Malcolm Jenkins: Saints D looks different from a “cultural standpoint”

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The 2012 season hadn’t come to a conclusion before discontented rumblings emerged from New Orleans about defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

Those rumblings and the 454 points that the Saints allowed last season combined to make Spagnuolo’s stay in New Orleans a brief one as he was fired after the season and replaced by Rob Ryan. Ryan’s moving the team to a 3-4 base look, but safety Malcolm Jenkins says that the biggest difference from last year goes beyond the way players are deployed near the line of scrimmage.

“They look different from a cultural standpoint. Last year, our defense was missing the teeth that it usually has. We were known as a defense that flew around, got to the ball, forced turnovers and hit people, but we kind of got away from those basics. So those have been just the key points,” Jenkins said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “The defense, getting that down, that’ll come. It’s a multiple defense; guys can move around, play different positions, get after the quarterback. It’s definitely fun in that aspect but we always got back to the basics: flying to the ball, trying to get turnovers, going for the interception, because that’s how we complement our offense.”

Two things come to mind in regard to Jenkins’ comments. The first is that the defense, while clearly better than it was in 2012, was still the biggest reason for the team’s playoff losses in both 2010 and 2011. The slippage last year might have kept them from even making the playoffs, but there were things that needed fixing in the culture of the defense before Spagnuolo even came to town.

The second is that the Saints still outscored their opponents last season despite those 454 points against. Should the Drew Brees-led offense continue to operate at a high level, they don’t need radical improvement in order to wind up with a winning record in 2013.

23 responses to “Malcolm Jenkins: Saints D looks different from a “cultural standpoint”

  1. Dear Malcolm, the definition of Cultural is:
    1.Of or relating to the ideas, customs, and social behavior of a society.
    2.Of or relating to the arts and to intellectual achievements.

  2. He means they couldn’t cheat last year, but now that Payton is back and they have a Ryan calling the D it’s back to business as usual. Envelopes and Vicodin for everyone!

  3. The Saints defense has been sorely lacking in talent for years. As good as the Saints are at drafting offense, they are equally bad a drafting defense. Their best defensive players the last few years have been free agent pick ups. Bountygate was essentially Incentivegate. Gregg Williams had to find some incentive to get this defense to hit someone. Goodell blew that all out of proportion.

  4. After winning the Super Bowl in their 2009 season, the Saints D did indeed come out flat in 2010 and absolutely stale in 2011.

    I attribute this to Greg Williams’ inability to create new looks and just resting on his laurels after the SB season–which saw a Takeaway/Giveaway differential of +11. All he did was blitz, it was predictable and boring.

    Malcolm Jenkins comments suggest to me that focusing on that kind of turnover ratio is something that was absent with Spags D last year and that Ryan is emphasizing the basics once again.

  5. Sounds like a lame attempt at racism.

    Without our money Malcolm, you would be slinging fries at KingMcWendysChef.

  6. hey purpleengold you are late for your faux consummate condescension 101 course…we’re looking forward to leaving a trail of others’ broken dreams behind us on the road to LOMBARDY GRAS II! WHO DAT!

  7. Jay Cutler is always on his back…lol.. but that’s not my comment about this story just had to say it…. I just wanted to say…. the Aint’s are stilla bunch of cheaters and poor sports…. Drew Brees is the exception, he is the best QB on the league, but the D and its coaches are cheats

  8. Let me add to that… Blah blah bounties… Derp derp cheaters… Blah blah aints… Derp derp vicodin…

    I absolutely love Saint haters. You have to have a good team for people to hate on you.

  9. Or, in other words, 31 teams got a break last year. This year they won’t. The Saints will be bouncing off the rev limiter on all cylinders. Every one of their games will be a glorious thing to watch as they return to another superbowl. They’ll get even for the false accusations.

  10. Been saying this all off season! We know what our offense is going to bring to the table, so as long as our defense is able to keep us in the game we will be 100% fine and have a strong shot at making the playoffs! If the defense plays better than average then I can see us playing in the SB! IMO! WHO DAT WHO DAT! Black and Gold all day!

  11. Haters gonna hate.
    You’d just think they’re ignorant comments would red flag their brain before they hit the “submit” button.:::shakes head::: (ass clowns)

  12. Just because you try to hit the ball carrier as hard as you can doesn’t mean it’s cheating. Everyone does that. All you people need to realize goodell was wrong and we weren’t cheating. It was an incentive based program. It wasn’t a bounty. Do you get bonuses for doing well at work? Most people do. Ryan is good for us and he won’t overstep boundaries with Sean. Top 15 D is all we need.

  13. So, they’re going to change from “kill$the$head$and$the$body$will$follow” to what?
    If this D could actually play, the offense wouldn’t have to rack up 500 yards and 50 points to win every game.

  14. Oh yea, I forgot to end my post with….Cue the whiny Vikings fans.

    “The Saints were hitting Brett Farve in the NFC Championship game…wah, wah, cheaters, wah wah!”

    It’s TACKLE football.

  15. painsyndicate says: Jun 21, 2013 6:41 PM
    Sounds like a lame attempt at racism.
    Without our money Malcolm, you would be slinging fries at KingMcWendysChef.
    Wow. And the assertion here is that football players are the dumb ones? Again. Wow.

  16. tackle football for sure…but not when they are telling each other to”take them out of the game”… that is not the way this sport was EVER designed to be played… I know it’s a tough sorry but your coaches and players should know that it is still a game and noones well being should be deliberately put at risk… so keep being loyal fans to a bunch of cheating,low life people… terrible way to represent a wonderful city and state….pathetic organization

  17. Yall can say what you want and hate on the Saints but know this! We still almost had a winning record with the worst defense ever in the history of the NFL! If that doesn’t say anything about our offense then I don’t know what does! Our offense is going to be just as good if not better than last year and there is no possible way our defense can be any worse so how can our team not be better than last year? Haters are just going to hate! Not saying we are going to win the SB but the playoffs are almost a given!

  18. The actual problem with the defense the past two seasons was the gradual decline of the saints secondary. In 2009, the saints started a young Tracy Porter, Jabari Greer at the height of his career, Roman Harper when he had some speed left, and Darren Sharper who was a natural playmaker and might be a hall of famer. They also had malcolm Jenkins and Randall Gay as the nickle/dime players who allowed Harper/Sharper to blitz frequently, without sacrificing coverage. Williams aggressive defensive scheme worked exceptionally that year because of that backfield. The next two seasons it didn’t work because a)they had no playmaker, b)no solid dime/nickle player and resulted in playing man free with unskilled coverage personal, and c)an older worse front 7.
    That being said, I look for the saints to have a 10-6 season at the worst.

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