By Andrew Schuster @ShootsMcGavin on July 23, 2014
The New Orleans Saints will not only be looking to continue their success in 2014, but they will be seeking to improve their play on the field in hopes of returning the Lombardi Trophy to the Crescent City. First comes training camp, so let’s take a look at five bold predictions for the Black and Gold when preseason practices get underway.
Kevin Reddick led the special teams with 12 tackles and a forced fumble as a rookie. Now, he looks to be locked in as a backup to Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne at inside linebacker. However, his versatility as both a pass rusher and open-field tackler exceeds that of Hawthorne’s. Don’t be surprised if Reddick gives the veteran a little competition; the position opposite Lofton is vulnerable.
Given his quick feet, downfield speed and hands as a receiver, Cadet could emerge as one of Drew Brees’ favorite targets out of the backfield. With very little regular season experience, the Saints’ fourth running back was likely going to see an expanded role with Darren Sproles out of the picture anyway, but his versatility could land him in an even better position than what was originally anticipated.
Glenn Foster’s presence was felt almost every time he stepped onto the field as a rookie last year. As a backup to Cam Jordan and Akiem Hicks, he played in 12 games with zero starts, yet still managed to bring down the quarterback three times (just 1.5 less than Hicks). His size, strength and explosiveness off the line may assist him in giving Hicks a little run for his money at camp.
He may not have played at a big school or won the Heisman Trophy, but Khiry Robinson may be the Saints’ most talented running back in the backfield. After watching him dominate when given the ball last year, I won’t be surprised if he does outshine Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas at camp. However, given their experience, both Thomas and Ingram will likely remain ahead of Robinson on the depth chart -- for now.
The additions of Jairus Byrd and 12-time Pro Bowl CB Champ Bailey were huge. In fact, this may just make the Saints’ secondary the most dangerous in the NFL. The “no-fly zone” is equipped with some outstanding talent, both young and old. Byrd, Bailey, Kennan Lewis and Kenny Vaccaro along with some talented depth at both safety and corner? Good luck with that, challengers.
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