As dysfunctional as the New Orleans Saints defense has been this season, rookie linebacker Stephone Anthony has been steadily improving and is a lone bright spot.
Stephone Anthony currently sits at 92 combined tackles this season after yesterday’s 10 tackle effort against the Carolina Panthers. Anthony is on pace to make more franchise history similar to what he did yesterday when he became the first NFL player to score a 2-point conversion off of a blocked extra point attempt.
Anthony needs 34 tackles in the final 4 games, or just over 8 per game to set the franchise record for most tackles in a season by a rookie.
Anthony would join great company if he pulls it off, as Rickey Jackson amassed 125 total tackles as a rookie in the 1981 season. Jackson had 5 seasons with the Saints in which he went over the century mark in tackles (1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986).
The New Orleans Saints have only had one triple digit tackler this millennium, which actually came in 2014 when Curtis Lofton finished with 100 total tackles. Other than Lofton and Jackson, here’s a look at other Saints defenders that have gone over the century mark since 1981.
- 1997 – Winfred Tubbs (116)
- 1994 – Sam Mills (115)
- 1993 – Vaughan Johnson (110)
- 1992 – Sam Mills (130)
- 1991 – Sam Mills (101)
- 1990 – Sam Mills (112); Vaughan Johnson (103)
- 1988 – Vaughan Johnson (114); Sam Mills (105)
Anthony has been a big iron man on defense, participating in 822 of 847 snaps (97 percent) for the Saints this season. Only Kenny Vaccaro has more with 844, as per Pro Football Focus.
Currently, Anthony is tied for 10th in the NFL in tackles. He and the Saints will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Atlanta Falcons over the final four games.