AFR: Saints need Laurinaitis' intangibles most of all - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

AFR: Saints need Laurinaitis' intangibles most of all

James Laurinaitis (Source: Keith Allison via Flickr creative commons) James Laurinaitis (Source: Keith Allison via Flickr creative commons)
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

His production has been consistent throughout his career, but something tells me it's his intangibles that attracted the Saints to James Laurinaitis the most. There's a reason why they wanted to be the first team to get Laurinaitis in for a visit when he was cut by the Rams.

Stephone Anthony may eventually become an All-Pro linebacker for this organization, but is he ready in year two to be the unquestioned leader of an a defense in desperate need of an alpha?

Laurinaitis has the skins on the wall to be exactly that. He's been that guy for seven years for a ferocious Rams defense. His toughness is unquestioned. Forget missing any games, Laurinaitis has only missed a handful of SNAPS during his career. At his position, that's an incredible run of durability.

Add it all up and it's instant respect the second he walks into the Saints' locker room.

Have the Saints really had that player on defense since Jonathan Vilma? Perhaps the coaching staff sensed that was needed more than anything else for this defense to improve. And Laurinaitis can be the player that provides it.

Make no mistake, everything in free agency is a calculated risk. And as we've seen, the Saints have been burned recently. But an organization also can't be afraid to make a move if they think it can make the team better especially if the price is right. And with the options they had available, Laurinaitis was worth taking a shot on.

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