5 New Orleans Saints Players Who Must Perform in 2014

5 New Orleans Saints Players Who Must Perform in 2014

New Orleans Saints Minicamp
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints had plenty of success in 2013, but they were far from perfect. They were plagued by offensive line problems, a nonexistent running game and a defense that had trouble stopping the run. If the Saints are going to do anything next season, a few guys are going to have to step up and make a difference.

5. Keenan Lewis, CB

Keenan Lewis New Orleans Saints
Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

5. Keenan Lewis, CB

Keenan Lewis New Orleans Saints
Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, Lewis showed the NFL that he had the ability to be one of the league's top corners. In 2014, Lewis will have to become the leader of the secondary as veterans Roman Harper, Jabari Greer and Malcolm Jenkins are no longer with the team. He'll have help from Champ Bailey and Jairus Byrd, but he'll be the one everyone looks to.

4. John Jenkins, NT

John Jenkins New Orleans Saints
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

4. John Jenkins, NT

John Jenkins New Orleans Saints
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

In 2013, the Saints had the 19th-ranked run defense despite all the talent up front. Stopping the run starts with the biggest man on defense and for the Saints, that's Jenkins. He has to be dominant up the middle to give the guys behind him a chance to make plays.

3. Mark Ingram, RB

Mark Ingram New Orleans Saints
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

3. Mark Ingram, RB

Mark Ingram New Orleans Saints
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints had the 25th-ranked rushing attack last year, and for a team that lives and dies on its offense, that's not good enough. Since being drafted, Ingram has been a disappointment for Saints fans, though he has shown flashes of brilliance. Ingram has to start playing like his days in Alabama if the Saints are going to make a run.

2. Kenny Stills, WR

Kenny Stills New Orleans Saints
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

2. Kenny Stills, WR

Kenny Stills New Orleans Saints
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

After losing Darren Sproles and Lance Moore, the Saints need someone to step up as a reliable target for Drew Brees. There were times last year when Stills showed up and made big plays, but he needs to be more consistent. He's going to get a lot of looks this year -- he just needs to make the most of them.

1. Jonathan Goodwin, C

Jonathan Goodwin San Francisco 49ers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

1. Jonathan Goodwin, C

Jonathan Goodwin San Francisco 49ers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints brought back an old friend in Goodwin after losing Brian De La Puente this offseason. The hope is that Goodwin's veteran leadership and run-blocking ability will help to solve the Saints' line problems from last season. A good offense starts with a good offensive line, so there will be a lot of pressure on Goodwin.


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