New Orleans Saints 2017 defense: Will it be enough?

traymond
Jan 21, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; East Team defensive end Trey Hendrickson (99) and West Team running back Eli McGuire (1) pose for a photo as Hendrickson is the defensive player of the game and McGuire is the offensive player of the game of the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field. West Team defeated the East Team 10-3. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 21, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; East Team defensive end Trey Hendrickson (99) and West Team running back Eli McGuire (1) pose for a photo as Hendrickson is the defensive player of the game and McGuire is the offensive player of the game of the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field. West Team defeated the East Team 10-3. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Saints added plenty of new faces to the linebacker position, which brings up the question who will be starting?

Overview:

The New Orleans Saints linebacker position looks to be upgraded after the fresh faces the team brought in over the offseason. Despite all of the acquisitions, the Saints have a long ways to go. With the success, last year with addition LB Craig Robertson, could the Saints strike gold twice?

FAYETTEVILLE, AR – NOVEMBER 5: Alex Anzalone #34 of the Florida Gators warming up before a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Razorback Stadium on November 5, 2016 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Razorbacks defeated the Gators 31-10. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
FAYETTEVILLE, AR – NOVEMBER 5: Alex Anzalone #34 of the Florida Gators warming up before a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Razorback Stadium on November 5, 2016 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Razorbacks defeated the Gators 31-10. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Additions:

In regards to free agency the Saints added not only former Luke Kuechly backup LB A.J. Klein, but also added LB Manti Te’o. With the 2017 NFL Draft, the Saints selected LB Alex Anzalone from the Florida Gators with one of the teams third round selections. One shocking acquisition the Saints also acquired was former CFL LB Adam Bighill of the BC Lions. As far an UDFA goes, the Saints picked up LB Sae Tautu out of BYU.

What Has Changed From Last Season:

If anything has changed from last season it’s that New Orleans might finally be stable enough at the linebacker position. The team has brought in several, and I mean several linebackers to compete that’ll certainly help provide depth and stability for the Saints at that desired position. It, unfortunately, seems though year after year the Saints can’t get the right linebackers for the season. Although the Saints succeeded in hitting the nail with the acquisition of LB Craig Robertson the year prior, the team still needs to find out which of their current linebackers is best suited as the MLB.

NASHVILLE, TN – AUGUST 26: Craig Robertson #52 of the New Orleans Saints poses after a preseason game with L.J. Fort #54 of the Pittsburgh Steelers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on August 26, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Steelers defeated the Saints 27-14. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN – AUGUST 26: Craig Robertson #52 of the New Orleans Saints poses after a preseason game with L.J. Fort #54 of the Pittsburgh Steelers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on August 26, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Steelers defeated the Saints 27-14. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

What It Will Take To Get New Orleans Into The Playoffs: 

If the New Orleans Saints want to see the postseason this year, it’ll take communication not only from each linebacker to each other but to the rest of the defense. The middle linebacker on a team usually helps communicate everything to the rest of the defense if anything changes before the play starts. This communication aspect is key in helping the defense to not only stop the offensive play but to not allow the play to get out of hand. From my perspective, it almost seemed like the Saints couldn’t hold opponents offenses down because the athletes weren’t in communication with each other.

Let’s take a look at the Saints division rival the Carolina Panthers for example. The team’s middle linebacker, Luke Kuechly, relays all of the information and formation changes he notices to the rest of the defense. This communication allows Kuechly to not only be one of the best linebackers in the NFL beyond his athletic ability but allows the Carolina Panthers to be a better defense because of it.

Somehow, someway the New Orleans Saints need to find this communication among other things with the team’s linebackers. Beyond the general athletic ability to stop plays as they happen, verbal communication is going to save the New Orleans Saints this year in my opinion.

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