Skip to main content

Saints News | New Orleans Saints |

John DeShazier: Cam Jordan keeps working at his craft for Saints

Star defensive end focused on details, getting better

Cam Jordan speaks with 1,000-word-a-minute rapidity, valid points and wisecracks flowing with equal speed, often during the same thought.

But now, perhaps, he slows down just a tad periodically as he dispenses as much or more wisdom during this offseason as he has friendly-fire trash talk. That's what happens when, entering your sixth season at defensive end with the New Orleans Saints after being a first-round pick in 2011, you're elder statesman in terms of service with New Orleans and you lead a defensive line room that is filled with youth.

"The first thing that stands out in my mind with Cam is, his maturity level has come so far since the first day we had him," defensive line coach Bill Johnson said. "He's a fun kid to be around, he's always laughing, he's always jolly.

"(But) he's really matured and really working at his craft. I thought he had an excellent season last year, I think he worked at it and I think at this point he's even motivated more. We all know he's a good player, but he's doing a good job leading these younger guys."

Said Jordan: "Last year, I had like, six rookies on hand and this year, those guys are jumping to year two. And we all know how important that jump is, from year one to year two. I'm excited for them but at the same time, we're expecting them to really contribute."

They have a good lead to follow.

Jordan totaled 10 sacks last season – his second double-digit total in the last three years – and added 61 tackles, seven passes defensed, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery as he made his second Pro Bowl appearance.

His first Pro Bowl season, 2013, was earned with a career-high 12.5 sacks, 66 tackles, four passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

"I'm here to be whatever I need to be," Jordan said. "I'm here to guide the young guys into the right step, I'm here to fill whatever role I can, starting out again back on the closed side (on defense). I haven't seen that in a couple of years, so it's nice to be there. I'm looking to be an effective force any way I can."

One of those ways is learning to play alongside several new teammates on the defensive line, developing the cohesiveness that will allow them to play to the strengths of one another.

"(Free agent signee defensive tackle) Nick Fairley, (first-round draft pick defensive tackle) Sheldon Rankins – big Shabba Ranks in the building – we've seen what he's done without pads," Jordan said. "He looks explosive. He's aware of where the ball is at all times, he's not one of those guys that has to adjust to the speed of the game, he's moving well.

"We've got (fourth-round pick) David Onyemata, he's showing that he's complete stronghold. We're looking forward to how strong he is, how explosive he is once he grasps the concept and we're going to push him forward. (Second-year defensive tackle) Tyeler Davison is coming into his own, with (defensive tackle) John Jenkins leading the forefront.

"I could talk on and on about my defensive line and how excited I am to be a part of it, but we won't know anything until live bullets come and we see what the boys do when we're all together."

The one proven commodity as a Saint is Jordan, who has recorded 30 of his 39 career sacks the last three seasons. He has started all 66 games the last four seasons (64 regular season and two playoffs, the only Saint to do so) and continues to add elements to his game.

"That's the goal," he said. "I couldn't sit here and say, hey, I'm just trying to be the same guy that I've been. I've never been that.

"I'm trying to excel at every minor detail possible to make myself a better player, because the point of the matter is, every time I get stronger, every time our D-line gets stronger, it makes our unit stronger."

"He can always keep detail in his work," Johnson said. "As a player progresses and gets older, that improvement becomes a little bit harder. It's like anybody that runs fast – they run their best time, it's harder to get to that next time.

"But I'll say this: He's working at it, I think the energy that's happening on this defense right now has got him in a gear that he's really working at it. He's knows his weaknesses, I know his weaknesses, and I think he's doing a good job of trying to work on them. When he doesn't, we sure remind him."

Jordan doesn't need much reminding. He knows exactly what he wants, and what best will benefit the Saints.

"Going forth, for me, I'm aiming my targets high," he said.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content