Monday, 20 June 2011 15:17

New Orleans Saints Defense Should Be Better With Cameron Jordan

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New Orleans SaintsDefense against the run and a poor pass rush were Saints weaknesses in 2010, but that should be history with the drafting of defensive end Cameron Jordan and signing free agent veteran defensive tackle Shaun Rogers.

The Saints used their first-round draft choice to select Cameron Jordan, who has terrific size (6-4, 287) and offers positional schematics. His personality and intelligence are evident in interviews, which will be appreciated by media members. He could be a strong candidate for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

 Jordan is the son of an accomplished NFL player Steve Jordan who played his entire 12-year NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings.

The father was a standout tight end for the Vikings from 1982-94, earning six consecutive Pro Bowl selections in the middle of his career. Steve has a civil engineering degree from Ivy League Brown and settled in Phoenix after retiring from the NFL.

"My attitude is should a rookie wait to contribute?," said Jordan. "Why should we wait? We're ready to step up and get in the mix and make our mark immediately. What's the point of putting it off. Our time is now."

The Saints were impressed with Jordan's maturity, intelligence and poise during pre-draft interviews. He grew up in Phoenix.

Following a senior season which included six sacks and 12 1/2 tackles for losses, Jordan climbed as high as No. 12 on draft boards. His personality seemed to increase his attractiveness to talent-evaluators. Though many coaches value obedience over edginess, Jordan straddles the line effectively. One example came during a Combine interview with a Steelers contingent that included a Hall of Fame defensive tackle and legendary cola pitchman.

Upon being introduced to Mean Joe Green, Jordan smiled and contemplated asking, "Can I have a jersey, too?" He thought better of it, instead telling Greene, "I wish I had a Coke on me."

"He's a guy who really fits in either a 4-3 or 3-4 front, which is pretty unique and he can play on all three downs," said an NFL scouting director. "It's really hard to find these complete defensive linemen, guys who can get upfield and penetrate through a gap, and who are able to sit and spy with arms extended, lock a guy out and wait for the ball to clear. Plus he's a first-rate kid from a high-level program with good bloodlines."

The Saints currently list 14 defensive linemen on their roster.


Name                         Ht. Wt.   Age     YRs       School

Remi Ayodele           6-2   318   28       5       Oklahoma

Alex Brown               6-3   260   32       10     Florida

Jeff Charleston         6-4   265 28       5       Idaho State

Sedrick Ellis               6-1   307   25       4       USC

Junior Galette           6-2   258 23         2       Stillman

Anthony Hargrove     6-3   272   27         7       Ga. Tech

Cameron Jordan         6-4   287   21         1       Cal

Mitch King                 6-2   280   25         1       Iowa

Swanson Miller           6-4 310   25         1     Okla. State  

Shaun Rogers             6-4 350   32         11   Texas

Greg Romeus             6-5 264   23           1     Pitt

Will Smith                   6-3 282   29           8     The Ohio State

Jimmy Wilkerson       6-2 270   30           9     Oklahoma    

Shaun Rogers factoids:

* In 10 NFL seasons he has started 124 of 149 games while recording 391 tackles, 38 sacks, 1 interception, 24 pass defenses, 4 forced fumbles and 8 fumble recoveries.

* Has been named to the Pro Bowl three times.

* He scored his first career touchdown when teammate James Half stripped the ball from Saints running back Aaron Steckler and he picked it and raced 21 yards for a touchdown at New Orleans, on Dec. 24, 2005.

Will Smith factoids:

* His 55 career sacks rank fourth in club record books behind Rickey Jackson (115), Wayne Martin (82.5), Pat Swilling (76.5).

* He has been a team captain voted by his teammates the past two seasons.

Anthony Hargrove factoids:

* He won the 2009 Ed Block Courage Award, that was voted on by his Saints teammates for making a successful return to football after sitting out all of 2008 because of an NFL suspension..

* He made four tackles as a reserve lineman and added another stop on special teams in the Super Bowl win over Indianapolis.

* He was featured in a NFL Network documentary "From Sinner to Saints" on his inspiring story of his NFL career.

Sedrick Ellis factoids:

* He has started every game he's appeared in since being drafted seventh over-all in 2008.

* Had career highs in tackles and sacks, posting 78 stops (30 solo), a team best six quarterback take downs last season.

Jeff Charleston factoids:

* He had five tackles (three solo) in his first career start when he replaced Will Smith in Arizona on Oct. 10, 2010.

* Last season, he forced fumble by Falcons running back Michael Turner near the goal line that was recovered by linebacker Marvin Mitchell at Atlanta on Dec. 27.

* In the regular-season finale at home against the Buccaneers, he sacked quarterback Josh Freeman, stripped the ball and recovered it.

Alex Brown factoids:

* He has appeared in 143 consecutive games, the longest current consecutive games streak for an NFL defensive end.

* He has recorded 45.5 sacks, getting six or more in five separate seasons.

by Ed Staton

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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