Dec 6, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints Iinebacker Stephone Anthony (50) returns a blocked extra point kick for two points against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
#6 STEPHONE ANTHONY, STONGSIDE LINEBACKER
The Saints’ second of two 1st round picks of the 2015 NFL Draft (31st overall), Anthony has been the very definition of “missing in action” thus far in 2016.
But just why is that exactly?
Coaches Sean Payton and Dennis Allen said recently that Anthony is still a ‘big part’ of the team’s plans.
He did suffer a leg injury early in the preseason, one that looked serious enough to anyone watching that it would not have been a surprise if he were out an extended period of time.
Prior to that, the off-season signing of James Laurinaitis caused the Saints staff to move Anthony, the team’s leading tackler last season,to an outside linebacker position; presumably to take advantage of his versatility.
As we noted on the previous page, Laurinaitis has shown that he is no longer capable of being an every down linebacker.
This team needs Anthony — who is perhaps the unit’s best athlete — to permanently return to the line-up, and step forward and be effective.