Now that Junior Galette has been cut, who will step up and take his place? It won’t be as easy as many people think — Galette led the New Orleans Saints in sacks the last two years with twenty-two. That being said, the Saints needed cut him. There is no need to have someone like that on the team.
By Sean Payton cutting Junior Galette, even though he knew that it would be a big cap hit, it shows players and fans that he wants a different attitude and a better locker room. So the big question is, who is going to get the reps and more playing time during camp?
The most likely candidate will be rookie pass rusher Hau’oli Kikaha. He’s equipped with an assortment of pass rushing moves and possesses a high motor. He is a great character guy and should fit in well in the Saints’ locker room. I’m expecting him to get most of Galette’s reps. Kikaha was a dominant pass rusher in college and the Saints are going to need him to have that same amount of productivity in the Big Easy.
Anthony Spencer is another guy who could get a few more repetitions now. Since he has already played under Rob Ryan for the Dallas Cowboys, he shouldn’t struggle too much with the terminology, which should allow him to play faster and not have to think, just react. Let’s hope he is fully healthy and can help the younger pass rushers.
Another guy not to sleep on is rookie fifth-round pick Davis Tull. He is still healing from a pectoral injury, but he could shine in the Saints’ defense. Coming out of The University of Chattanooga not many people have heard of him. He was a three-time Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year and had 37 sacks in his college career.
Ronald Powell and Kasim Edebali are two players that I think could be good situational pass rushers. They’re both athletic and in their second year, so hopefully they both have progressed from a season ago and can help contribute with the pass rushing this year.
Last but not least is the veteran Parys Haralson. He doesn’t stand out when it comes to stats and flashy plays, but he is a good and consistent player. With so many young linebackers on the team, it’s good to have a few veterans that can help lead them, so expect Haralson and Spencer to take on the role.
Losing Junior Galette is tough because of his pass rushing skills by constantly pressuring opposing quarterbacks, but these young linebackers should help fans forget all about him if they play up to their potential.
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