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Saints using scalpel rather than sledgehammer on defense

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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By Dan Parr

The Saints are on pace to shatter the record for most yards allowed in a season, but interim head coach Joe Vitt has shot down the idea of making dramatic changes to their defensive playbook.

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has been under fire all season for the team’s struggles on “D.” However, Vitt, a longtime defensive assistant, suggested that throwing out Spagnuolo’s playbook and starting from scratch would cause even bigger problems for the team.

“If you put that panic in, the players can smell the house burning before the match is ever lit,” Vitt said. “We’ve got to play better, we’ve got to coach better, we’ve got to execute better.”

In fact, we hear the Saints have been trying to simplify on defense and put the focus on fundamentals rather than complicate things by forcing players to learn a wide variety of new concepts in the midst of the season. However, no strategy has proven to be all that effective for them thus far. Vitt has said the team will continue to incorporate new wrinkles and different looks on “D” each week, but wholesale schematic changes are apparently not in the offing.

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