Jonathan Vilma had a very unique 2012 season. The Bountygate scandal hit the New Orleans Saints like a ton of bricks, and Vilma was at the center of all the controversy. Last season we were talking about Vilma’s vendetta against commissioner Roger Goodell, and now it’s simply back to football.
After his suspension was lifted and he was finally healthy enough to play, Vilma managed to start in 10 games in 2012, but he never really got back to true form. However, his presence on the Saints’ defense was noticeable, as he’s no doubt the heart and soul of the unit.
Now under new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, Vilma and his teammates are trying to recapture the momentum they had going just a few years back on the team’s Super Bowl run. I’m sure Vilma is glad just to be back to playing the game he loves, while the pairing with Ryan is just a bonus.
Vilma and Ryan are both going to have chips on their shoulders this season, as they both have something to prove. Ryan is trying to show that he’s one of the best defensive minds in the game after being fired, while Vilma has to prove he still has it going into his 10th year in the league.
I believe Vilma and the Saints-D will have a rebound season. Clearly, they can’t get much worse from a season ago, but last season was an odd one in New Orleans. Things are back to normal, and the ship is now pointed in the right direction. If Vilma can stay healthy, I’m confident he’ll regain his from from a few years back, and that he’ll lead this Saints defense back to at least a respectable level.
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