Linebacker James Laurinatis ready to make an impact for the New Orleans Saints

Linebacker James Laurinatis ready to make an impact for the New Orleans Saints

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The New Orleans Saints made a number of off-season moves in an effort to take the next step and become a playoff contender.The last two seasons resulted in 7 wins and 9 losses each year and that's not going to cut it.

Luckily, veteran quarterback Drew Brees is back and he will lead another high octane offensive attack.  As long as the offensive line can give Brews enough time to throw the football, the offense will take care of itself.

Defense was the weak link last season and linebacker is one area where head coach Sean Payton tried to add experience and talent.

Enter...James Laurinatis.  He signed on with the Saints and his presence at the minicamp last week was positive.

From 2009 through the 2015 season, Laurinatis piled up 852 tackles, 16 1/2 sacks, 10 interceptions and forced two fumbles as a member of the St. Louis Rams.

Laurinatis said, "I'm not really a big rah-rah speech dude anyway.  I think it's about doing it by example.  And if something needs to be said, you definitely have to earn the locker room's respect."

Veteran quarterback Drew Brees knows Laurinatis will shore up the Saints defense in 2016.

"Laurinatis was the leader of that defense for the last four or five years, "stated Brees.  "A very talented defense and we get to acquire a guy like that, which I think is phenomenal for us.  Very heady, smart and he knows football.

Saints linebacker Stephone Anthony said, "Oh, I think he's going to help everyone in our room.  As you can see, he's a standout leader.  He's gonna get guys lined up and he makes our jobs easier.

Laurinatis also excelled in hockey and was projected as a second or third round NHL draft pick, but his desire to play pro football made hockey teams shy away from picking the son of WWE wrestler Road Warrior Animal.

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