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Spagnuolo system a dramatic departure for Saints defense

Saints Camp Football AP

The Saints defense might not necessarily be better this year, but they will be less predictable.

So while they’re not ready to discredit the work of former coordinator Gregg Williams (he did help them win a Super Bowl), they’re also embracing the ideas of new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

“It’s going to be a huge change. About every scheme thing imaginable is completely flip-flopped,” linebacker Scott Shanle told Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, in a detailed look at the changes.

Shanle said stylistically, Spagnuolo’s approach takes him back to 2006-08, when Gary Gibbs was in charge. Considering they ranked 13th, 25th and 26th in points allowed those years, that’s not a lofty aspiration.

“I’m not saying we’re going to play like that defense,” Shanle quickly added. “But that’s the kind of scheme that people really can expect to see.”

More accurately, Saints fans should expect something like what Spaghnuolo ran to such success with the Giants.

He wants to get his pass-rush from the front four only, rather than the head-long blitzes that left the Saints vulnerable to quick passes last year. And defensive backs used to playing man will have to get used to zone concepts.

Safety Roman Harper described the differences between Spagnuolo and Williams as “Night and day. Earth and Pluto.”

The Saints need to emphasize the difference, as they try to step away from their bounty-marred past. But putting Spagnuolo’s changes into play may take longer than the pin-your-ears-back style Williams used, and how long that adjustment takes will determine how successful they’ll be.

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19 Responses to “Spagnuolo system a dramatic departure for Saints defense”
  1. bigdaddystyle says: Aug 1, 2012 9:33 AM

    Spags did a great job with the Giants and the players loved him. The Saints will get it eventually.

  2. schmitty2 says: Aug 1, 2012 9:34 AM

    If the Saints seem leery of Spags defense I kindly ask them to watch the Super bowl from 4 years ago and see if they feel the same way

  3. sb44champs says: Aug 1, 2012 9:37 AM

    “But putting Spagnuolo’s changes into play may take longer than the pin-your-ears-back style Williams used, and how long that adjustment takes will determine how successful they’ll be.”
    —————————
    As long as we have the No. 1 Offense, we’ll be a deep playoff team no matter what!!!

  4. cantgetenoughwp says: Aug 1, 2012 9:41 AM

    Spags system will likely be less rewarding for the Saints defense.

  5. amgdds says: Aug 1, 2012 9:44 AM

    The pin-your-ears-back-and I’ll-pay-you-if -your knock-out-the
    Opponent-style of Greg Williams? Yea, let’s try to get away from that.

  6. rajbais says: Aug 1, 2012 9:52 AM

    When Roman Harper means “night and day” he means that “yesterday there were creepy locker room speeches and bounties. Today there is actual defense!!!”

  7. dmp5687 says: Aug 1, 2012 9:52 AM

    The biggest problem with last year’s defense was the predictability. I’m convinced that in the 49er’s game, at the end, if the Saints would have been in just a plain vanilla defense with no blitzes, they would have won that game.

  8. 49erstim says: Aug 1, 2012 9:52 AM

    Those all-out blitzes weren’t called…those safeties and corners wanted that little bit of extra coin for taking out the QB!

  9. Getoffmylawn! says: Aug 1, 2012 9:52 AM

    So his system doesn’t encourage injuring players for money? I guess you could call that a dramatic change.

  10. musicman495 says: Aug 1, 2012 10:08 AM

    49erstim says: Aug 1, 2012 9:52 AM

    Those all-out blitzes weren’t called…those safeties and corners wanted that little bit of extra coin for taking out the QB!
    ———————————-
    I am expecting the Saints defense to put your QB in his back in November, no extra charge.

  11. pewtercardinal says: Aug 1, 2012 10:09 AM

    Kill the head and the body will die …

  12. dirtybird70 says: Aug 1, 2012 10:18 AM

    “Like night and day. Earth and Pluto. Coach Spags expects us to play for our game check alone”

  13. worldchampsbaby says: Aug 1, 2012 10:46 AM

    I am very conflicted with Spags coaching in New Orleans.After the bounties I have redeveloped a very bad taste in my mouth about the saints.The first bad taste was watching Payton their head coach run up scores late in games when the outcomes were totally determined(like a college coach looking for BCS points)

    Spags is one hell of an ethical guy and great defensive coordinator.There is my conflict;do I root for a guy I like and admire or root against a franchise that is despicable.

  14. itsbreesyintheeasy says: Aug 1, 2012 11:06 AM

    The first bad taste was watching Payton their head coach run up scores late in games when the outcomes were totally determined(like a college coach looking for BCS points)

    ========================

    first off, it wasn’t payton, it was carmichael calling the offense with brees while payton rehabbed his knee when they supposedly ‘ran up the score’.

    second, to quote bill belichek, ‘this is professional football, it’s your job to stop me!’

    be afraid. be very afraid.

  15. schmokes says: Aug 1, 2012 11:07 AM

    I heard spags will be offering a lot more for cart-offs.

  16. paulnoga says: Aug 1, 2012 11:08 AM

    …”He wants to get his pass-rush from the front four only…”
    That was great for the great Defensive front 4 of the Giants. DE Smith is suspended for 4 games and is 31 years old anyway. He is the only pass rusher. DE Jordan is good against the run, but pedestrian against the pass. With CB Porter gone, and the other CBs going to a new system, there will be track meets for both teams Offenses.
    The first week, RG3 will be in town with the Redskins. If he has time to survey the field and pick running lanes, the Redskins could score 40 points.

  17. bosspower says: Aug 1, 2012 11:23 AM

    Ok I followed The bountygate and I never saw a player get taken out. They had money on Aaron Rodgers? Really bcuz he was looking really good in that game on opening night. And Bret Farve never came out the championship game. So Im wondering who was getting paid for taking out players who never left the games? The Greg Williams speech was not in good taste tho, but he was disciplined I dnt see why the players should get season long suspensions when there is no results from the allegations. Meaning Harrison’s hit on Mccoy is 20x worse than anything I seen from the Saints. And I believe Harrison shouldnt have got suspended for blowing up a scrambling QB. So I am definitely loss with wats going on. The jokes are funny tho. Lol, but realtalk I dnt see a real humongous scandal especially without an injured player speaking out against the Saints.

  18. cowboycjn says: Aug 1, 2012 11:57 AM

    worldchampsbaby says:
    Aug 1, 2012 10:46 AM
    I am very conflicted with Spags coaching in New Orleans.After the bounties I have redeveloped a very bad taste in my mouth about the saints.The first bad taste was watching Payton their head coach run up scores late in games when the outcomes were totally determined(like a college coach looking for BCS points)

    Spags is one hell of an ethical guy and great defensive coordinator.There is my conflict;do I root for a guy I like and admire or root against a franchise that is despicable.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Don’t worry we don’t want you to root for the Saints if its that much of a hard decesion to make. As for points, this if competive football, if you can’t stop the other team you deserve to get your tail whipped up real bad. So just let your heart guide you and watch how strong the Saints will be this season.

  19. jeffinstlouis says: Aug 1, 2012 1:28 PM

    You realize that even though Spags was the head coach he also called the defense in St Louis, right? I would expect your results would be closer to St Louis (30th, 31st) than they would be NY.

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