Where Alexander Fits
On paper, linebacker did not appear to be a need for the Saints.
They just extended Demario Davis, and when we looked at the team’s coverage issues, Alex Anzalone was actually one of their most productive players. Thus, it appears odd that the team decided that he was the weak link.
At the same time, Anzalone has seen his snap counts decrease over the past two weeks, which may be tied to his known struggles against the run. Meanwhile, he also has his durability concerns, and the team lacks depth behind him.
Due to his injuries, Anzalone doesn’t have a strong track record at all. Therefore, although we believe he can been sound in pass coverage, the certainty of him succeeding, as opposed to Alexander, who is also a better pass rusher, is far less.
For a Saints team that needs its defense to play better, that extra bit of stability is something that is likely very appealing to them.
With a very strong defensive line, the Saints have always had a terrific run defense, but it has been their pass coverage that has doomed them.
They will be able to compensate for Alexander’s struggles in run defense, and he’s likely a slight upgrade to Anzalone; the added linebacker depth is also important.