Cam Jordan emerges as defensive leader for Saints

Metairie -- After leading the team with eight sacks last year, defensive end Cam Jordan is putting in the work to take the next step in his progression.

"Without a doubt, I'd like to be the anchor of the D-Line," Jordan said. "But that being said, I'm just proud to be apart of the D-Line."

The Saints drafted Jordan in the first round of the 2011 draft. Head Coach Sean Payton has been impressed with the third-year pro, saying, "Our players would consider him one of the leaders. He stepped up and probably played as well as anyone last season. He's a big part of what we're gonna do."

Teammates like Jonathan Vilma also have high hopes, "Sky's the limit for Cam Jordan, he's blessed with an amazing ability, combination of speed and power. Very explosive, so for him it's about reading the offense and get out there and play."

And that means doing whatever's necessary, from stopping the run to putting pressure on the quarterback.

"I like pass-rushing, I love it," said Jordan. "I like playing the run. I love the overall game. So as far as just being out on the field, I think that's what I need to excel at in all phases."

Veteran offensive tackle Zach Strief added, "He's got versatility in his pass rush, he's always been a powerful guy in the run game. He's smart, and more than anything, what's probably underrated is his motor."

At 6'4'' and 287 pounds, Cam Jordan is a big man, but he can routinely compete with some of the team's most athletic players, and in post-practice conditioning tests, Jordan sometimes easily beats the defensive backs.

Isa Abdul-Quddus has seen Jordan's abilities: "First day, it was like he can fly, and now you're kinda used to it now, alright Cam's right there. You always want to beat him as a competitor and he's like a 100 pounds more than us."

When asked if he was in his best shape ever, Jordan joked, "I wouldn't say best shape, but I'm definitely in some sort of shape, I thought I was in great shape, until I got into this humidity and that takes away everything."

But according to Strief, "Cam's beating everybody, not D-linemen and O-linemen, that's the team. I think you can expect good things from him for a long time."