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By: Jeremy Trottier
What does the newly signed veteran DE bring to the black and gold?
Monday evening there was news circulating that Jason Pierre-Paul had a meeting and workout with the New Orleans Saints. This led up to him reportedly signing with the Saints according to his agent, which was reported by Josina Anderson. After a loss to the Minnesota Vikings over the weekend where the pass rush was struggling to get any pressure on Josh Dobbs, this move came to fruition rather quickly shortly after that game. With this signing all but confirmed now, we will discuss what it is that Jason Pierre-Paul (JPP) brings to the Saints’ defense, and why we believe he was signed. So, without further ado, let’s get right into it.
Veteran pass-rush presence for the defensive end room
One of the most notable things about the Saints defensive line unit is that many of the players within it fall into two categories:
- Rookies/Younger side of their career: Payton Turner, Isaiah Foskey, Carl Granderson (to an extent), Bryan Bresee, Malcolm Roach
- New to the team: Khalen Saunders, Kyle Phillips, Nathan Shepherd
The only two exceptions are Cam Jordan and Tanoh Kpassagnon, who have both been on and off production-wise this season. The other notable thing is that the three players in the new-to-the-team category were not consistently playing against the Saints on their old teams, with two coming from the New York Jets and one coming from the Kansas City Chiefs.
Why is this important? Jason Pierre-Paul has played 11 career games against the Saints, which is more than all three of those players have played combined against the Saints, and it’s more than any of them have played FOR the Saints in their career. He has experience in the NFC South division with a rival team and has played against the Saints consistently throughout his career, which gives him at least some idea of how the team is run despite recent changes to the coaching staff.
JPP also gives the Saints veteran leadership in the defensive end room, which besides Jordan and Kpassagnon, there is little to none of. Having another veteran to teach the younger players some of the knowledge that he has accrued over his 13 seasons in the NFL is a great addition. Especially considering Pierre-Paul fits the same mold that the Saints typically draft at the position (6’4”+, 250+) so he can teach them how to use their physical traits to win pass-rush matchups.
Pierre-Paul is still a quality pass-rusher to an extent
Jason Pierre-Paul is going to be overlooked as just a depth signing and nothing more, which could be the case. But at the same time, he was relatively effective last season with the Baltimore Ravens, and created a decent amount of pressure. His stat line looked like this for 2022:
- 14 games played (526 snaps, appx. 60% of defensive snaps)
- 22 pressures, 3 sacks, 4 batted balls at LOS
- 20 tackles (2 assisted & 18 solo), 5 TFL, 5 missed tackles
- 2 penalties (only 1 was not offsetting), 1 interception, 1 more sack in the playoffs (4 total)
The first thing I notice straight away that jumps off the chart.,. the interception and the batted balls at LOS. The interception, interestingly enough, was against Baker Mayfield and the Carolina Panthers. Defensive tackle (#96) Broderick Washington was able to bat the ball to the side at the LOS, and Jason Pierre-Paul was able to catch it and go down to make sure it was an interception. A pretty whacky series of events to get there, but that’s about what I expect when seeing a 6’5” defensive end with an interception on his stat sheet.
Two of the sacks by JPP last season were against Joe Burrow, including his playoff sack. Both of them were pretty solid, but the regular season sack was most impressive. He was able to engage the right tackle (#71 La’el Collins) and then immediately disengaged using his hands and ran right by him. The second sack he went up against Hakeem Adeniji (#77) and when Joe Burrow started to scramble, JPP cut and ran right back by the interior offensive line to meet Broderick Washington in the middle.
Overall, it is clear that Jason Pierre-Paul has some gas left in the tank to offer the Saints, and he could prove a valuable addition down the road as the team looks to get back on track following the upcoming bye week.
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Originally posted on Canal Street Chronicles – All Posts