It’s not uncommon for coaches that leave to want to bring some of their old players with them that they feel will contribute on their new team.
And when I say contribute, it’s not just from a production standpoint but also because of a comfort level that the coach feels with these players.
In 2013 newly crowned New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan brought in what was expected to be a major play maker in linebacker Victor Butler.
Jun 10, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints linebacker Victor Butler (90) during minicamp at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Butler had played under Ryan when he was calling the defense for the Dallas Cowboys and was supposed to bring a strong presence and a tutor of sorts to the new system the Saints defense would be playing under.
However, Butler collided with running back Mark Ingram during organized team activities and tore his ACL. He never returned to form and was released in 2014.
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It appears that there might be another homecoming with a former Cowboys defensive player and his old coordinator. This time it’s defensive end Anthony Spencer.
Last night Saints sideline reporter and WWL-850AM/3WL-1350AM radio host Kristian Garic sent out a tweet advising that Spencer was indeed on his way for a visit in New Orleans.
Could we see another reunion in the works for Ryan and one of his former players?
We’ve learned in the past few weeks that the Saints are trying to improve on defense at close to any cost and Spencer is a player that could help some.
And I mean “some” in the terms of strictly being a situational player if Spencer is indeed signed.
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Yes I’m aware of the player he used to be, but the past few seasons have not been kind to the former 2007 first round pick for the Cowboys.
Injuries have been hampering Spencer since his dominant 2012 season where he had 95 tackles, 11 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.
In 2013 he only played in one game with 2 tackles and in 2014 he only appeared in 13 games where he had 22 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.
Sep 15, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher (72) blocks against Dallas Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer (93) in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 17-16. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Spencer recently visited the Seattle Seahawks and hasn’t commanded too much attention during free agency.
The question I guess really to ask is not could their be a reunion but, should there be a reunion between Ryan and Spencer?
For the right contract I don’t think Spencer would be a horrible signing. But expectations should be tempered.
Spencer, at 31 years old, is most likely on the decline and as mentioned before, a player brought in to be a situational chess piece.
Also keep in mind, his best years were from 2009-2012 where he played in 62 games registering 208 tackles, 28 sacks, and 10 forced fumbles.
If the Saints do sign him then expect a huge “prove it” deal that doesn’t go beyond two years.
Saints fans, tell us what you think in the comments below. Should Rob Ryan reunite with ex-Cowboy linebacker Anthony Spencer?