New Orleans Saints: Top news and video clips

The New Orleans Saints have been among the most successful teams in the NFL over the last three seasons with a 41-13 record, two division titles, a Super Bowl title and three playoff appearances. But the bling of 16-3, 11-6 and 14-4 can turn to 9-7 in a blink with bad personnel decisions here and there. Losing just one quality player — if not adequately replaced — can cause problems.

Rick Reiprish said the Saints won’t change their approach to this year’s draft despite now owning a first-round pick. Reiprish, the Saints’ director of college scouting, said just because New Orleans traded away their first-rounder in last season’s draft-day swap with New England in order to get running back Mark Ingram doesn’t mean they can’t look at the top players available this year.

According to, New Orleans can thank Drew Brees for  Steve Spagnuolo. The Saints’ new defensive coordinator had his choice of a number of jobs.  Among the other teams that either were in hot pursuit or had expressed interest  were the Eagles, Falcons, Colts, Buccaneers, and Vikings. It came down to the  Eagles and the Saints, and Spags picked Brees over Michael Vick.

Defense still wins championships. It did yesterday in Foxboro and San Francisco, and it will in two weeks in Indianapolis.Few people would have expected that one of those surviving defenses would belong to the Patriots [team stats] since they ranked next-to-last in the league in total defense and 15th in scoring defense this season. Yet, they managed to limit the three turnovers forced by the Baltimore defense to six measly points, which were four less than the Ravens needed to reach Super Bowl XLVI.

Saints coach Sean Payton didn’t let Steve Spagnuolo out of sight after their interview for the vacant defensive coordinator position. Spagnuolo, in demand after being fired by the Rams, was given the keys to the Saints’ defense on Jan. 19 with high interest from the Colts and Eagles. Payton was in search of a new coordinator after Gregg Williams left to take the same job with the Rams and new coach Jeff Fisher. Williams, who had been with the Saints for three seasons, was defensive coordinator under Fisher from 1997-2000 with the Tennessee Titans.

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Tags: Carl Nicks Chris Ivory Darren Sharper Darren Sproles Detroit Lions Drew Brees Green Bay Packers Gregg Williams Houston Texans Indianapolis Colts Jonathan Vilma Lance Moore New Orleans Saints Sean Payton Will Smith

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