Now that we know exactly who's going to be the next Saints defensive coordinator, we can start thinking and talking realistically about how it's going to effect the Saints roster in the near future. Who stays, who goes and who gets added?
Pat Y. over at ESPN did some super early speculating last night, noting that during his time as defensive coordinator of the Giants, Spags relied little on blitzes and instead generated a pass rush just from the front four. Of course that means those four guys up front need to be damned good.
So if Spagnuolo plans to bring that same scheme to New Orleans, then changes abound for the defensive line because the Saints definitely don't fit that bill currently. There's a big question mark at defensive tackle because Shaun Rogers and Aubrayo Franklin both signed one-year deals. Will they be brought back and if not, who will replace them? Will Smith has been underwhelming and cutting him would free up $6 million in cap space. Is it time to part ways or will Spags be able to get more from him? The most important question, however, is who will they bring in to upgrade the line and help get them where they want to be?
On the back end, our new defensive savior prefers defensive backs with strong man-to-man cover skills. So what the hell are they going to do with Roman Harper? Harper is great when he's doing Harper-like things such as blitzing off the edge but with Spags not getting too exotic with his pressure packages, Rome-E-Rome may have a tough time with the transition. The rest of Dem Boys should fit adequately. Hopefully Malcolm Jenkins will reach the level we all believe he's capable of attaining.
As for the linebackers, well...they've got nowhere to go but up. Hopefully Scott Shanle will thrive under Spagnuolo.
Buckle up, Saints fans, because things are going to get interesting. Lots to be excited about. This still doesn't make up for the loss to San Francisco last week, but it's a start.
What do you guys envision for this new Saints defense?