Credit: Bill Haber/Associated Press New Orleans Saints linebacker Rufus Johnson (59) takes a drink during NFL football practice at the team’s training facility in Metairie, La., Tuesday, June 4, 2013. (Bill Haber/Associated Press)

Saints Rufus Johnson Continuing to Make Case for Final Roster


The New Orleans Saints have some questions to answer when it comes to rushing the passer from the outside linebacker position thanks to Victor Butler sitting out for the year, and rookie Rufus Johnson continues to show he may have those answers.

Not many are giving Johnson a chance. Instead, most are focused on the likes of Junior Galette and Martez Wilson.

While raw, it’s time for more fans to pay attention to the rookie. According to Terrance Harris of, Johnson is improving daily:

“Each day he will do something; today it was a couple of spots where you saw some flashes,” Saints coach Sean Payton after Tuesday’s morning practice. “It’s easy to say go rush the passer, but there are other elements to what he has to do, and I think each day he has gotten better.

“So I’m anxious to see these next few preseason games and see how he does just from not only a pass-rush standpoint but playing the run and some of those other elements as well.”

Johnson is not the biggest name, and he certainly has the odds stacked against him after being selected late in the draft. That said, he is making the right impressions on the folks he needs to impress in order to sneak on the roster.

It helps that the Saints are now thin at outside linebacker, but Johnson is upping his chances of making the final 53 every day not because of that, but because he has talents the coaching staff realizes it simply cannot ignore.



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