A look at Saints cornerback Delvin Breaux throughout the 2016 season.
Delvin Breaux has endured worse, and come out remarkably well on the other side.
That's the positive that he, and his team, can take from the 2016 season. Because otherwise, it was an injury-marred second year that sidetracked the high hopes that the New Orleans Saints, and Breaux, have for the New Orleans native.
Breaux and the Saints were hoping for a Pro Bowl, All-Pro caliber season at cornerback, after a first season in which he turned a near-fairytale into a stirring reality – from a broken neck in high school that prevented him from playing at LSU, to stints in the Gridiron Developmental Football League, Arena Football and the Canadian Football League, to a free agent contract with the Saints that he parlayed into a roster spot and became a starter in all 16 games. Breaux led the team with three interceptions and 23 passes defensed in 2015, and added a fumble recovery.
In '16, it was totally different. He broke his fibula in the season opener against Oakland, and never really returned to acceptable health. Breaux had 21 tackles and one pass defensed in six games, and clearly wasn't himself after the injury.
His healthy return is one reason for optimism in the secondary this offseason.
BEST GAME:Breaux had a small sample size, but his play in the Saints' 16-11 road loss to Tampa Bay probably was his best of the season. New Orleans' defense was stout against the Buccaneers and so was Breaux, who had three solo tackles and a pass defensed.
BEST QUOTE:"I'd heard about his story. I started really watching and paying attention to his tape. To see the growth and his maturity – he's so mature for the amount of years that he's played. He understands that the game is really starting to slow down for him. He's one of the best corners I've ever seen at the line of scrimmage. He's fast, he's huge, he's got great hand-eye coordination.
"He's got to continue to grow, he's got to continue to want it. You can't put a measurement on the amount of his love to compete. He competes to the end of the ball, to the end of the whistle. Every play, he does not let anybody catch the ball on him. It's amazing how great he is and how good his feet are, his patience at the line. I'm expecting really big things out of him as he continues to grow." – Safety **Roman Harper