Saints Mailbag Answers: Will Rob Ryan Blitz More in 2014?

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Below are answers to reader questions submitted Sunday. Special thanks to all those that participated. Feel free to continue the discussion on any of these topics in the comment section below.

The Ryan family is known for their exotic blitz packages. However rob hasn't blitzed that much at all, last year and even when he was Iin Dallas. Do you think the lack of blitzes is because of our personnel? Do you think an improved secondary will cause him to implement some of his blitz schemes? Or do you think this is simply what rob has settled into as a defensive coordinator? - C. Nola

Exotic blitz packages have to do with how a defense blitzes, not how often. Rob Ryan may be known for bringing pressure in unique and creative ways, but he's not necessarily known for doing it a lot. In fact, I'd say Ryan's blitz percentage is fairly moderate. Last season the Saints blitzed on 28.26% of opponent passing plays, which ranks them 21st overall. In 2012 with Dallas, he only brought the heat 27.20% of the time. The year prior, he blitzed on 36.00% of drop backs. To put that in perspective, Gregg Williams blitzed 46% in 2011 and 51.80% in 2012. Now that's a lot of blitzing. Will Ryan get more elaborate with his blitz scheme next season? Possibly. But will he blitz significantly more? I wouldn't put my money on it.

***

Erik Lorig catches 30 balls this year? True or false? - C. Nola

This sounds like a Ralph Malbrough question. I'm gonna go with "true." Lorig is entering his fifth season in the NFL as a fullback and has yet to carry the ball even once. Not your typical fullback. He was used exclusively as a receiver in Tampa Bay. If the Saints are truly moving more toward a power run game, obviously Lorig is going to be expected to play a part in that with his blocking ability. But it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see Payton use him often as a receiver, even possibly in a tight end type of role.

***

So what IS the sooperseekrit PayLoo Plan at Center? Crossing fingers and hoping for the best? -S. Sooner

Shhhh... don't tell anyone.

***

What's going on with Jimmy Graham? There hasn't been a lot of talk about negotiations. -Chris B.

I wouldn't lose sleep over it. I think this is one of those "no news is good news" situations. The two parties have until July 15th to work out a long-term deal before Graham is required to play under the franchise tag in 2014. Still plenty of time. Can't wait until it's over because I'm so sick and tired of talking about it, quite honestly.

***

John Elway is said to be interested in trading for Mark Ingram, What do you think the chances are they move him? If so for what? Other teams interested include Dallas, Pittsburgh, and New England. - Russty G.

I haven't heard any of this. My guess is that you've been misinformed or you're making it up. Can you please point me toward a legitimate media source reporting these alleged trade rumors?

***

Any Tulane guys staying in NOLA? - Matt G.

Wide receiver Ryan Grant is projected to be a mid to late round draft pick though I'm not sure he'll land with the Saints. Cornerbacks Jordan Sullen and Derick Strozier both attended the Saints' local pro day a couple of weeks ago. Both are most likely undrafted free agent pickups; I could see the Saints giving them a chance. Kicker Cairo Santos is one of the top placekickers available this year and he's obviously already comfortable kicking in the Dome. If they take any Tulane guys, Santos would be my bet.

***

Not counting 2 playoff appearances, the Saints have played the Bears 26 times, 15 of which were in Chicago. Of the first 11 games in Chicago, 9 were in October and 2 in September. Since 2006 when RG became the commish, of the last 4 games in Chicago, including this year, 3 have been in December. What's Up Wit Dat? - Rock K.

You did all that research, I feel like I've gotta answer this question now. If you think Roger Goodell is smart enough to be involved in the incredibly intricate science that is NFL schedule making then you're crazier than I thought. And I already think you're pretty crazy.

***

Mr. Vaccaro. It's been bothering me that I've not seen any news on how his recovery from a broken leg is going. Any word on his rehab progress? - W. D. NY.

Just like the regular season, you're not going to get much in the way of injury news from the Saints. Mum's the word. Earlier this month Sean Payton addressed the rehab progress of Vaccaro, Victor Butler, and others with his typical ambiguity:

"They're rehabbing," he said. "All of it is going well. There's a list of guys every morning when you go in the training room, and they're getting their treatment. I'd say it's going well."

Please don't let it bother you so much, though, it's not worth it.

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