With the New Orleans Saints hiring Steve Spagnuolo as the new defensive coordinator, speculation has been of a new “culture” on defense. This could bring changes starting with the defensive line, an area that most agree needs some work.
The Saints defensive line failed to produce any significant pass rush this season, much to the disappointment of Saints staff and fans. Disappointing because of what other teams were able to produce.
Incoming first round draft pick rookies like Houston Texans J.J. Watt and San Francisco 49ers Aldon Smith racked up crazy sack numbers, 19.5 between the two, while the Saints first round pick defensive end Cameron Jordan didn’t get his first sack until the last game of the season.
Three free agency additions to the Saints defensive line, defensive end Turk McBride, defensive tackle Shaun Rogers, and defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin, were promised to make a huge impact along the front seven.
Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said that 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis would be “crying in his milk” over the loss of Franklin from the 49ers. It was actually the exact opposite with the 49ers defense ranking #1 during the season.
It’s pretty clear that changes will and must be made during the offseason. Spagnuolo’s tenure with the New York Giants shows that he helped invent the “hybrid” linebacker/defensive end pass rusher.