Monday, May 6, 2013
Three-safety defense for Saints?
By Tim Kavanagh
It wasn't too surprising when the New Orleans Saints drafted a defensive back with their first-round pick (No. 15 overall) in the draft, but it was a little surprising that it was a safety as opposed to a cornerback. The selection of Kenny Vaccaro has raised questions about the job security of incumbents Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins, but the reality of the situation is that all three could be playing on a significant portion of New Orleans' defensive snaps.
We've heard recently from Saints GM Mickey Loomis, who hinted at getting all three safeties on the field at one time -- with Jenkins sliding down to the slot -- and we'll get our next hints once the team's minicamp takes place later this spring. For now, Jenkins is ready for the competition that Vaccaro will bring to the table, as it should foster improvements for everyone involved.
"It's going to make me better," Jenkins noted, via the Advocate. "It's going to make me push myself and I think it's going to make our team better."
ESPN NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas believes this is a much better path to take than the one Reggie Bush chose back when the team drafted Mark Ingram:
Pat YasinskasJenkins welcoming Vaccaro
"That's a healthy attitude. Besides, it still is unclear how the Saints plan to use Vaccaro. They have Jenkins at free safety and Roman Harper at strong safety. Vaccaro could end up starting in place of either one of them. Or the veterans could remain as the starters with Vaccaro taking a role in the nickel package. Although Jenkins never quite has played up to his enormous potential, I don't think the Saints are quite ready to give up on him. By not giving up on the Saints the way Bush did, Jenkins still could have a future in New Orleans."