Saints News

Junior Galette, Will Smith Facing Major Changes in New Orleans Saints Defense


Dec 23, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Junior Galette (93) celebrates a sack against Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) in the fourth quarter at Cowboys Stadium. The Saints beat the Cowboys 34-31 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints are undergoing a major defensive change as Saints training camp kicks off, and linebacker Will Smith and Junior Galette are set to be moved around like chess pieces.

For example, Smith was often thought to be the Jack linebacker in the new 3-4, which is used to primarily rush the passer.

Two days of training camp have already shown that simply may not be the case. Mike Triplett of has the story:

"The Saints unveiled yet another wrinkle in their defensive lineup Friday as they adjusted to the loss of injured outside linebacker Victor Butler. Will Smith spent most of practice at “Sam” or strongside outside linebacker, while Junior Galette moved into the starting lineup at the “Jack” position."

The move was easy to see coming. Smith is a converted defensive end on the heavier, slower side of the spectrum. Using him as a situational pass-rusher makes sense in a 3-4, but he’d be exploited in an every-down capacity.

Galette and Martez Wilson are two players that will likely end up manning the Jack position by the time the season rolls around. Both are athletic pass-rushers with untapped potential and could actually be better suited for the new 3-4 scheme.

We knew going in the Saints would move a lot of pieces around in order to find the parts that fit best, so this is business as expected. Keep an eye on more reports we’ll have as soon as they happen.

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