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Defender Picks


Saints' Spagnuolo, Flajole Sent Packing

The Saints' decider has returned to Airline Highway. After a disappointing 7-9 season that many WhoDats want to forget, Sean Payton made his presence felt on his third day since returning from Bounty exile. The Head Coach fired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo after one season on the job, and also issued a pink slip to secondary coach Ken Flajole on Wednesday.


Under Spagnuolo, the Saints' defense surrendered the most yardage to opposing teams in the history of the NFL, setting the new bar at 7,042. Watching receivers go for big plays by storming through the secondary became the unfortunate norm for the Black and Gold.


A former head coach and Super Bowl winner as a defensive coordinator with the New York Giants, Spags brought a different approach from the years of blitz-addict Gregg Williams. Though they had bright spots like a goal line stand against Tampa Bay and solid performance in the red zone throughout the year, the Saints' defense never seemed to gel within the system.


In a statement issued by the team, Payton said the Saints are changing their defensive philosophy.


“I personally want to thank Steve and Ken for their contributions during what was an unprecedented 2012 season,” Payton said. “Philosophically we are changing our defense to a 3-4 alignment and right now is the best time to accomplish this transition.”


A 3-4 alignment consists of a core of three linemen, and four linebackers. 



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