"Man in the Middle": New Orleans Saints linebacker Curtis Lofton

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His presence will be missed by the veterans on this defense that surely built a friendship and camaraderie with their defensive captain.   Lofton has big shoes to fill in that regard.  It is quite possible that it will take more than just Lofton himself to fill the shoes of Vilma in a leadership perspective.

Another way Lofton will most likely be a better fit is in the scheme of this new defense.  Scheme-wise he is a better fit because of the way Steve Spagnuolo uses the middle linebacker.

His MLB spot usually consists of somebody who is very good in coverage as a result of his use of the defensive line.  Hopefully this Saints D-Line will get enough pressure on its own, to allow Lofton and his linebacker mates to flow to the ball easier on pass plays or be more disruptive with a back coming out of the backfield.

It may take time for Curtis Lofton to adjust to a new team and a new defensive scheme, but in time that will come as Lofton gels with his new teammates and finds his groove in the middle.  Spagnuolo is going to expect a great deal from him – a great athlete in the middle and a great leader as well.  As soon as Lofton gets acclimated, the upgrade from Vilma to Lofton will be evident.

Instead of being “stuck” in the middle with Lofton, I prefer to see it as “blessed” to have a great talent that will emerge as one of the premiere middle linebackers in the NFL, and possibly one of the best defensive leaders.  Look for good things to come not only from Lofton, but also this Saints revamped defense.

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