The Saints had a blitz-heavy identity under outgoing defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. No team in the league sent more six- and seven-man rushes over the past two seasons, and that kind of approach pays big-time dividends when one of the blitzers gets home.
When it doesn’t? Well, then it’s like Christmas for the offense.
New coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is implementing more zone coverage in the secondary, but the Saints’ approach up front will be similar. Spags is a disciple of famously blitz-happy former Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, after all.
“It’s extremely aggressive,” Saints linebacker Chris Chamberlain explained of Spagnuolo’s scheme, per Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I think if Spags had it his way, he would like to blitz and pressure on every down.”
Added safety Malcolm Jenkins, “Spags’ defense isn’t a sit-back defense. It’s still aggressive. It’s not your all-out pressure that you get from a Gregg Williams defense, but he does have a lot of pressure coming from a lot of different places. And he preaches playing fast and playing downhill.”
So it sounds like Spagnuolo’s defense won’t be quite as irresponsibly blitz-based as Williams’ was. But that’s probably a good thing, and the Saints are still going to stress putting pressure on the quarterback on most downs.