In a time not so very long ago, the Saints had not won a Super Bowl, and were very much in the same position that the Falcons were in. They did not have as many draft picks after trading their 2nd and 3rd rounders away, had a very good offensive team, but were very much lacking in defensive playmaking ability. Sure they had Drew Brees and he almost broke Dan Marino’s record in 2008, but the Saints still went 8-8 and missed the playoffs.
Then came Darren Sharper. In the 2009 offseason, the Saints signed the free-agent free-safety from the Minnesota Vikings, and he made an immediate impact. Sharper picked off 9 passes on the season, returned 3 for touchdowns, and was overall instrumental in making the Saints a very opportunistic defense. They were not an ’85 Bears type of defense, but with Sharper patrolling the deep middle of the field, the rest of the players on that team were free to make big plays happen. That season the Saints caused 45 turnovers over the course of the season. They may not have stuffed other teams, but they created turnovers.
This is the type of play that Asante Samuel can bring to the Falcons. He is exactly the type of player who may not necessarily make the Falcons points allowed decrease, or improve the number of yards allowed passing of rushing, but Samuel is a proven threat to intercept the ball. He will give our offense more opportunities to score, which is absolutely crucial. He may even return a couple for touchdowns, sparking some defensive scoring. Samuel may not be the shutdown corner that Darrelle Revis is, or Champ Bailey once was, but he is a playmaker of the highest order. Perhaps he can be the defensive player who can help the Falcons turn the corner in the playoffs and in the NFC South.
What are your thoughts on how Samuel will make this team better?