New Orleans Sports Scuttlebutt 06-19-09

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We've all seen talented teams fall well short of their early summer projections. With a different starter going down almost every week, last year was proof enough that no matter how much talent you have in June, depth will probably be one of the most important factors in putting together a championship run.

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The Saints have taken great strides to ensure that attrition won't play a factor in the upcoming season. New Orleans has added a lot of depth to their team-particularly to their 23rd ranked defense. The arrival of defensive backs Darren Sharper, Jabari Greer, and Malcolm Jenkins has forced the incumbents to step up.

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Former corner back Usama Young has answered the call-switching to free safety to earn a spot on the team. So far  Coach Sean Payton is pleased by Young's performance in OTA's.

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"I'm encouraged with (Young's) play. He has picked it up, he has range, he has a pretty good feel. You don't know how it's going to transition when you make a change, and he seems to have handled it pretty smoothly."

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Another player trying to reestablish himself is second-year pro DT Sedrick Ellis. Ellis is eager to improve. The seventh pick in the 2008 draft, Ellis's rookie year was okay. Big number 98 finished the season with twenty tackles and four sacks. This year however, okay just won't cut it. Starting defensive ends Will Smith and Charles Grant will likely miss at least four games for violating the leagues banned substance policy and the Saints will definitely need Ellis to play better than he did in '08.

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"...this year is a whole new year. Last year doesn't matter anymore,"said Ellis. I guess we'll find out in September.

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