90 players are set to compete for 53 spots for the 2016 New Orleans Saints squad in just about a week, and cornerback Keenan Lewis looks to return to form for a secondary that definitely needs his best.
With training camp right around the corner, we continue our look at some of the top Saints players to watch at training camp. As a reminder, the criteria used for this series is based on competition, growth, impact, and overall expectations, and not necessarily a popularity-driven list.
2015 didn’t fare well for Keenan Lewis, and it’s a season that he’d like nothing more than to put behind him. Last year saw the Westbank native undergo three separate procedures: sports-hernia surgery, hip surgery, and knee surgery. After appearing in nearly 84 percent of the defensive snaps in 2014, Lewis only appeared in 10 percent (109 snaps) of plays through 6 total games for the Saints. Needless to say, the Saints secondary definitely missed him.
This year has been a different tune for Lewis, who enters his 8th season in the NFL. Lewis was a participant in drills during OTAs, and there’s a general positive outlook for Lewis in 2016. He’s certainly optimistic and determined, saying on his personal Instagram account, “Ready to show the world even after three surgeries and turning 30 I can still be mention with the best.”
It wasn’t the first time that Lewis has publicly expressed his passion, as fans might remember his post-Super Bowl post which promised a troublesome Saints defense. “I will help get the troops on the other side of the ball together I promise. This defense this year will cause problems, I put my life on that….Who dat,” said Lewis on Instagram.
Lewis should be a lock to make the final 53-man roster, but will he start opposite of Delvin Breaux? That seems to be the biggest question we have to ask ourselves as we roll through training camp. I’d fully expect Lewis to be the de facto starting corner until someone takes it from him. Second-year corner P.J. Williams is widely expected to challenge Lewis, and that’s not a bad thing. However, Lewis’ determination and experience could widely distance himself from that conversation.
The Saints have had problems keeping their secondary healthy, and after last year’s debacle allowing an NFL record for most passing touchdowns allowed, they’ll need ‘all hands on deck’ to turn this highly ridiculed unit into winners. Make no mistake about it, Keenan Lewis will have a large hand in helping the Saints return to form.
Oh by the way, be sure to check out Keenan Lewis’ 3rd annual free football camp and school supply giveaway, which is set for Saturday, July 23rd.
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