Nov 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints cornerback Delvin Breaux (40) defends against New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) during the first half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Giants 52-49. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Advocate Saints beat writer Nick Underhill explained why Breaux is so critical to the Saints’ success or failure on defense, and thus has become one of the most reliable Saints players on their young (and hopefully improving) team.
In games particularly against “elite” #1 WR’s Julio Jones and Odell Beckham, Jr., “The Breaux Show” showed a unique capability to cut-off the opposing team #1 WR’s ability to run “curl” routes, which is impressive in itself since curls can be difficult to defend given good timing between quarterback and receiver.
The only routes Breaux was beaten on with any consistency throughout the year in 2015 were “in” routes (three targets, three receptions, 52 yards) and “out” routes (three receptions, five targets, 25 yards). But the fact that Breaux was rarely targeted on these routes might be more telling of how he defended them than the numbers.
Underhill adds that there’s little question that Breaux was the most valuable acquisition of the offseason last year for the Saints, if not the entire NFL, considering that he is on the verge (if he isn’t already) of becoming a “lock down” CB.
Having an “elite” CB on your defense like a Richard Sherman or a Darrelle Revis allows the rest of your defense to successfully do other things (like blitzing), and now that the Saints have one of their very own in Breaux, it’s up to the Saints to upgrade the rest of the secondary around Breaux — to enhance his effectiveness as a “lock down” CB even more.
Breaux was recently ranked at #98 by Pro Football Focus in their Top 101 Players in 2016, and said this about the NOLA native and the pride of McDonogh 35 High School:
"Breaux had one of the more unusual seasons for a corner in the NFL. Having come to the Saints from the CFL, Breaux ended up starting all season and notching one of the better coverage grades (10th) of the year thanks to 15 passes defensed and three interceptions. For all the good, however, there was a lot of big plays against him, and he surrendered 10 touchdowns overall. Best performance: Week 3 at Carolina: +3.9 grade Key stat: Breaux allowed a catch once every 13.5 snaps he was on the field. The ninth-best mark for CBs"
Breaux enters his 2nd year as a Saint as one of the NFL’s young stars on the rise, and it’s only a matter of time before he is considered an “elite” player at the CB position.
He has rapidly become the team’s #1 CB, and one of its most reliable players as well.