New Orleans Saints have third-oldest defense in NFL
Is the Saints defense too old to win? Last year the average age on the Saints defense was 26.2 years old; now it is 27.2 years old. The Saints added veteran talent this off-season with Brandon Browner, Dannell Ellerbe, and Kevin Williams who are expected to start for the team.
In total, over half of the projected starters for the New Orleans Saints defense will be over 30 years old: Keenan Lewis, Brandon Browner, Brodrick Bunkley, Parys Haralson, Dannell Ellerbe, and Jairus Byrd.
These players are coming off the back side of their peak level of talent, but they have the experience necessary to cohesively be a dangerous unit. Seattle’s defense isn’t just great because they are talented; they execute better than most defenses in the league.
Saints fans shouldn’t expect the defense to swing into the top 10 defenses in the league by the year’s end. The Saints haven’t done enough this off-season to justify a prediction like that.
What’s more realistic is a middle of the pack unit capable of not giving up a first down nearly 50% of the time. If the Saints can knock that percentage down to 40% they’ll be near the league average for third down conversions allowed.
Of course basic skills like tackling, lining up correctly, and communicating on the field will have to be ironed out as well. The one positive about being the third oldest defense? Everyone knows that the bar must be raised.