Saints look to maintain momentum

New Orleans is counting on changes it made midway through 2004 that helped the team win its final four games.

Updated: August 31, 2005, 4:13 PM ET
By Mike Triplett | Pro Football Weekly

Editor's note: These grades were assigned by the individual correspondent and not by Pro Football Weekly.

The Saints made few offseason additions to a defense that ranked 32nd in the NFL last year. Instead, New Orleans is counting on several changes it made midway through the 2004 campaign that helped the team win its final four games and just miss the playoffs with an 8-8 record.

FS Dwight Smith was the only major free-agent signing on defense. The Saints are expecting him to be a presence and a difference-maker in the secondary -- much like LCB Mike McKenzie, whom the team acquired in a trade with Green Bay in October. The team loves what it has seen from both players so far, and the secondary is the most improved unit on the team.


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Mike Triplett

ESPN New Orleans Saints reporter