It’s a jump-off point.
The words “30 combined sacks” have been tossed around, as well as the phrase “looking forward to playing in my first Super Bowl.”
Clearly, if you’re looking for a duo with modest goals, the Saints’ adrenaline rushers isn’t the one.
“If every year you’re not aiming for the Super Bowl, then what are you aiming for?” asked Jordan, who had 12.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries last season, when he was named to his first Pro Bowl.
“What is the aiming point?” he asked. “The point of the football season is to bring home that championship, and honestly that’s what we’re here to do. We’re not here to be a good defense, we’re here to be the best defense. We’re not here to a good offense, we’re here to be the best. We’re all here to be the best that we can be, and so the highest achievement we can get is a Super Bowl.”
“That’s how we feed off each other,” Galette said of the personal, and team, goals that he and Jordan discuss. “He says he’s going to get one (sack) every game, I say, ‘Hey, I’m going to get two every game.’
“It might sound unrealistic, but it pushes me. If I don’t get two a game, (and) end up getting one a game, we’ll just keep pushing each other.”
It certainly worked last season, when Galette finished with 12 sacks, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
The duo wasn’t one-dimensional – Jordan had 66 tackles and Galette, 50 – but the mark they made off the edge was almost enough to overshadow the fact that they’re every-down players.
It was realized potential for them – Jordan, the first-round pick whom the Saints believed was capable of such production and Galette, an undrafted rookie in 2010 who stuck because of his willingness to learn and his blazing speed off the corner.
“I attribute that to just coming up the ranks,” Jordan said. “Rookie year, I had all the veterans ahead of me, so they taught me that way.
“I really just progressed every year. I sort of got the feel of it, sort of got how to not only become a better athlete but to stay a better athlete through 16 games. Whereas in college, as a kid you go out there and if you get injured you keep playing through it. You don’t really learn how to maintain your body. That’s the big difference, is learning how to maintain your body and break down film and get ready for your opponent the next week.”
No doubt, opponents will be getting ready for Jordan and Galette this year, too.
“If they’re not, then it’s better for us,” Galette said. “Just like last year. If you come in as a surprise, it’s better for us.”
More than likely, they’ll try to improve on last year in a defensive scheme that played to their strengths, one that helped the Saints skyrocket from a historic low (7,042 yards allowed in 2012) to an impressive high (4,891 in 2013), to improve by four victories (seven to 11) and to win the first road playoff game in franchise history.
“(Defensive coordinator) Rob Ryan, from the jump, just came in and put in his defense,” Jordan said. “But (he also) implemented everyone’s best talents in that defense. I think he just brings out the best in a lot of different people, and that’s what you get.”
What he got from Jordan and Galette were the only teammates to post at least 12 sacks. And the potential that there’s more to come, given their love of playing off one another.
“If you look around the league and you see all the teams that have two or three dominant pass rushers, those are the teams that are dominant overall,” Galette said. “You look at a team like San Francisco, or Baltimore – they have two or three pass rushers that just come in and rotate.
“Cam coming off the other edge just helps me out. We just help each other out.”