Saints Preseason: What To Watch For

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The Defense

Jul 29, 2013; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan works with the defense during a morning training camp practice at the team facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Games like these are not necessarily a reflection of Rob Ryan (unless you are a Cowboys fan, in which the HOF game means they’re going to the Super Bowl, and Ryan being fired was the move of the year), but it will definitely be a different look for Saints fans. I mean, the last time the Saints lined up in a 3-4 defense, can you remember?

We could talk for hours about the possible personnel mix-ups we’ll see, but perhaps the most glaring spot is the Defensive Line. It will be comprised of Cam Jordan, Brodrick Bunkley, and Kenyon Coleman to start. Many think that Akiem Hicks will be the starter for the Saints, but there’s not much to discount on Coleman, who is an extreme veteran, especially of the 3-4 defense, and Rob Ryan. I’m interested to see the impact of John Jenkins, in whichever capacity they choose to use him at.

Kenny Vaccaro is listed as the team’s 3rd option at Safety, behind Roman Harper & Jim Leonhard. Vaccaro is versatile, and he will no doubt make the 53-man roster, but I think most fans are just waiting to see Vaccaro’s physical presence unleashed.

I’ve heard very little about David Hawthorne these days. He’s currently slotted behind Jonathan Vilma. Hawthorne had a very disappointing season in 2012, and was riddled with injuries. He had career back-to-back seasons in Seattle prior to coming over to the Saints (we’re talking 100+ tackles in each season to say the least). If there’s ever a chance for him to regain form, it would be now.

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