After a Pro Bowl campaign in 2013 with 12.5 sacks, New Orleans Saints’ Cam Jordan was ranked No. 99 in NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2014. A bit low in my opinion, but the sack machine of a defensive end has no worries. In fact, in a Tuesday interview, the former first-round pick shared his goals and aspirations for the new season.
Jordan is aiming for 16 sacks in 2014, which is very realistic. “I’d like to average one a game, but what’s really truly important is just the whole defensive line getting after quarterbacks,” he explained to NFL Media’s Amber Theoharis and Shaun O’Hara.
He was asked how he felt about being mentioned with some of the league’s best, but the Saints’ pass rusher assured interviewers that a Black and Gold Super Bowl is unquestionably the bigger picture. Jordan was actually a three-star recruit from Chandler, AZ heading into college, so his dreams of playing the big game at home in Arizona could very well come true.
After a superb performance in 2013, New Orleans decided to go ahead and exercise his fifth-year option, which won’t make him a free agent until after the 2015 season. Sean Payton and company clearly have long-term plans for him, so a deal to keep him around in the Big Easy for a while could be on the horizon.
As for the goal of 16, Jordan’s sack totals have substantially increased every year since arriving to the Crescent City out of the University of California. He started 15 games as a rookie, getting to the quarterback only one time. In 2012, his numbers skyrocketed, finishing the season with eight sacks. Of course, we all know what happened last year — 12.5 sacks and his first of probably many trips to the Pro Bowl.
Coming out of college, Jordan was one of the more game-ready defensive ends in his class. His ideal fit was a 3-4 scheme and as soon as Rob Ryan stepped onto the scene, Jordan shined. The 6-fo0t-4, 287 pound monster brings excellent size and strength at the point of attack. He’s quick, agile and is a dominant force at both the run stop and getting after opposing quarterbacks. The kids got the tools to excel at the next level for a long time. If he were to reach the 16-sack mark, it would be no surprise.
Winning the Super Bowl is a much more challenging objective, but the Saints could be looking at one of the best, if not the best rosters they’ve ever had. There are not many weak points on the team and the 35-year-old Drew Brees is showing no signs of slowing down. The offseason additions of Jairus Byrd, who leads all free safeties with 22 interceptions since 2009, and Champ Bailey (12 Pro Bowls) won’t hurt their chances either.
A phenomenal draft should help their case as well. Rookie Brandin Cooks is probably the most versatile athlete New Orleans has had since Reggie Bush. On top of that, the 6-foot-3 converted wide receiver, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste screams shutdown potential.
I’ll stop here, but the whole team is loaded with outstanding talent. From rookies to veterans to emerging superstars, dreams of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy once again are becoming especially promising. Kickoff to the 2014 NFL season is just two months away. The Who Dat Nation is ready for some football.