- Mike Triplett, ESPN New Orleans Saints reporter
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A look at the New Orleans Saints' total snap counts on defense from the 2013 regular season (out of 975 possible snaps):
Special teams leaders (out of 452 possible snaps):
LB Will Herring 370 (81.9%)
LB Ramon Humber 336 (74.3%)
TE Josh Hill 312 (69%)
LB Kevin Reddick 303 (67%)
CB Corey White 242 (53.5%)
S Isa Abdul-Quddus 222 (49.1%)
S Rafael Bush 198 (43.8%)
RB Travaris Cadet 189 (41.8%)
Lofton played the most snaps on defense this season, which is no surprise since he has been an ironman throughout his six-year career with the Saints and Atlanta Falcons. Lofton has never missed a game due to injury. His steady presence as a captain and signal-caller in the middle of the Saints’ defense is one of the more underrated reasons for their success this season.
The Saints dealt with a lot of injuries in the preseason, and a handful more as the year went on. But they had eight core players who were in the lineup for more than two-thirds of their snaps this season: Defensive ends Jordan and Hicks, outside linebacker Galette, inside linebackers Lofton and Hawthorne, cornerback Lewis, and safeties Jenkins and Vaccaro. Greer would have been the ninth player in that category, but he suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 10. … Together they formed an awfully good nucleus for the Saints, with a ton of other guys rotating around them as good complementary parts.
Dating to the preseason, we could see that new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan liked to feature safeties in his defense. The Saints spent most of the season in a 4-2 front with three safeties and two cornerbacks. That’s why the snap count was high for backup safeties Harper and Bush, who took turns dealing with injuries during the season -- and why it was so low at the outside linebacker position outside of Galette.
I threw in the highest special teams snap counts to give you an idea of the Saints’ core special teams players. Herring and Humber are obviously highly valued in that area. So are Bush and White, but they were needed more on defense this season (plus Bush was limited by injury).
A look at the New Orleans Saints' total snap counts on defense from the 2013 regular season (out of 975 possible snaps):Defensive end:Cameron Jordan 898 (92.