Saints Enter 2013 Season With A Lot Of New Faces
The New Orleans Saints will go into the 2013 season with 10 rookies, six of them undrafted on their 53-man roster. They’ll be tested right out of the gate when the Black & gold hosts the defending NFC South Champion Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
Is head coach sean Payton concernred? Apparently not.
“We don’t pay much attention to that, really. We look closely at how they’re going to fit into the plan, how they’re going to play in the kicking game and the progress they made at their position group,” – Sean Payton
Fifth round choice Kenny Stills may be the team’s best deep threat. Undrafted defensive end Glenn Foster had four sacks, five quarterback hits and a forced fumble in the preseason.
The club’s first-round pick, Safety Kenny Vaccaro made 18 tackles in the preseason, second on the team.
Nick Toon, was a fourth round pick in 2012. He spent his rookie season on injured reserve. Toon had nine catches for 164 yards, including a 56-yarder from Drew Brees. Toon’s father, Al was an All-Pro receiver.
Other rookies are offensive tackle Terron Armstead, nose tackle John Jenkins, tight end Josh Hill, guard Tim Lelito, cornerback Rod Sweeting, linebacker Kevin Reddick and running back Khiry Robinson.
Saints veterans don’t seem concerned about the relative inexperience on their roster.
Outside linebacker Junior Galette pointed out receiver Lance Moore and running back Pierre Thomas were undrafted players who became key starters. He added, “The Saints do such a good job of finding these gems.” Galette himself was undrafted in 2010.
Payton added, “One of the selling points (of signing with New Orleans) is we are going to play the best players, and a guy who is a free agent out of college will have the same opportunities as the draft picks, so I think (it helps) in that regard.”
The Saints will clearly be younger & more athletic on defense. Will the “D” be improved? We’ll soon see.