For all of the moves the New Orleans Saints have made this offseason, the book on the team remains the same.
As long as Drew Brees and Sean Payton are in charge, the offense will be explosive.
But the defense has to carry more of the weight.
The Saints finished 28th in the NFL or worse in scoring defense in each of the past three years. Now, in training camp, Dennis Allen’s unit must improve for the team to be a playoff contender.
“Our defense has to improve, and we’ve brought some guys in at every level with the D-line, the linebackers and safeties,” general manager Mickey Loomis said Wednesday. “I feel good about the additions, but we’re going to have to get into this training camp and get into the early part of the season to see what the results are.”
Injuries crippled the Saints’ best-laid plans for defensive personnel the past two seasons, and Allen spent last year constantly tweaking his scheme to account for players moving in and out of the lineup.
“You know, in our league, you never know what’s going to happen,” Allen said. “All of a sudden, you have an injury or somebody’s released, and now you’ve got to adjust your thought process.”
With that in mind, the Saints spent the offseason determined to build depth at all levels of the defense.
New Orleans added edge rusher Alex Okafor, linebackers A.J. Klein and Manti Te’o, brought back safety Rafael Bush and spent five of its seven draft picks on defensive players.
“We’re pretty much starting from scratch,”…
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