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New Orleans Saints: Will Herring, Martez Wilson, And Expectations


Not many New Orleans Saints fans can admit they knew who linebacker Will Herring was before the team signed him in free agency a few weeks ago.

Herring has been primarily a backup since being drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round of the 2007 draft.

He has appeared in 54 games with seven starts in four NFL season, recording 109 total tackles, one sack, three pass deflection, and one interception.

Not numbers that immediately jump out to a seasoned NFL fans, but the Saints apparently saw enough of Herring last season with the Seahawks to pursue him in free agency.

The Saints played the Seahawks twice in 2010, a win in week eleven and of course the opening play-off lost, and Herring total six tackles totals with five coming in the playoff loss alone.

So far during training camp the Saints have let Herring run with the first-team defense much of the time at strong side linebacker. He is competing with others — Clint Ingrambut he seems to be playing well enough to secure the start.

Danny Clark was released today in a move to make room for offensive tackle Jordan Black. Clark spent most of last season starting for the Saints on the strong side, along with Jo-Lonn Dunbar, who is now working at middle linebacker.

Reading between the lines the Saints are probably pretty pleased with the depth they have at both outside linebacker spots and are gaining more confidence in Herring as the potential starter, making the transition from Clark that much easier.

An early projection for the starting linebackers in 2011 — Will Herring (SLB), Jonathan Vilma (MLB), and Scott Shanle (WLB) — that is barring injuries to any of these players throughout the preseason.

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