Saints News

Biggest Disappointments on the Saints 2016 Roster

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Dec 4, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) passes the ball past New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Stephone Anthony (50) and defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Detroit defeated New Orleans 28-13. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 4, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) passes the ball past New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Stephone Anthony (50) and defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Detroit defeated New Orleans 28-13. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dec 11, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive linemen Kasim Edebali (91) attempts to tackle Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) in the fist half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive linemen Kasim Edebali (91) attempts to tackle Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) in the fist half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /

Kasim Edebali

Where exactly was Kasim Edebali?

Many media outlets had Edebali pegged as a potential breakout candidate. They noted that, statistically, he was following a similar path to standout pass rusher Junior Galette. He had two sacks in his first year, and then five in 2015, his second year. By all accounts, he was developing as a pass rusher, and making strides as a run defender.

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Well, he must not have been making enough strides. Edebali rarely saw the field in 2016, and finished the year with a single, lonely sack.

In a year when the Saints desperately needed for pass rush, and their prospective starter Paul Kruger generated absolutely none, you’d expect Edebali to come to the team’s rescue. He did not.

And I don’t blame coaching or lineup problems for that. These coaches know what to look for. If they didn’t put Edebali out on the field, it’s because he wasn’t ready.

I’d be surprised if Edebali makes enough of a jump to warrant a bigger look in 2017. And if he doesn’t, that might be the end of his career in New Orleans. Unless, of course, he makes it as a core special team’s player, which is entirely possible.

But it’s disappointing to see such a promising pass rusher regress.

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