The New Orleans Saints have added three defensive linemen to the active roster, perhaps in expectation of seeing a power running game from the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
The signing of Kendall Langford, who can play tackle or end, will be finalized Thursday, Sept. 21; the team signed Darryl Tapp, who also offers the ability to play inside and out, on Wednesday; and nose tackle David Parrywas elevated from the practice squad.
Langford, a 10-year veteran, played his first four seasons with Miami (he was the Dolphins' third-round draft choice in 2008), then three seasons with the Rams, and the last two years with the Colts.* *
"He's someone we've had our eye on," Saints Coach Sean Paytonsaid Thursday morning in a teleconference with local media. "A few years back, even, he came through here in free agency. There's a handful of things I think the player does well. He's strong, I think he gives you length. Really, it was more about his availability than it was necessarily our seeking out someone at that position."
Tapp played last season with the Saints and in 16 games, with two starts, had 33 tackles, a half-sack and a fumble recovery. The 11-year veteran, who has played in 162 regular-season games, went to training camp with New Orleans and was released on the prior to the regular season.
"Week by week, you have a goal and a plan in place." Payton said. "With Darryl, he's familiar with what we do. He gives you some strength, his experience. We felt the latter part of his training camp was as good as he's played here in a while. And then inside, we've got experience with the nose, (Langford) started a number of games with Indianapolis. If we're going to see a little bit more of a running game, we're prepared for it."
RAISING THE BATTING AVERAGE:Payton admitted that some of the defensive struggles of recent years are attributable to the Saints' drafts. Of the 22 defensive players drafted from 2010-15, only defensive end Cam Jordan('11), safety Kenny Vaccaro('13), defensive end Hau'oli Kikaha, cornerback P.J. Williamsand defensive tackle Tyeler Davison('15) remain on the roster. All eight defensive players from the '16 and '17 draft classes are on the roster. "We have missed on a handful of defensive players in the draft, and that process has gotten better," Payton said.
COLEMAN PRODUCING:In the first two games, receiver Brandon Colemanhas continued to display some of the skills that made him stand out at various points during offseason workouts and training camp. Coleman has six catches for 95 yards and a touchdown, and has continued to contribute on special teams. "I think he's played fairly consistently, he has made some big plays for us," Payton said. "He has done a lot of the dirty work in regards to blocking. I'd say overall, it would be positive."