So Jonathan Vilma is having surgery and might miss some time. Mike Triplett is a respected analyst, a great sports writer, and an all-around good guy. He’s also a bit off in his recent article on the Saints inside linebacker situation. The Saints may not be in the best position, and maybe Jonathan Vilma is the best option next to Curtis Lofton, but I believe the Saints have a plan in place.
First, lets look at the depth again. David Hawthorne would be the next man up. This will be his sixth year as a pro and he was an up and comer in Seattle before injuries derailed him. Still injured, he did have a disappointing year in 2012. But, the three years previous in Seattle, he had a combined six sacks and seven interceptions, as well as always having at least 100 tackles per season. He will step up this year if Vilma is out for an extended period of time.
As for the rest of the guys, Ramon Humber, Will Herring and Chris Chamberlain are solid backups. Chamberlain and Herring both have great experience and were brought in last year to compete for starting positions. Certainly they would love to be given the chance to win the starting job again.
Finally, Kevin Reddick was an unseated rookie many were shocked to see fall out of the draft. He has some ground to make up but if he can earn some preseason time, he might just unseat some veterans with his play. He has potential for future growth. If he makes it, and impresses, he might not be ready to give the job back to Vilma.
Vilma is almost certain to return. He has a lot to prove and wants this season badly. He wouldn’t have been so accepting of switching roles and taking less money if he wasn’t planning on playing no matter what. If he does end up missing time, though, I believe we have a great replacement, two solid veterans, and a promising rookie. That’s a lot more than we can say for some of the other positions.