Aug 3, 2013; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints strong safety Kenny Vaccaro (32) with running back Mark Ingram (22) during a scrimmage at the team training facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The New Orleans Saints have released their first depth chart for the 2013 season in preparation for their preseason opener Friday against the Kansas City Chiefs and there are plenty of big takeaways when glancing it over.
Typically the first depth chart looks much different when compared to the final one come September thanks to injuries and players emerging while others decline. Still, the first chart has its value as a meter to show where improvements are needed and where surprises could be.
Let’s take a look.
Akiem Hicks Not a Starter
Aug 3, 2013; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (76) during a scrimmage at the team training facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
With the new 3-4 now in place it had become difficult to predict who would start where. Many had pegged Hicks as a starter at defensive end, but that simply is not the case on the first depth chart.
Kenyon Coleman and Cameron Jordan are your starting ends while Brodrick Bunkley holds things down in the middle. It’s not a major shock to see Coleman a starter thanks to his familiarity with the system. Jordan and Bunkley were both expected to be starters.
Coleman may have the inside edge but look for Hicks to gain ground in the coming weeks. He’s simply too talented and versatile to not make a serious push for a starting gig.
Charles Brown the Starter at LT
Jul 26, 2013; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Charles Brown (71) and offensive tackle Jason Smith (78) during the first day of training camp at the team facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
It should not be a shock that Charles Brown is listed as the starter at left tackle. He’s talented enough to hold down the fort if he could actually manage to stay healthy.
What should surprise you is the fact Jason Smith, otherwise known as a massive bust, is the No. 2 tackle. Extremely athletic rookie Terron Armstead is listed as the No. 3.
We’re still a long way from the season opener. Armstead has plenty of time to get it together and maybe fight for the starting spot, but it’s clear the coaching staff is intent on bringing him along slowly.
Joe Morgan Stepping up With Marques Colston Out
Jul 28, 2013; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints free safety Malcolm Jenkins (27) intercepts a pass in front of wide receiver Joe Morgan (13) during a morning training camp practice at the team training facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Veteran receiver Marques Colston has been dealing with a nagging injury issue so he’s been taking it easy so far in camp. With Colston sidelined it appears Joe Morgan is the starting receiver across from Lance Moore.
It’s important to note because there has been a question mark at the slot receiver position ever since Devery Henderson left for free agency. Morgan being listed as the No. 2 with Colston out is a clear indication he’s pulling away with slot receiver duties early.
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