- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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I read a letter from a fan on Nola.com that urged New Orleans defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to blitz more often.
Sometimes, it’s wise to be careful what you wish for. I understand that Spagunolo’s defense isn’t working well. But I’m not sure it’s a good idea for him to blitz more often.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Saints have the NFL’s worst pass defense when sending five or more pass-rushers. They’ve blitzed on 28 pass attempts and opponents have completed 22 of those passes (a league-high 78.6 percent) for three touchdowns with zero interceptions. The Saints have produced only two sacks on blitzes.
Would it get any better if the Saints blitzed more?
I doubt it. Spagnuolo’s defense is designed to get most of its pressure from the front four, and the Saints need to do a better job in that department. I think part of that is because the Saints don’t have the front-four personnel to get the most out of Spagnuolo’s defense.
End Will Smith is the only proven pass-rusher, and he’s produced only one sack this season. The Saints did a nice job overhauling their linebacking corps in the offseason, especially when you consider that Drew Brees'contract situation severely limited their salary-cap space.
But I think the Saints made a mistake by not finding a way to bring in at least one more pass-rusher.