New Orleans Saints DE Cameron Jordan had just returned from a vacation in Europe when he heard the news – the Saints had parted ways with four veteran defensive leaders - Jabari Greer, Roman Harper, Will Smith and Jonathan Vilma.
Jordan said it was devastating news to hear at first because of the impact the foursome had made on and off the field.
"With what they do off the field as captains, with the leadership that they have exuded, for the years they have been on the team…you have to give it up to them," Jordan said at an autograph signing Sunday. "Hopefully I can make them proud and continue what they've been doing for the Saints."
Jordan certainly shares the characteristics that the departing Saints showcased – leadership, charisma and, above all else, Pro Bowl-level talent. The third-year Saint's personality and body of work make him a prime candidate to fill the leadership void placed on the team after last week's roster moves.
Jordan has been an outstanding fit for the club's new defensive scheme under coordinator Rob Ryan, recording 66 tackles (32 solo) to rank second on the line in stops, a team-leading 12.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two recoveries and four passes defensed.
Jordan finished tied for sixth in the NFL in defensive fumble recoveries and ranked fifth in takedowns.
Continuing that trend, Jordan enjoyed a standout postseason, recording 11 tackles (seven solo) and a team-high 2.5 sacks as he was selected to his first career Pro Bowl. Jordan was proud of the Pro Bowl selection, in part, because it followed in his father Steve's footsteps. Steve Jordan played 13 seasons for the Minnesota Vikings, where he was a six-time Pro Bowl selection.
"The Pro Bowl was phenomenal and a great experience," said Jordan. "I was honored to be a part of the game. I am trying to add to the legacy that my father first put down."
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