When linebacker Jonathan Vilma was sidelined by a knee injury this past season, the New Orleans Saints turned to an untested player to lead his position. Could linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar be the answer in the near future?
Dunbar has been with the Saints since going undrafted out of Boston College in 2008. Since 2008, he mainly has played the role of backup and contributer on special teams. That was until this past season.
Dunbar had begun to show potential the previous season and had won the trust of then defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Williams had begun finding more packages to place Dunbar in to make plays.
It was this past season where Dunbar was given the chance to showcase his ability. In Week 3 against the Houston Texans, Dunbar was moved from his outside linebacker position to middle linebacker due to linebacker Jonathan Vilma being sidelined with a knee injury.
Dunbar was no stranger to the position since it was the same spot he had held in college and one that he has admitted he was more comfortable with. However, Dunbar was having to fill Vilma’s shoes in a big way and there was some uncertainty from the fanbase.
That quickly faded as he showed his speed and aggressive playing style over the course of the game. Dunbar also was given the trust from Williams to check out of plays and align players just as Vilma had.