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John DeShazier: Delvin Breaux remains hungry after breakout 2015 season

Breaux led the Saints with three interceptions and 19 pass breakups

Only willful ignorance could suffice as a reason anyone wouldn't be cognizant of how Delvin Breaux's star has exploded as a New Orleans Saint, from medical miracle to No. 1 cornerback, a high school phenom whose career was sidetracked by a broken neck before he got his NFL career on track and earned his bona fides with his hometown team.

And all should be happy to know that he's hungrier than ever.

No, not "hungry" in the literal sense. He still appears to carry his listed number of 196 pounds or so on a 6-foot-1 frame, a testament to his discipline.

But Breaux's diet has changed this offseason, for the better. "I had to stop eating late at night," he said. "I had those doughnuts and that ice cream. I had to cut out all of that."

But if we're talking hunger, in terms of becoming a better player and teammate, in hopes of helping the Saints post a winning record and earn a playoff berth? In that area, Breaux is famished. And he's working feverishly to achieve satisfaction.

So, yes, he's putting in as many community service appearances as any Saint on the roster, popping up at events sprinkled throughout the metro area. But he also is putting in work as he endeavors to hone his craft and sharpen the skills that, the Saints believe, can make him a Pro Bowl player in the near future.

"It's going great – just working out, training, getting in the playbook, learning the system that D.A. (defensive coordinator Dennis Allen) has for us and just enjoying it," Breaux said. "It's basically the same (system) from since he took over (with six games remaining last season). It's much easier now, we can just play instead of thinking."

And playing is something Breaux showed he can do, and do well, as a first-year NFL player in 2015.

He led the Saints with three interceptions and 19 pass breakups, and also had 45 tackles, while starting all 16 games.

Not that his first season was picture perfect. Breaux had his share of bump-in-the-road moments – early penalties were a nuisance that he mastered, and he had to learn some nuances of the game that only could be gleaned from playing.

But he also had many moments that exhibited his NFL legitimacy, drawing the matchup against an opponents' No. 1 receiver and as often as not, rising to the challenge and holding his own.

He developed from a curiosity – the Saints had him in for a workout and after realizing he was a hidden gem, did everything in their power to make sure he didn't work out for another team – to the most trusted cover man in the secondary.

And with a year of experience to lean on, he's poised to be better because he already knows the areas where the most work is needed.

"I would say (this offseason) is a huge difference because first of all, I learned the game," Breaux said. "I learned the speed of the game, the adjustment of the game. Now I'm just working on my craft to continue to do well, like I did last year.

"It's more mental. Physically, it's there. Now it's just more getting into the playbook a little more and helping the young guys get up there."

Included among that group will be players who will be looking to take Breaux's job as a starting cornerback, a position for which Breaux seems a lock – except when you mention to him that he appears to be a sure thing.

"My position still isn't locked down," he said. "I still have to continue to keep working. We have some young guys coming in, they're coming in to compete so I have to continue to keep fighting for the No. 1 spot.

"(My confidence) is pretty high, just because I know the game and I know the speed of the game. So I'm just ready to go in and play."

He's hungry to prove, and re-prove, himself. It's an appetite that has served him well so far.

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