After a Pro Bowl campaign in 2013 with 12.5 sacks, New Orleans Saints DE Cam Jordan was ranked No. 99 in NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2014. That’s a bit low in my opinion, but the sack machine has no worries. In fact, in a Tuesday interview, the former first-round pick shared his goals and aspirations for the new season.
Jordan is aiming for 16 sacks in 2014, which is very realistic. “I’d like to average one a game, but what’s really truly important is just the whole defensive line getting after quarterbacks,” he explained to NFL Media.
He was asked how he felt about being mentioned with some of the league’s best, but the Saints’ pass rusher made it clear that a Black and Gold Super Bowl is unquestionably the bigger picture. Jordan was actually a three-star recruit from Chandler, Az. heading into college, so his dreams of playing the big game at home in Arizona could very well come true.
After a phenomenal performance in 2013, New Orleans decided to go ahead and exercise Jordan’s fifth-year option, which won’t make him a free agent until after the 2015 season. Sean Payton and company clearly have long-term plans for him, so a deal to keep him around in the Crescent City for a while could be on the horizon.
As for the goal of 16, Jordan’s sack totals have increased every year since arriving to the Big Easy out of the University of California. He started 15 games as a rookie, bringing down the quarterback only once. In 2012, his numbers saw a substantial boost, finishing the season with eight sacks. Of course, we all know what happened last year — 12.5 sacks and his first of probably many trips to the Pro Bowl.
Coming out of college, Jordan was one of the more game-ready defensive ends in his class. His ideal fit was a 3-4 scheme, and as soon as defensive coordinator Rob Ryan arrived to Nola, Jordan shined. The 6-fo0t-4, 287-pound beast brings superb size and strength at the point of attack. He’s quick, agile and is a dominant force at both the run stop and getting after quarterbacks. The kid’s got the tools to excel at the next level for a long time. If he were to reach the 16-sack mark, it would be no surprise.
Winning the Super Bowl is a much more challenging objective, but the Saints could be looking at one of the best, if not the best rosters they’ve ever had. There are not many weak points on the team, and the 35-year-old Drew Brees is showing no signs of slowing down. The offseason additions of Jairus Byrd, who leads all free safeties with 22 interceptions since 2009, and Champ Bailey (12-time Pro Bowler) won’t hurt the team’s chances either.
A strong draft should help their case as well. Rookie Brandin Cooks is probably the most versatile athlete New Orleans has seen since Reggie Bush. In addition, the 6-foot-3 converted wide receiver, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste screams shutdown potential. A big year could definitely be in the making.
From rookies to veterans to emerging superstars, dreams of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy once again are becoming very realistic. Kickoff to the 2014 NFL season is just around the corner. It will be exciting to see where Jordan and the rest of the team lead the Saints this year.