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New Orleans Saints boast an impressive linebacking system for the 2023 season

The New Orleans Saints have a history filled with sensational linebackers, some of whom have played a pivotal role in the team, which is quite impressive. The likes of Joe Federspiel and Jim Merlo were outstanding defenders who shone through the 70s on lackluster defenses. In the late 80s to early 90s, the Dome Patrol’s foursome comprising Rickey Jackson, Pat Swilling, Sam Mills, and Vaughan Johnson, who are all Hall of Famers, made the Saints legitimate contenders.

Jonathan Vilma was an essential factor in the team’s Super Bowl XLIV win, joining an underrated duo of Scott Shanle and Scott Fujita. Mark Fields and Keith Mitchell continued the team’s highly-reputed line of strong linebackers from the late 90s to early 2000s.

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Over the last few years, Demario Davis has joined the league of St. Saints’ icons, making a name for himself in the franchise. Kwon Alexander was replaced by Pete Werner in 2021, who had a Pro Bowl-caliber performance last season, further intensifying the Saints’ already-impressive linebacking corps.

Dalton Wasserman, a writer on Pro Football Focus, ranked the site’s NFL linebacking corps in an article. The New Orleans Saints bagged fourth place on the PFF rankings, following the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, and Baltimore Ravens, respectively. Wasserman discussed the ranking of the Saints and highlighted certain aspects.

Demario Davis has played five seasons for New Orleans, achieving a score above 75.0 in all of them, and his 82.7 overall grade in 2022 places him fourth in his position. Furthermore, he is an iron-man of sorts, having played the fourth-most snaps as a linebacker over the last five years. He excelled in coverage last season while adding to his accomplishments with a career-high nine sacks. The author regards him as the top player in New Orleans’ defense.

The Saints could have been placed even higher if only they had kept Kaden Elliss. Yet, his departure to Atlanta leaves third-year player Pete Werner as the anticipated starter opposite to Davis. Werner appeared on the scene last season, putting up an exceptional performance that included an elite 91.0 run-defense grade, though his gameplay in 2022 was not as impressive.

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Werner’s game-time was also cut short by Kaden Elliss’ breakout, who happened to be superb when filling in for Werner last season. In hindsight, this means that the Saints’ 2022 version of Werner, though adequate, is more of a valuable contributor than a star. Therefore, it is worth taking note of Werner’s performance in this coming season.

Demario Davis, a renowned name in the NFL’s elite defenders, is entering his twelfth season as a 34-year-old player. Last season, he finished with fives consecutive years with 100-plus tackles, ten of which were for loss. He accomplished a career-high 6.5 sacks, ten pressures, and an interception in the same season. In addition, he prevented a less than 68% completion percentage in man coverage, and this was no mean feat.

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Although the PFF comments painted his colleague, Werner, as being a serviceable player, he was on the brink of achieving a Pro Bowl bid before his ankle injury in Week 9 that made him miss five games. Nonetheless, he still emerged as the second on the team with 80 total tackles and 56 solo stops, despite having appeared in just 12 contests.

As the Saints’ scheme demands a lot of their linebackers, the team has a few doubts concerning their depth in the position, especially if Davis or Werner suffer injuries. The first choice to replace Elliss, according to PFF, is Zack Baun, a fourth-year LB. D’Marco Jackson, who missed his whole rookie experience due to injury last season, is also a player to watch in this field. Baun has not been an excellent fit for the team thus far, having played for three years. In time, undrafted rookies, such as Anfernee Orji and Nick Anderson, could easily climb up on the depth chart in the position. If the depth is unsatisfactory during this year’s training camp, the Saints might bring in a veteran linebacker. The need would not be a problem given the pool of talent out there. Rashaan Evans, Myles Jack, Deion Jones, Zach Cunningham, Anthony Barr, Jarrad Davis, and the former saint Kwon Alexander, who is on the list, are all excellent options.

With such an impressive linebacking corps, the Saints have become a more renowned and respected team in recent years. The acquisition of Jonathan Vilma was an essential factor that helped the Saints win the Super Bowl XLIV championship. The likes of Mark Fields and Keith Mitchell continued the team’s tradition of delivering strong linebackers. On the other hand, Demario Davis and Pete Werner form one of the NFL’s top tandems and are especially valuable to the Saints’ outstanding defense in 2023. As the Saints have a few doubts about their depth, they have to rely on the players they have and trust that they will deliver on their potential. All in all, the Saints boast of an impressive linebacking system that is sure to make waves in the coming season.

The New Orleans Saints have had a large number of standout linebackers throughout their history. Despite subpar defenses, Joe Federspiel and Jim Merlo were standout defenders in the 1970s. Throughout the late 1980s and early 90s, the Dome Patrol foursome of Rickey Jackson, Pat Swilling, Sam Mills, and Vaughan Johnson helped to make the team authentic contenders. All four are in the sports Hall of Fame, with Jackson and Mills also in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Swilling deserving of a spot. The team’s tradition of formidable linebackers carried on with Mark Fields and Keith Mitchell from the late 1990s until the early 2000s.

Jonathan Vilma played an integral role in the Saints’ Super Bowl XLIV win, while Scott Shanle and Scott Fujita formed an underrated duo. From the last few years, Demario Davis has become a standout name in the Saints franchise. The position’s depth was strengthened with newcomer Pete Werner in 2021, who replaced Kwon Alexander, another notable linebacker. Last season, the Saints’ linebacking corps came in at #4 on the PFF rankings, just behind the Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, and the Chicago Bears, which is quite impressive.

Demario Davis is an incredible defender and has played five seasons for New Orleans, earning a score of over 75.0 in all five seasons. His overall score of 82.7 in 2022 places him fourth in his position. Over the last five years, he’s played the fourth-most snaps for any linebacker. He was exceptional in coverage last year and added a career-high nine sacks to his records. He’s also known for being the team’s most indispensable player in New Orleans’ defense. Unfortunately, Kaden Elliss left, making way for third-year player Pete Werner to take his place.

In 2021, Werner had a fantastic rookie season, which included an elite 91.0 run-defense grade. His performance in 2022 was a little below par compared to his 2021 showing, and Elliss’ breakout a little cut into his playing time. Despite the minor shortcomings, the Saints came in at #4 on the PFF rankings. Werner is seen as a valuable contributor, and fans are excited to watch his performance this coming season.

Demario Davis is an elite defender and has played in the league for twelve years, entering his thirteenth season now. In his previous season, he accumulated five straight years of having 100 plus tackles. He also had a newfound peak, having 10 pressures and a career-high 6.5 sacks in 2022. He had one of the team’s seven interceptions, permitted less than 68% completion percentage in man coverage, and broke up four passes.

The Saints demand a lot from their linebackers; hence, there are considerable doubts about their depth in the position. They hope that the depth they have brings promise that they will deliver. A possible option to replace Elliss, according to PFF, is LB Zack Baun, a fourth-year player. D’Marco Jackson, who missed his rookie season due to injury, is another player to watch in this position. Anfernee Orji and Nick Anderson are undrafted rookies that may climb the ranks if need be. The Saints could also choose to bring in a veteran linebacker; should the need arise, there are a few superb options out there. Some of these are Anthony Barr, Zach Cunningham, Jarrad Davis, Rashaan Evans, Myles Jack, and Deion Jones. Kwon Alexander, a former Saints linebacker, could also be an excellent addition to the team.

Over the years, the New Orleans Saints have had an impressive line of linebackers. Joe Federspiel and Jim Merlo were outstanding defenders on mediocre defenses through the 70s, while Rickey Jackson, Pat Swilling, Sam Mills, and Vaughan Johnson formed the Dome Patrol, turning the Saints into legitimate contenders in the late-80s into the early 1990s. Mark Fields and Keith Mitchell continued the team’s tradition of sturdy linebackers from the late 1990s into the early 2000s. Jonathan Vilma’s acquisition was crucial in helping the Saints win the Super Bowl XLIV championship, joined by Scott Shanle and Scott Fujita, who formed an underrated duo. In the last few years, LB Demario Davis has earned a special place among Saints’ franchise icons. Pete Werner, who replaced Kwon Alexander in 2021, earned a Pro-Bowl-caliber performance last season, replacing another solid linebacker, Kaden Elliss.

The New Orleans Saints ranked fourth on PFF’s NFL linebacking corps rankings last season, with Demario Davis scoring above 75.0 in all five of his seasons in New Orleans and an overall grade of 82.7 in 2022. He’s played the fourth-most snaps of any linebacker over the last five years, earning a career-high nine sacks last season, excelling in coverage, and setting a high standard on New Orleans’ defense. Pete Werner stepped up last season, earning an excellent rookie season that included a 91.0 run-defense grade. Although his performance in 2022 was not quite as impressive, Werner remains a valuable contributor to the Saints. As the season progresses, the Saints hope to rely on their current linebacking system and trust that it remains relevant throughout the year.

It can be safe to say that the Saints have had a fantastic run with their linebackers. Joe Federspiel and Jim Merlo were excellent defenders on subpar defenses during the 70s. In the late 80s to early 90s, the emergence of Rickey Jackson, Pat Swilling, Sam Mills, and Vaughan Johnson, all of whom are Hall of Famers, transformed the Saints into an authentic contender. The team’s tradition of exceptional linebackers continued with the likes of Mark Fields and Keith Mitchell in the late 90s to early 2000s. Jonathan Vilma’s acquisition was vital in the Saints’ Super Bowl XLIV win, who, along with Scott Shanle and Scott Fujita, formed an underrated duo. In recent years, Demario Davis has solidified his place amongst Saints franchise icons. Pete Werner, who replaced Kwon Alexander, had a Pro Bowl-caliber performance last season, replacing another excellent linebacker, Kaden Elliss.

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