New Orleans Saints: Brees deal imminent, Vilma’s case to Feds, and More zone defense

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New defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is attempting to reshape the Saints defense into a more balanced unit while distancing them from the days of the constant blitz.

He is installing more zone concepts than the team has run in the past, gone are the days of man-to-man coverage while the house is sent at the opposing quarterback.

Spagnuolo will demand much more pressure from the front four while requiring his safeties (Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins) to play much closer to the line of scrimmage.

For Harper it’s a role he has grown accustomed to playing, but for Jenkins, who played 20-yards or more off the line in the deep secondary under Williams, it represents a fundamental change in his playing process.

Spagnuolo will also require better pass defense from his linebackers as he calls on them to drop back into coverage far more often than they have in the past.

That’s likely a fundamental reason the Saints signed three linebackers in free agency — Curtis Lofton, David Hawthorne, and Chris Chamberlain.

The defense is still a work in progress, but fans can expect to see a more discplined unit that gambles far less on the blitz.

For fans that should be a welcome sign as it was this risky blitz heavy scheme that bounced the Saints from the playoffs the last two seasons.