers, both appear to be bona fide.
The Saints have won in recent years largely because they had a decided edge on most opponents at the most important position in the NFL: quarterback. When the Saints beat the Panthers in 2010 the Carolina quarterbacks were Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen. The last time they played the Redskins in 2009 Jason Campbell was under center.
Times have changed. Suddenly the Redskins and Panthers have guys who can match Brees big play for big play. The Saints' main advantage has been marginalized if not neutralized. Consequently, the Redskins and Panthers of the NFL world are no longer easy outs on the schedule. And this is the case at several other spots in the NFL.
In the past, it didn't matter that the Saints defense was only mediocre. They could simply overwhelm opponents with their offensive proficiency. Now it does. And the Saints are losing games because of it.
The Saints are still talented enough to win their share of games. But the days of dominance and record-breaking are over.
"Our defense is going to get good," interim head coach Aaron Kromer said. "They are going to continue to improve. They are going to continue to have more knowledge of what they are doing and play fast and faster and faster. We are in an upwards slope (right now)."
Kromer is right. The defense will improve. The coaching staff is solid and the players continue to believe in the system. But it's foolish to think they're going to transform into a dominant, ball-hawking, quarterback-sacking unit anytime soon.
They might be better. But they won't be Giants
But the point of the article is pretty sound whether you agree or disagree. The Saints really need to start hitting some blue-blooded beasts on the defense with these draft picks. Our D is LITTERED with former first rounders, but none of them has proven to be even close to dominant at their position. Thats definitely a problem. As good as the Saints have been at picking up offensive talent all over the draft, they've been that bad picking up defensive talent.