Observers say the Saints' ninth-ranked defense is looking better all-around this season. DT Sedrick Ellis has stood out perhaps more than any other player, though. In his third season, Ellis is showing the potential that led New Orleans to trade up three spots in the first round to draft him seventh overall. He looks more aggressive, is blowing up running plays on a more consistent basis and is only one sack away from matching his career high (four), which he set in '08. He has spent most of his time lining up as the three-technique, but does play nose tackle when the Saints employ a three-man front. If he can stay healthy, this likely will go down as a career year for Ellis, who reportedly was told to drop weight by head coach Sean Payton heading into the season. Ellis suffered injuries to his right knee that sidelined him in each of his first two seasons.