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Five New Orleans Saints who must rebound in 2015

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David Hawthorne

Dec 28, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints inside linebacker David Hawthorne (57) gets ready to rush against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. New Orleans Saints defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Without the services of Curtis Lofton this year, it’s the David Hawthorne show in the middle. Overall, Hawthorne has had a disappointing run in New Orleans since entering the scene in 2012. After a very underwhelming start in the Big Easy, Hawthorne vowed to get better, and improved tremendously in 2013 under Rob Ryan. Sadly, like most of the defense, he regressed in 2014.

Hawthorne has shown flashes of good play over the years with the Saints, but now has the spotlight on him. Whether or not he becomes the ‘quarterback’ on defense is yet to be seen. Throughout his career, Hawthorne has been a tackling machine. Before joining the Saints, he led the Seahawks from 2009-2011 in tackles each year with well over 100 in each season.

Whether the Saints opt to run more base 3-4 or 4-3 defenses next season is one giant question mark. Either way, David Hawthorne will have to be the team’s iron man on defense at middle linebacker, something that Curtis Lofton was able to do without question in his three seasons with the Saints.

Needless to say, Hawthorne has his work cut out for him, and big shoes to fill.

Next: Take 5? Take Patience

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