July 27, 2012; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints safety Roman Harper (41) during training camp at the team

New Orleans Saints Roman Harper could see more time at linebacker

New Orleans Saints safety Roman Harper found himself in a new role Sunday against the Green Bay Packers:  linebacker.  And if certain trends continue, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said that could happen more frequently.

In a press conference yesterday, Spagnuolo said that injuries at the linebacker position forced him to change the depth chart a bit.  Harper was moved to the “Will” or weakside linebacker position in nickel packages with his backup safety Isa-Abdul Quddus coming in for him.

Spagnuolo brought up the point that Harper does well at the line of scrimmage and this stands pat from the 2011 season.  He was used frequently by former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to blitz at the line of scrimmage last season with much success.

With Jonathan Casillas(neck) and David Hawthorne(hamstring) back on the mend from injuries, Harper could continue to be utilized at linebacker if they need him to.  To be honest, it’s no secret that Harper has wained the past several seasons at the safety position and considered a liability in pass coverage.

On the winning touchdown pass to San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis in the NFC Divisional Playoffs last year, Harper was the player victimized.  Later, 49ers quarterback Alex Smith said that specific play was put into their offense especially for Harper when they were putting together their gameplan for the Saints.

While the experiments and tweaks continue with the Saints defense, this could be one that is beneficial to not only the Saints but to Harper and his continued future with the team.

Tags: New Orleans Saints Roman Harper Steve Spagnuolo

  • Larry James

    Roman Harper is a guys that wants to win a game if every guys play like Harper the defensive line can win all of the defensive side must play 100% some of these guys just on the field.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rodjgilbert Roderick Gilbert

    FINALLY!!!! I’ve been saying it since 2010 playoffs…switch this dude to linebacker his coverage skills aren’t good enough for deep extended man coverages and he’s adept at pass rushing and run stopping so keep him closer to LOS and give opposing olines something to worry about …he’s a much better matchup against a running back or underneath zone on a tight end with other safety help…I would argue to keep him on the strong side however…

  • http://www.facebook.com/george.moore.547 George Moore

    They really need to move him! His job is to stop the long plays from scrimmage! HE HAS FAILED HORRIBLY AT HIS JOB!!

  • Godfather

    Harper is a crawfish and is constantly backing up so that he will not be boiled. Get him out of the secondary now!!!