METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - When it comes to Saints' struggles under Sean Payton, usually a familiar script plays out. The offense is explosive but the defense is holding them back. However, thus far through preseason, the opposite has been true. It's the offense that's sputtered and the defense has been the bright spot.
"I like the direction we're heading," defensive coordinator Dennis Allen said. "I don't think you can ever sit back and feel like you've made it, but I like the direction that we're heading."
"I'm proud to be a part of this defense," defensive end Cam Jordan said. "I'm excited about the growth from the young guys. Even the rookies that have come in, they're showing more poise than what I'm used too."
One thing that's helped that side of the ball is that it's filled with what would be best be described as 'football junkies' where the game isn't just their job but their hobby as well.
"Kenny Vaccaro, (Jairus) Byrd, goodness, all the linebackers. Quite frankly, we have a lot of guys on defense that love talking ball, love working, love doing the little things, the extra stuff, and be detailed out," said middle linebacker James Laurinaitis.
It's shown up in the stat sheet. Through two games, they've allowed just 8-of-28 third down attempts. They've also recorded six sacks and two takeaways. But just like they won't get too low on some bad offensive performances by their offense, they also won't get too high on a few good defensive performances. They've played well, but by no means are they a finished product.
"We still got a lot to work on and a lot that we got to get better at and really a short period of time to do it," said Allen.
But getting off to a good start is certainly a welcomed change for the defense.