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Saints fans are going to enjoy watching the safeties compete this year. They will be prevalent in the weekly game plan for the defense in numerous packages.
Rob Ryan's dime defense is clearly his sub-package of choice.
In this game alone, I saw rookie Kenny Vaccaro line up at outside linebacker, slot corner and free safety. He will get better at covering slot receivers, but his physicality is already a tone-setter for the Saints defense.
His late hit on Matt Ryan was a gift and a curse. Penalties are a form of football suicide, but Vaccaro's aggressiveness put Ryan on alert to keep his head on a swivel when leaving the pocket.
After that hit, Ryan was very hesitant to do anything but extend plays in an attempt to throw the ball. After taking the blow to the ribs, Matt turned down quite a few opportunities to bolt the pocket to pick up yards on the ground.
Rafael Bush, Malcolm Jenkins, Roman Harper and Vaccaro will be a fun group of safeties to watch this season. All four can be very physical at all times.
And as we all know, physical play reverberates through all units of a team. The Saints' performance was a direct representative of that theory.