In 2012, no team was more of a sieve defensively than the New Orleans Saints, who finished dead last in rushing yards allowed and 31st in passing yards surrendered.
However, cornerback Malcolm Jenkins says this time things will be different with head coach Sean Payton back on the sideline following his one-year suspension for his involvement in the bounty scandal, according to nola.com. Jenkins per the article:
"They look different from a cultural standpoint. Last year, our defense was missing the teeth that it usually has. We were known as a defense that flew around, got to the ball, forced turnovers and hit people, but we kind of got away from those basics. So those have been just the key points.
"The defense, getting that down, that'll come. It's a multiple defense; guys can move around, play different positions, get after the quarterback. It's definitely fun in that aspect but we always got back to the basics: flying to the ball, trying to get turnovers, going for the interception, because that's how we complement our offense. If we can get the ball in Drew Brees' hands, get off the field on third down and play some good red zone defense, it makes us a pretty good team."
Perhaps even more important for the defense is the hiring of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who became available after he was fired by the Dallas Cowboys following last season. He replaces Steve Spagnuolo, who only lasted one season in the Bayou.
Ryan favors a 3-4 defense that blitzes from all over the field. Many times in Ryan's defense, corners and safeties will overload one side of the line, forcing offensive lineman to make a snap decision on which way to slide.
After finishing 7-9 and out of the postseason in 2012, Jenkins and the rest of the Saints are hoping for a much different campaign in 2013.