Last year Casillas was rewarded for his breakout play by getting the nod as the teams new starting weakside linebacker. Should he continue his dominance on the field there is no reason to think he won’t upset Scott Shanle this year and earn the start once more.
Corner Patrick Robinson, the Saints first round pick a year ago, may be the most improved player on the roster after a shaky rookie season.
Robinson has been running with the first team offense in place of Tracy Porter, who has been recovering from off-season knee surgery, and thus far has played well enough to garner attention as a potential starter.
He has not been beat or given up a long pass play at all through training camp, and turned in one of the days biggest defensive plays when he stepped in front of Drew Brees, afterwards racing into the end zone for the defensive score.
Porter is now back in the lineup and will be contesting Robinson for his starting role, but don’t be surprised if defensive coordinator Gregg Williams decides to give Robinson the job until further notice.
Seventh round draft pick and former Illinois linebacker Nate Bussey is getting noticed in camp. Drafted to be primarily a special teams contributor and reserve linebacker, Bussey could be playing himself into a more prominent role with the defense in 2011.
Bussey was making plays all over the field showcasing great instincts, good closing speed, and superb tackling ability. This after picking off 49ers Colin Kaepernick in the preseason opener.
After Bussey was drafted, Williams said he would be a player to watch and that his versatility would surprise analysts covering the Saints.
So far that prediction is dead on and Bussey is this years “dark horse” at outside linebacker, and one that could be utilized on passing downs in nickel formations this season.