Originally Posted by St. Richard
I think they strongly considered it, but with a weak secondary and poor linebackers overall, I don't think they thought they had enough personnel to make that switch. I agree that Howard can play a 3-4 DE, but it wouldn't be his strong suit. After watching the 3-4 for years when the Saints had the old Dome Patrol, I've seen a lot of the defense. Smith could play OLB in that defense if he dropped a few pounds, but I just don't think it fits Howard. Howard played extremely well as a DT this year when they were in obvious passing downs. They rushed Grant, Bryant, Howard and Smith and it was like a jailbreak. Against Carolina, Delhomme looked like a deer in the headlights.
[View Full Quote]I'm still very torn about this. I'd love to see Grant, Howard and Smith continue in a rotation for the Saints and you can never have enough quality defensive linemen IMO (although Howard's injuries have been a bit overblown). But I'd also love to see him back next to Glover, taking the heat off Ellis. As long as he stays with the Saints or goes to the Cowboys, I'm OK. I'm just worried about those !%!@$ Eagles.
Saints never tried to go to the 3-4, however they have a 3rd down rushing defense that is a hybrid 3-4 where Tony Bryant/Darren Howard slide down to the DT spot and Will Smith is brought in as a rushing backer.
The Saints do not have the personell to go to the 3-4 or the desire. Will Smith and Charles Grant are 4-3 DE's, as is Darren Howard. Their linebackers, Courtney Watson, James Allen, Colby Bockwoldt, Derrick Rodgers, Orlando Ruff, Cie Grant, Lavar Fisher, are 4-3 linebackers and one of the weaker spots on the team as far as talent and depth go. Like I said they do have a rushing defense that is a hybrid of the 3-4 but that is it, they never considered going away from their base 4-3 alignment.
The reason they wanted Dat is so they could stick him in the middle and slide Courtney Watson to the weak side where he is better suited to play.
I see something happening in the next couple of weeks, be it with Dallas, the Vikings, Philly, Washington, etc. I expect the Saints to get close to what they want from some team as there are several teams interested, two of which have had contract discussions with Howard and his agent (one being the Cowboys the other one is unknown).