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4 reasons why the Saints defense will improve in 2017

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 11: Delvin Breaux #40 of the New Orleans Saints reacts after making an interception in the end zone during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 11, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 11: Delvin Breaux #40 of the New Orleans Saints reacts after making an interception in the end zone during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 11, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images) /
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A Secondary Like No Other

When was the last time New Orleans Saints fans had a secondary they could brag about? If my memory is correct, it’s been a while. On top of the already phenomenal secondary playmakers the Saints have, the team went out of its way to ensure success for this part of the defense. When the Saints do better on defense this season, it’ll be in part due to the amazing players the Saints have. Below are some of the Saints secondary I felt that were worth mentioning. 

GLENDALE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 13: Strong safety Kenny Vaccaro #32 of the New Orleans Saints argues a penalty during the second half of the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 13, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 13: Strong safety Kenny Vaccaro #32 of the New Orleans Saints argues a penalty during the second half of the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 13, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Kenny Vaccaro – Starting Strong Safety

Kenny Vaccaro has been a key element for the Saints success when present. Despite missing the last four games last year, Vaccaro is an obvious presence the Saints need to continue having on the field. Last season Vaccaro totaled 68 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 interceptions. In his career (4 seasons), the safety has totaled 325 tackles, 6 sacks, and 5 interceptions.

I remember back in 2013 watching the first round of the NFL Draft. I remember the Saints selecting Vaccaro, and myself personally saying, “Who is this guy? Why did we take a safety? We don’t need a safety!?” To this day I am so thankful I was wrong on that assessment. Kenny Vaccaro has not only become a key piece in this Saints defense but a leader. Overall Vaccaro is a phenomenal playmaker, and I’m glad he’s apart of the New Orleans Saints.

Delvin Breaux – Starting Left Cornerback

As for most people, Delvin Breaux has quickly become one of my favorite players for the New Orleans Saints. Breaux, the former CFL star and New Orleans native, quickly became a diamond in the rough for the Saints. In his two seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Delvin Breaux has totaled 66 tackles, 20 passes defended against, and 3 interceptions.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 11: Delvin Breaux #40 of the New Orleans Saints reacts after making an interception in the end zone during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 11, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 11: Delvin Breaux #40 of the New Orleans Saints reacts after making an interception in the end zone during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 11, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images) /

Now last season, unfortunately, Delvin Breaux only managed to play 6 games. But although Breaux was injured, when he was healthy, he was an absolute and literal beast for New Orleans.In 2015, Breaux acquired nicknames such as the “Breaux Bayou” for his phenomenal play on the field. Holding down opposing receivers such as T.Y. Hilton, Mike Evans, and Julio Jones, Breaux’s ability to perform against some of the Leagues greatest was serious. When it came to someone that was on top of things, Delvin Breaux had his side of the field locked down, tight.

In 2015, Breaux acquired nicknames such as the “Breaux Bayou” for his phenomenal play on the field. Holding down opposing receivers such as T.Y. Hilton, Mike Evans, and Julio Jones, Breaux’s ability to perform against some of the Leagues greatest was serious. When it came to someone that was on top of things, Delvin Breaux had his side of the field locked down, tight.

P.J. Williams – Cornerback 

When it comes to an intriguing story, look no further than P.J. Williams. The Saints selected P.J. Williams with a 3rd round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft. There is no doubt within the community Williams has playmaking ability and talent. The only question that lies is: will Williams be healthy enough to actually use his abilities for the Saints?

Unfortunately, P.J. Williams has only played a total of 2 games in his two seasons with the New Orleans Saints. In those two games, Williams has 7 total tackles, and 2 passes defended against. Now Williams does have another shot at this upcoming season to be a real playmaker for the Saints. As of right now, the real competition for the right starting corner is between Williams and Rookie Marshon Lattimore. Just know that if healthy, the Saints have a great corner in P.J. Williams.

Sterling Moore – Cornerback

NEW ORLEANS, LA – OCTOBER 16: Sterling Moore #24 of the New Orleans Saints intercepts a pass over Devin Funchess #17 of the Carolina Panthers during the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 16, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA – OCTOBER 16: Sterling Moore #24 of the New Orleans Saints intercepts a pass over Devin Funchess #17 of the Carolina Panthers during the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 16, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Sterling Moore became a reliable asset for the New Orleans Saints last year when the team needed him most. When the Saints, unfortunately, caught up with the injury bug, losing numerous cornerbacks last season, the team was forced to improvise. Signing players off the streets, and relying heavily on the 6th and 7th string cornerbacks, the Saints sufficed, barely.

Among the players the Saints relied on at this time was CB Sterling Moore. Last season Moore played 13 games for New Orleans totaling, 56 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 13 passes defended against. When the Saints needed someone to step up, Sterling Moore had it covered. Personally, I’m glad the Saints resigned Moore for this year, as the corner provides great depth at the position.

Vonn Bell – Free Safety

Up next we have Vonn Bell, a safety that is looking to make a sophomore jump for the New Orleans Saints. The now 2nd-year safety was drafted from Ohio State in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft last season. In 2016, Vonn Bell through 16 games totaled 1 sack and 87 tackles. Although Bell had a marginally productive season for the Saints last year, I would expect his numbers to increase.

Marshon Lattimore – Cornerback

Apr 27, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Marshon Lattimore (Ohio State) is selected as the number 11 overall pick to the New Orleans Saints in the first round the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 27, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Marshon Lattimore (Ohio State) is selected as the number 11 overall pick to the New Orleans Saints in the first round the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans 2017 1st round selection could help to bolster the secondary if ready. Marshon Lattimore, an Ohio State alumna, is a phenomenal talent who could provide a unique aspect to the Saints. His athleticism, toughness, are only some of the amazing aspects of Lattimore that could help him pair nicely with Delvin Breaux, and the Saints secondary.

During his career with Ohio State, Marshon Lattimore totaled 45 total tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, 4 interceptions, and 11 passes defended against. The first round selection thrived in college, and should hopefully have the same results in New Orleans.

Marcus Williams – Free Safety

If anyone could help to provide a unique element to the New Orleans Saints, it could be Free Safety Marcus Williams. Drafted in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the former Utah safety provides a lot of versatility to this secondary. Williams is an explosive, dynamic safety that could be in fact just what the Saints need to succeed defensively. Similar to an animal that hunts in the jungle, Williams patiently waits, biding time for the right moment to strike. Fooling unsuspecting opposing quarterbacks, Marcus Williams was a beast with Utah and should continue being one for the Saints. While with the college, Williams attributed 188 total tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, 11 interceptions, and 8 passes defended against.

Arthur Maulet – Cornerback

If there is one player Saints fans want to make the roster, it’s CB Arthur Maulet. Believe me, folks, when I say the hype is real for Arthur Maulet.

The Louisiana native has been impressing ever since he joined the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent. Maulet’s skills, among other traits, have been wowing fans in Minicamp. In his 2 season tenure with the Memphis Tigers, Maulet accumulated 109 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, 4 interceptions, and 19 passes defended against.

Maulet’s talents and natural abilities could give him the upper hand as he fights for a spot on this Saints roster. It’s quite obvious that people are noticing what Maulet can do, especially the coaches. If it is any indication on how much the Saints coaching staff, primarily Sean Payton, enjoys Arthur Maulet, Maulet led the Saints UDFAs in guaranteed money.

Her’s a little insight on just how remarkable Arthur Maulet is doing. Doug Mouton reported on June 15th that when Sean Payton was asked about what he has seen from Maulet in Mini Camp, the word used by Payton was “encouraged”. The link to that specific tweet can be found here. 

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