Warping back to 2013 when Rob Ryan first entered the picture, it seemed as though the Saints’ pass rushing problems were solved. At the time, the team’s fourth-ranked defense put together a 49-sack season, which was the franchise’s most since 2001 (53). Unfortunately, it turned out to be an anomaly, as the team regressed to 34 sacks in 2014 (25th) and 31 sacks in 2015 (T-25th).
No one will gladly admit it, but this team missed Junior Galette‘s on the field production. Yes, Cameron Jordan did have a strong season with his 10.0 sacks. However, where was the compliment to his pass rush? No disrespect intended, but the next closest for the team’s production was then second-year player Kasim Edebali, who finished with 5.0 sacks.
There’s a reason the Saints made a major overhaul to their front seven, and while it may not solve all of their problems from last season, you would fully expect drastic improvement over the past two seasons. It’s hard to ignore how abysmal the secondary was last season, especially giving up an NFL record 45 passing touchdowns. However, I believe it all starts with the pressure and ability to get the quarterback down.
Next: Protecting their own