Why ‘average’ players could make the New Orleans Saints great from here out

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Full Story - Washington Post

Perhaps the most underrated concept in NFL talent evaluation is the value of “average.” Too often it’s tossed around like a slur with “average” players bouncing around from team to team. The NFL is an “upside” league that will give players with potential or desirable traits chance after chance … even if they’ve proven beyond a doubt they shouldn’t be on a professional football field.

Often times though average is an upgrade, and a significant one at that. Exchanging one of the worst players in the league at a certain position for an average one can have the same impact as going from an average player to a pro-bowler. Holes can be more detrimental than strengths beneficial and no team understands this at the moment quite like the Saints.

Through the first seven weeks of the season the New Orleans defense was, to put it kindly, dreadful. They were giving up over 32 points per game and a ridiculous 2.7 points per drive – a pace that would have dethroned the 2015 Saints as the worst defense in modern football history. There were glaring holes at every level of the defense that didn’t take an offensive guru to exploit.

Something started to happen though over the past few weeks that should have Saints fans encouraged about a potential playoff run. Those holes have quietly gotten filled. Not by superstars, but rather players that deserve to be starting for an NFL team. Dannell Ellerbe returned at linebacker, first-rounder Sheldon Rankins saw his first action at defensive tackle, and Delvin Breaux finally got healthy after an injury suffered in Week 1 (even if he’s back on the injury report)...

By Mike Renner -- Washington Post

Full Story - Washington Post
 

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