Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Lyons Yellin / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
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After last season’s remarkable turnaround, it’s hard to believe that just two years ago the New Orleans Saints had the worst the defensive season in football history.
In 2012, under former coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, the Saints defense became the first to allow over 7,000 yards, 7,042 to be precise. Under Ryan’s leadership last season, though, the No. 4-ranked unit improved by 2,151 yards, allowing just 4,891.
In his first season with the Black and Gold, Ryan’s impact on the unit was undeniable. Now, in year two, his defense seems poised for an encore performance.
To ensure this, the team bolstered its already second-ranked pass defense with the acquisitions of Pro Bowl safety Jarius Byrd and sure-fire Hall of Famer Champ Bailey. The Saints also retained several of their budding players while getting younger and faster through the draft.
Moreover, the Saints expect linebacker Victor Butler back after he missed all of last season with an ACL injury that occurred in the final OTA session last summer.
Yes, the future looks bright for the Saints secondary. And when camp opens at the Greenbrier on July 24, there will be several players to keep an eye on.
Monday, we looked at three on offense. Today, let’s look at four in the defensive backfield.