If reality han’t set in for some defensive players along the New Orleans Saints locker room, then after their horrid performance on Sunday it really should.
Listening to some post game comments by players in the locker room after the Denver Broncos game by WWL 870 AM reporter Kristian Garic, one really stuck out to me.
Defensive end Will Smith was asked about the run defense to which he responded that he didn’t feel that was an issue. The reality of it was the Saints defense allowed the Broncos to run for 225 yards and are currently ranked at 31st in the NFL in run defense.
Other defensive players are using the blanket of it being just simple lack of execution of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s scheme. It might also be something else that is missing which is their style of play and current talent.
The Saints defensive unit hasn’t played with the same aggressive manner that we’ve seen or better yet become accustomed to over the past few years. The fire seems to be gone and players appear to be hot and cold from one game to the next.
As far as talent, Smith is one that is high on the radar of under performing. He was beaten like a drum by the offensive line all last Sunday and has rarely been the shadow of himself we’ve seen before when he was a first round draft pick as has defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis.
Other first rounders that don’t have the same impact they have or should have are cornerback Patrick Robinson and safety Malcolm Jenkins. Robinson had a stellar sophomore year last season but has regressed considerably with poor coverage and even worse tackling.
Jenkins hit a slump last year after he was chosen to be the heir apparent to former Saint Darren Sharper. Jenkins showed he was a cerebral, physical player after being picked in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft but seems to be a non-factor now in the secondary.