November 21, 2010; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams calls a play from the sideline during the second half against the Seattle Seahawks at the Louisiana Superdome. The Saints defeated the Seahawks 34-19. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
After watching the New Orleans Saints defense today, it appears that former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams may have figured out what most are now seeing in an ugly season.
At the end of last season the running joke a friend of mine always asked me was, “What do you think Williams will call on this play?” My answer: “Blitz!”
It did wonders in 2009 but by the NFC Divisional Playoff Game in 2012, the scheme had run it’s course and opposing teams victimized the Saints when they brought the house and left their secondary in straight man coverage.
When Steve Spagnuolo came to town, I’ll admit I got caught up in “Spags Fever” and awaited what was a new beginning. New additions at linebacker via free agency and reports of multiple interceptions and forced fumbles during training camp tickled any Saints fans fancy.
But after four losses in a row, the defense hasn’t emerged as the saving grace that some imagined or started to click at a quick enough pace to compliment the unit as a whole.
While there have been a few posts around social media asking for the Saints to fire Spagnuolo, the real issue is one that Williams masked with his blitz-heavy scheme: the Saints don’t have the right personnel.
The reason why Williams brought the house so many times was because the Saints front four are not able to generate any form of pass rush without extra help from linebackers, safeties, or cornerbacks.
While other teams do use a blitz package or two, it’s usually reserved for third down or when the opposing offense is put in a long yardage situation.
What could be the awful truth is that as far as adding any new players to help from free agency is a long-shot, even worse for fans is that they will simply have to wait and grind out the rest of what appears will be an unpromising season.
From what it looks like, Spagnuolo will have to start fresh next season and begin to mold the Saints defense into what he thinks it should be and with the players that he wants and not with what he was simply given.