Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wallace: Saints' defense is 'assignment-sound'


The New Orleans Saints' defense has been disciplined through the first three games of the season.

Their mere 15 penalties -- which is among the fifth-fewest in the NFL -- is an indication of that. An even bigger indication is their 12.7 points-against per game.

"Guys are assignment-sound out there. Everybody is where they need to be," Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace said this week, via "Their defensive line is playing really well, getting a nice rush every single play. Guys (are) pushing the pocket back. They’re doing a good job out there.

"Their defensive backs are playing real physical. Keenan (Lewis) is doing a good job, (so is) Jabari (Greer). Kenny (Vaccaro) is playing outstanding; he’s not playing like a rookie. Malcolm (Jenkins) has been there for a while so you know what he’s going to do.”

The Saints are ranked fourth in total defense and fourth in pass defense, giving up 295.7 and 184.3, respectively.

Wallace's attention has been mostly honed in on Lewis, who he knows quite well. The receiver and cornerback tandem played on the same high school team in New Orleans and were both drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2009. In fact, Wallace said Lewis was one of a few people who got him into football.

"It’s going to be a little different. This is the first time I’m going to play against Keenan since we were younger, about seven or eight years old," Wallace said. "I’ve known him since we were so small, about five or six years old."

Wallace expects a friendly but tough battle with his best friend.

“He’s a smart player, crafty. He’s long, tall, rangy, aggressive. He’s a physical player. He’s fast and he has really good instincts," Wallace said. "You have to be able to get off the ball because he’s quick and he’s strong. He’s a big cornerback, so he makes it tough to get off the line of scrimmage. You have to come up with a release plan and stick with it.”

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