New Orleans, LA

Carl Granderson has big shoes to fill on Saints’ defensive end

Pierre St-Jean

NEW ORLEANS, LA — When Trey Hendrickson, who led the Saints with a career-high 13.5 sacks last season, left the team to sign with Cincinnati as an unrestricted free agent, he left a void in the New Orleans Saints’ defensive end. A void set to be filled by Carl Granderson, who knows that he has big shoes to fill.

On the left side of the defensive end is Cameron Jordan, who has accumulated 94.5 career sacks in 10 seasons with the NFL, 93.5 in the last nine. Prior to his departure from the Saints, Hendrickson flourished on the right side, in part due to the limited availability of Marcus Davenport and to the fact that Hendrickson, who was in his fourth season as a Saint, was healthy and ready to take advantage of the opportunity.

This season will see Davenport’s return, the Saints drafted defensive end Payton Turner in the first round, and they added Tanoh Kpassagnon as a free agent. So Granderson understands that snaps are not a given along the Saints’ defensive line.

After posting five sacks, two forced fumbles, nine quarterback hits and three tackles for loss in just 291 snaps over 15 games last year, Granderson has to work to re-earn his position.

“I feel like the opportunities will always be there,” Granderson said. “Going into camp, just got to take advantage of my opportunities. But first off, I want to say that as a team, I want to contribute as much as I can and do whatever the coaches want me to do. The opportunities will be there for everyone that’s showing up to camp.”

“I need to just get stronger this offseason,” he said. “Once I get stronger, I feel like everything I did last season will improve. So just get stronger in the weight room so I can apply that to the field. And getting smarter. Continue watching film every day, seeing what I can do better from last season.”

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New Orleans, LA

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