In a press conference on Monday, New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo gave an evaluation of the defense’s performance from Sunday night against the San Diego Chargers as well as his thoughts on the Saints secondary.
Although Spagnuolo was pleased with the effort of the defensive unit as a whole, he addressed something that everyone would agree with, which is there is still much tweaking and work to be done as the season goes on.
While the secondary has been less than stellar, especially in man coverage skills, Spagnuolo asked that fans be patient. Former first-round draft pick cornerback Patrick Robinson has been having a rough start to the season after recording a stellar one last year.
Robinson, who was drafted for his speed, intercepted one pass last Sunday against the Green Bay Packers but has been left out on an island on numerous occasions against top receivers.
When speaking about Robinson, as well as cornerbacks Corey White and Johnny Patrick, Spagnuolo had this to say:
“There’s still a learning curve, and all three guys are going through it.”
Spagnuolo also took the blame for the leaving the defensive backs “out to dry” when he called a series of blitzes trying to shake the Chargers offense up.
While safety Malcolm Jenkins has also seemed to slip in his play this season, Spagnuolo praised him and fellow safety Roman Harper for being leaders on the defensive unit. Harper recorded his first interception in over two years off a deflected pass Sunday night that he returned for 41 yards.
With different personnel being used last night, including seeing defensive end Martez Wilson more, Spagnuolo seems to be slowly adjusting players to their strengths and not trying to force them to do what they aren’t capable or strong at doing.