WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (WVUE) - In 2014, Hau'Oli Kikaha led all of college football with 19 sacks for the University of Washington. In 2015, the Saints drafted Kikaha hoping he could duplicate some of the productivity immediately.
For now, he's just another rookie with potential, trying to find his way. "Just being able to do so many different things that are asked of you, trying to adjust to different situations ... whether we're playing linebacker position or something on special teams, whatever it is, just adjusting to that situation," Kikaha said.
It hasn't all been a blur. Kikaha held his own for the most part. As this camp goes on, the rookie linebacker gets plenty of time with the first team. The absence of Junior Galette helped his cause, but it is Kikaha's overall play that earned him extra work with the first team according to head coach Sean Payton.
"The first transition is 'man all of a sudden you're getting some of the best pass protectors in the world and maybe week-in and week-out in college you didn't see that," Payton said. "They're going to have to improve technique and get off and you're really going to have to fine-tune some of those things that maybe you were able to have success with prior but I would say probably it's a pretty normal progression for a rookie at any position."