New Orleans, La. - Yes, the Saints defense is learning a brand new scheme. Rob Ryan's 3-4, which is tooled to bring more heat on quarterbacks and create more opportunities for turnovers.
That also presents a learning curve for the Saints 'offensive' line which has to deal with the scheme each day in practice.
Right guard Jahri Evans says it's good to be finally able to take a *hands on* approach.
Said Evans after practice Sunday: "We've been going against these guys, they're a little bit heavier with the 3-4, a couple guys that we have are pretty big so we've been going against them without pads and with pads you can do a little bit more things with your hands and be a little more physical. So, we can actually show how strong we are. So I thought we did a good job up front today and we've just got to continue to build on that and be in our playbooks off the field for the young guys so we can execute on the field."
One guy who could be a big help for the Saints on the *defensive* side of the ball is massive Akiem Hicks. He's listed as a defensive end, but can play inside as well. In fact, *that's* what makes the second year player such a valuable commodity.... His versatility can serve him well on this football team. Hicks said:
"I definitely feel that it has complemented my style of play so far. When you play football, you never know what you are going to play. One day, you are playing a 4-3. The next day, you are playing a 3-4. You have to be ready for everything, so I feel like it is working out."