The 2014 season was a bad one for the Saints as a whole, but especially for their lackluster defense. Considered the strongest part of defense going into the season, how do we view our starting defensive ends now that 2014 is in the books?
Here's how you graded Cam Jordan and Akiem Hicks for the 2014 season... just a warning, there's not much in the "What we like" categories, this time around
What We Like: His 2013 season? He the right body for a 3-4 defensive end and has shown flashes of brilliance in the past, but wasn't able to put it together last season. Everyone seems to be high on his potential, especially if the team can get him help at LB and CB.
What We Dislike: He had a major drop off in production (though, some of that may be wit D's focusing on him, and the lack of solid coverage to make the QB hold the ball for that extra second) going from a career high of 12.5 sacks to 7.5 sacks (the lowest total since his rookie year). He was inconsistent and seemed to disappear at times (I feel like this will be on every
defensive players list)
What We Like: Like Jordan, he showed up at times and proved he can make plays on his own. He also has a good body for 3-4 DE. He's also solid against the run. While his ceiling may not be as high as Jordan's, he too has potential to grow into a very good player.
What We Dislike: Lack of production, picking up only 2 sacks this season and also noticed a slight drop off in tackle numbers. He was inconsistent, at best, and disappeared for games at a time (I knew that one would come up again). He was playing on an injured ankle (or is that a like? I mean, it gives hope for a nice rebound with a healthy 2015).
WhoDat365 gives us his opinion on both men and scores the first double dip double Best Comment:
Hicks: Very inconsistent 2014 to say the least. Hicks with an ankle injury is one thing, but he would show up out of the blue sometimes to make plays every now & then. And the thing was it wasn’t like it was an accident by the offensive line, but rather a play of his own making & that’s what was so frustrating. Even more frustrating was when he’d get ticked off & draw a stupid penalty. Gotta play smarter & clean that up. Akiem has SO much power & I really can’t wait to see when(if) he gets it going this year. He had a beginning in 2013 so hopefully we have a continuation this year. A good line holder, decent pass rusher & great run defender is at least how we should be describing his 2015 season at the end of it.
Jordan: For Cameron he should be grading out just like Akiem as far as defending the run goes. Should be. I also expect his pass rush to be back to his standard of 2013. I assume/hope that he had a good year, rested on his laurels & didn’t study film or prepare properly or whatever & had a down 2014. The thing is I saw he was fully capable because he had some good games last year so the question of his ability is not in doubt. He quick with good power but just hope he can regain that ability to reach the QB again; that split-second that separates decent pass rushers from good ones. Also want to see him regain that ability to learn during a game to adapt & not be completely taken out of a game.
Very similar opinions on Jordan and Hicks, with Jordan just taking the edge. Both young men have shown promise, but it will take a much better 2015 season from both, if the Saints want to come home with another Lombardi.
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