New Orleans Saints
This section might be a little tough for Saints fans. The New Orleans Saints were on their way to the NFC championship before rookie free safety Marcus Williams made the split second decision to go for a low tackle instead of a high pass breakup or more sure handed tackle. Diggs secured the pass, tip-toed down the sideline, and sent the Saints packing.
For the Saints, 2017 will forever be defined by the picture above, but once the sting wears off they’ll likely feel pretty good about their safety group. Marcus Williams overall was a significant contributor as a rookie despite his gaff. He scored an impressive 86.8 grade from Pro Football Focus, 11th highest among safeties, and his 59 solo tackles were second most on the defense. His four interceptions were also the second most on the team.
More from Bucs News
- Devin White posts cryptic message to Lavonte David on Twitter
- Updated Buccaneers depth chart after signing two players from rookie minicamp
- Todd Bowles sends clear message about Baker Mayfield’s role with Bucs
- The Athletic is wrong about Bucs one ‘must-watch’ game in 2023
- Todd Bowles admits he only looks at three things on Bucs schedule
At strong safety opposite Williams is Vonn Bell, who led the Saints defense in tackles last season along with finishing second in tackles the year before as a rookie. The former Buckeye didn’t record an interception last season and wasn’t graded particularly favorably by PFF, but Bell is without question an important player for New Orleans. His 4.5 sacks last year are solid for any safety, and on top of being used around the line of scrimmage a lot he also has versatility in coverage against slot receivers.
The Saints further bolstered their safety group with the addition of veteran Kurt Coleman, who they poached from the Panthers during this year’s free agency period. Coleman is a nine year vet who the Buccaneers should have kicked the tires on; though he didn’t have an interception last year, he recorded four in 2016 and seven in 2015. The vet should provide the Saints with some rock-solid depth.