Jul 29, 2013; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Jonathan Vilma (51) during a morning training camp practice at the team facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
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.
Who’s your pick if Vilma goes down? Do you agree with Mike Triplett’s assessment? Sound off here, on Twitter, or on Facebook!
Corey Hogue is currently a relationship banker by day and aspiring sports writer by night. He resides in Slidell, LA where he has access to one of the greatest cities and teams in the country – New Orleans and the New Orleans Saints. Corey grew up in Slidell, a tight-knit family community, only 35 minutes from New Orleans. His love for sports developed in college as he began to learn more about the inner-workings and strategy of professional and college football. Corey graduated from the University of Phoenix in November 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Communications, concentrating in Technological Communication. In his free time he enjoys writing, reading, travel, spending time with family and of course – keeping up with sports. He loves taking advantage of the exciting cities he is able to frequent and enjoys experiencing all that New Orleans and it’s surrounding areas have to offer. He has been happily married to his wife Amy since November 2012. Corey’s dream is to become a successful football writer covering a wide range of teams and aspects of the football world. He currently writes a tongue-in-cheek sports article for local Slidell Magazine and is also a contributing writer for the fast-growing website WhoDatDish.com.