METAIRIE, LA (WAFB) - The New Orleans Saints had one of the worse defenses in NFL history just a couple years ago, but 2017 was exactly what black and gold fans wanted, a dramatic improvement in all areas.
New Orleans finished ranked No. 27 in passing yards allowed per game in 2016, but this past year, ended the season ranked No. 15 with a young secondary that should only improve heading into this season.
"We're just continuing to grow and we learn from our mistakes," said cornerback Ken Crawley. "I feel like we're stepping up to a challenge."
"The year before I got here, we were one of the worse, then we set it up last year," added cornerback Marshon Lattimore. "So this year, we're trying to get better. Coach AG (secondary coach Aaron Glenn) is holding us to that, trying to be one of the better secondaries. We're up for the challenge. We're going to get it done."
Three days of mandatory minicamp in Metairie means a lot of good reps and work for this defensive secondary. All the guys talked about how much more confident they feel heading into the 2018 season and just how much these sorts of reps can help them down the stretch.
"I would say just getting the look, for the most part, but really, for us, it's for us to tone up things that we need to do better," said cornerback P.J. Williams. "So when we get to camp, we're pretty much scheming. We're pretty much getting ready for teams and stuff like that."
The Saints let go of veteran safety Kenny Vacarro this past offseason, but replaced him with another veteran and familiar face in the NFC South, as former Carolina Panthers safety Kurt Coleman is bringing his own unique perspective to the Saints locker room.
"He brings that leadership, that veteran leadership to the group. He's been around a lot. Just knowing his knowledge from the game. Not even just him, P-Rob (cornerback Patrick Robinson) as well, just bringing that into our entire secondary is kind of good for us. It's a good benefit for us," added Crawley.
Saints Minicamp wraps up Thursday.