The Saints might not have made any long-term decisions about where Martez Wilson fits best in coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s defense, but they are experimenting with Wilson, a 2011 third-round pick who played in 13 games as a linebacker last season, at a new position and are happy with what they have seen so far.
The 6-4, 252-pound Illinois product lined up at right defensive end with the second-team defense at Saints OTAs Thursday.
Taking into account advice from assistant head coach/linebackers Joe Vitt, defensive line coach Bill Johnson and assistant D-line coach Travis Jones, who all were on New Orleans' defensive staff last season, Spagnuolo, in his first season with the team, said finding a home for Wilson is a work in progress.
“Now we have a ways to go,” Spagnuolo said. “(Wilson) was excited about (playing defensive end) and it fit into things. We have a number of linebackers right now working at outside linebacker so I think he is excited about it and we will see where it goes from here.”
Wilson doesn’t have prototypical size for a 4-3 defensive end and could be stymied at the point of attack if a blocker gets a hand on him, but he did flash burst and the ability to create pressure off the edge as a blitzer during his rookie season.
In a limited, straight-ahead role as a rush linebacker/defensive end hybrid, the Saints could put Wilson in a better position to maximize his potential.
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