Saints M.I.A.’s Who Need to Show Up to Jumpstart the 2016 Season

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Aug 26, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints linebacker James Laurinaitis (53) in the second half of the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports


The 8-year veteran and former L.A. Rams All-Pro middle linebacker, Laurinaitis was brought in to be the new captain of the Saints linebacker corps, but has been underwhelming to say the least; and during the loss against Atlanta was visibly was “taken out” by blockers on an assortment of plays.

Said our editor here at Big Easy Believer, Barry Hirstius, after the loss to the Falcons:

“For those wondering why Rams head coach and long-time NFL defensive guru Jeff Fisher allowed the 29-year old Laurinaitis to leave via Free-Agency this past off-season, you may finally have your answer.”

In fact here’s what Barry said about Laurinaitis in an article BEFORE the Saints signed him, when rumors were confirmed that Laurinaitis had worked out for the Saints after his release by the Rams:

“Yes — many Saints fans think Laurinaitis would be a help to a Saints defense that ranked 31st last year, but although he’s a very instinctive linebacker, Laurinaitis has lost a lot of his physical ability. He can’t get off blocks as well as he used to, and he appears to have lost a step.”

“Said one person who covers the Saints and the NFL that shall remain nameless but whose opinion I respect a great deal: “If any blocker so much as breathes on Laurinaitis right now, he’s useless”.


Now whether or not it turns out that after all of these months ago now, that Barry was actually right about Laurinaitis; it’s completely irrelevant now, because the Saints for better or worse are stuck with Laurinaitis — who notably was held out of the game against the Chargers.

The Saints NEED an every-down player at middle linebacker, and it’s obvious that Laurinaitis is no longer that type of player. In all so far through 4 games, Laurinaitis has 17 total tackles (11 solo) and a fumble recovery against the Giants.

The Saints were probably expecting a lot more at this point, and they’ll be hoping that Laurinaitis can ramp up his production when and IF he returns to the line-up.