It seems as though Will Smith could indeed see a four game suspension at the beginning of next year.
On Tuesday, February 8th, a court ruled against Kevin and Pat Williams in a case referring to the illegal use of a banned diuretic called StarCaps.
The incident occurred back in 2008.
Several Saints players also tested positive for the drug, including Will Smith, Deuce Mcallister, and Charles Grant. The drug is banned due to it's ability to mask steroid use. It's unknown at this time if the NFL will go forward with the suspensions.
That being said, I have been getting a few questions about whether or not I think the Saints need to beef up their defensive line. It was brought to my attention that the Saints enjoyed having much bigger defensive tackles in the past, such as Grady Jackson, 6'2", 345 pounds and Norman Hand, 6'3", 310 pounds.
If you didn't have the pleasure of watching these guys play for New Orleans you really missed out on something special.
Here is just one of the reasons I miss big Normand Hand.
He was known as the "Big Wiggle" for his sack dance. Back in 2000 the defensive line was known as the "Heavy Lunch Bunch" and helped the Saints to their first playoff win in franchise history.
Sedrick Ellis is 6'1", 307 pounds and Remi Ayodele is listed at 6'2", 318 pounds. That brings the average down from 327 to 312.
That's a pretty big difference.
That's also giving the conservative estimate of Norman Hands weight as it was always in question. The difference could be even greater.
With Michael Turner running the ball in Atlanta and the emergence of LeGarrette Blount in Tampa it would seem that now is as good a time as any to beef up the front four. I've always felt that we could use more of a road grader up front. Someone in the 6'4", 325 pound range sounds good to me.
However, looking back on the stats from 2000 we were giving up 4.1 yds per rush even back then. This year we were giving up 4.3 yards per carry. Could this be attributed to the fact that back then the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the much more speedy backs of Warrick Dunn and Jamal Anderson? Possibly so. It could also be attributed to the fact that we had to see Marshall Faulk twice a year.
Either way, I think it's a good point, and something the Saints coaching staff have to keep in mind going into next season.
Let's beef up the front four and get back to our run-stuffing days so that we can put embarrassing wild-card losses behind us. Even if it's someone that only plays on rushing downs, I think it would be extremely beneficial.
With the possible suspension of Will Smith and the need at OLB, it does make the first round decision even tougher than that of last year. It also makes the prospect of Justin Houston, from Georgia, with his ability to play defensive end or Linebacker, evermore interesting. It would also free up the second round to take that beefy defensive tackle we have been missing since Grady Jackson and the "Big Wiggle".