As practices continued on Monday at New Orleans Saints training camp facilities in West Virginia, a number of players highlighted the morning. One in particular was Keenan Lewis, who since taking his talents to the Crescent City last season has emerged into one of the NFL‘s better coverage cornerbacks.
New Orleans allowed only 194.1 yards per game through the air in 2013, which was good for second in the league behind only the Seattle Seahawks. As the Saints’ No. 2 corner, Lewis totaled 47 combined tackles, nine passes defended, a forced fumble and a team-leading four interceptions. Those may not seem like staggering numbers, but it’s tough to post outlandish statistics when quarterbacks refuse to throw the ball in your direction.
Who needs “Revis Island” when you’ve got the “West Bank”? Rob Ryan gave his defensive back the nickname because of his Algiers roots. Not only does the New Orleans native give opposing teams trouble, but Lewis is having his way with Drew Brees and the Saints’ high-powered offense as well.
During Monday’s practice in pads, he came away with three pass breakups against the Black and Gold’s Pro Bowl quarterback, two of which came during the opening minutes of 11-on-11 drills. With another year like 2013 on the horizon, Lewis himself could be in line for an Pro Bowl season. However, his mind is set on Arizona and the Super Bowl rather than a weekend getaway in the Hawaiian Islands.
Regardless, as he’s ready to take on the role as the No. 1 corner, the Pro Bowl possibility is becoming more and more of a reality. His coverage ability in both zone and man packages is approaching the elite level, and his ball skills are nothing to underestimate either. Lewis is a special athlete with undeniable talent. Watching him perform this upcoming season in the Saints’ “no-fly zone” secondary will certainly be a treat for the Who Dat Nation.