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New defense could be bad news for Will Smith

Will Smith AP

With the Saints switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense and defensive end Will Smith due to receive a base salary of $9 million in 2013, the chances of Will Smith becoming a salary-cap casualty possibly have increased.

While Dwight Freeney made the transition in Indianapolis last season despite the inflated contract-year base salary, Freeney’s status with the Colts wasn’t in doubt before the change to a 3-4 defense.  Smith already had been mentioned as a guy who could be purged from the roster as the Saints try to get in line with the salary cap.

That said, the transition for Smith may not be as difficult.  “We were primarily a 3-4 in certain situations last year, and the past two years with Gregg [Williams] we were a form of 3-4,” Smith told Larry Holder of the New Orleans Time Picayune.  “So I mean [Sean Payton] probably thinks it would probably be the best defense to help the team.  That’s his take on it.  I haven’t had a chance to speak to him on it or anybody.  He’s the head coach and he makes the final call.”

Linebacker Scott Shanle welcomes the change, primarily because the change from Gregg Williams to Steve Spagnuolo didn’t go all that well.

“It’s better to make a change than not make a change,” Shanle told Holder.  “I’m being brutally honest in that there absolutely were issues with the scheme.  Guys no matter how many years they played, there were things I was being told to do in this scheme that I’ve never heard of, and I’ve played for four different defensive coordinators.”

He’ll now play for a fifth.  Whoever it ends up being.

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12 Responses to “New defense could be bad news for Will Smith”
  1. cakemixa says: Jan 24, 2013 9:27 PM

    Shanle is so bad he was benched on a defense that was possibly the worst of all time.

  2. fuglyflorio says: Jan 24, 2013 10:08 PM

    It’s not his fault, it’s the coach. Common lament of every player who under-performs his contract. No $9,000,000 for you.

  3. booker1974 says: Jan 24, 2013 10:14 PM

    Little doubt now that Shanle was the guy that anonymously blasted Spags.

  4. johnclaytonsponytail says: Jan 24, 2013 10:22 PM

    It seems like its time for him to go anyway. Cutting his salary would go a long way for us to sign Ed Reed and replacing Harper. The draft is full of DEs that can play in a 3-4 scheme. Im loving what Payton has done and said in just 2 days back. I called Spags firing weeks ago and think this change is just what they needed to do to shake up things. Cant Wait.

  5. randallflagg52 says: Jan 24, 2013 10:45 PM

    At least he has that acting career to fall back on.

  6. redstar504 says: Jan 25, 2013 12:06 AM

    It’s just a great day to be a saints fan.

    I feel bad for Spags on the one hand but yet it’s so good to have the commander back on the bridge. This is classic Sean Payton. You do your job if not you get packing. The guy is so decisive and it is so good to have that back. We are talking about a man that will cut his own draft picks in training camp if they can’t pull their weight.

    I am just so amped up for August, stay away hurricanes! I don’t want nothing getting in the way of the mission the New Orleans Saints are about to go on.

    Welcome back Payton!!!!

    The who dat is back!!

  7. larryjames836 says: Jan 25, 2013 12:15 AM

    Will Smith said he haven’t had a chance to talk to Sean Payton about the 3 – 4 defense the best for Will Smith is to just roll with the flow.

  8. boobsmcgoo says: Jan 25, 2013 12:32 AM

    He is gone, that’s been a done deal for quite a while. He’s old, expensive and not good at playing tackle football. Also, I don’t know why Shanle welcomes the change because he is gone also.

  9. ppc50 says: Jan 25, 2013 1:01 AM

    Welcome to Dallas, for a lot less. Ware, Smith, Hatcher and Lissemore (Ratliff?).

  10. ronmexicothecoachkiller says: Jan 25, 2013 7:20 AM

    “Spags” was the Defensive Genius a year ago, now his defensive scheme is one that is so out of whack that veteran players never heard of what he is talking about? I have a theory…… maybe its the defensive personnel? How did Spags go from a Super bowl winning DEF Coordinator to a clueless hack in a span of months?

  11. SeenThisB4 says: Jan 25, 2013 9:02 AM

    Shanle won’t play for a fifth defensive coordinator, not in New Orleans he won’t.

  12. vtopa says: Jan 25, 2013 10:15 AM

    His contract is too big and he hates playing the 3-4. Thanks for the memories Will. You’re getting traded.

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