The defense made a good stand in their last game against the San Diego Chargers, but if Saints fans have many more games like that, they may try to get compensation for trips to the heart doctor.
All joking aside, the defense had it’s best performance with of all people safety Roman Harper snagging an interception after not having one in two years. The key now is for defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to replicate that for the rest of the season.
What seems evident is that Spagnuolo has come to terms with the fact that the defense he inherited from Gregg Williams doesn’t have the right talent to accomplish what he wants. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but the only cure for that is the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft and free agency.
Spagnuolo began using defensive end Martez Wilson as primarily a speed rusher along with fellow defensive end Junior Galette. We also saw the Saints using more blitz packages to get to the quarterback as well which was another Williams gameplan.
While we always wondered why Williams blitzed so much, now we are seeing why. The Saints just don’t have great man coverage in the secondary, a strong linebacking corps, or a dominant defensive line.
There are one or two in each unit that do stand out, but it’s a far cry from other teams currently in the NFL that have what you would call a total package. Instead Spagnuolo is having to “borrow from Peter to pay Paul” in order to get any type of rhythm going on the defensive side of the ball.
To cure their pass rush issues the Saints have been scouting defensive ends and had some former Spagnuolo players like James Hall and C.J. Ah You in for a look. With defensive end Turk McBride out the past three weeks with an ankle injury and defensive Will Smith facing his suspension, something will eventually have to give.
The Saints will return next week to prepare for a critical NFC South game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and can’t afford to fall behind in the division or in the win column. Hopefully, the coaching staff has used the bye week to come up with a way to turn things around in the disappointing 1-4 start.