The New Orleans Saints‘ 3-4 base defense might become more formidable than initially thought. Ditching Steve Spagnuolo and the 4-3 look upon Sean Payton‘s return felt at best desperate and at worst arbitrary upon first glance given the personnel to implement, but I have to admit that I’m coming around to some degree and am now very intrigued as to how much this porous defensive unit could improve.
While vets Willis Smith and Martel Wilson feel very “meh” as the new outside backers, free agent-signing Victor Butler — who gained many reps in the Dallas Cowboys‘ rotation — and rising unknown Junior Gallette might just provide a couple nice OLBs heading into 2013.
Pro Football Focus documented Gallette’s rise from Division II prospect to 2009 undrafted rookie and his rise up the depth chart in their “Secret Superstar” series.
“Last year Smith was one of the least effective outside pass rushers in the game and Galette held off Wilson for playing time last year, so Galette should win a job over both Smith and Wilson,” wrote PFF’s Nathan Jahnke. “This should very well mean that Galette should move from a part time player to an every down player, and take the role that DeMarcus Ware once had when Ryan was with the Cowboys.
“While he doesn’t have much experience in run downs, Galette has only missed one tackle in his three years. He has improved each year he has been with the Saints so far, and they have trusted him enough to give him a three-year contract this offseason. Now the sky is the limit if Galette can successfully transition to the new defense in New Orleans.”