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Mailbag: 'Copycat' Approach From Defenses?


Based on the film, what did the Saints' defense do scheme-wise to shut down the Cowboys' offense? In a copycat league, I expect other teams to use the Saints' game plan, but what other teams on the schedule have the personnel to execute it? In this on-going season long chess match, what is Kellen Moore's countermove? - JOEY ARNEL SAYSON / SANTA MONICA, CA

Bryan: First off, they played Cover 2 mixed with some man free. They also rushed three and dropped eight. Made Dak Prescott have to beat them. Put their best cornerback on your best receiver. The others didn't win. Their front kick your front's rear in the running game. If you have the personnel it's a great way to play.

Rob: Knew this question was coming as soon as the Cowboys had a rough game on offense. I'll be the first to say I'm wrong if proven otherwise, but I don't think this is the start of the league 'figuring out' Kellen Moore. The Saints have an outstanding front and really benefited from their crowd noise. I don't think many defenses can truly copycat that even though some upcoming opponents have good fronts. The offensive line will play better. I'm confident in that.

Curious about how D-Law is doing this season. Is he putting pressure and affecting the offense in ways that do not show on the stat sheet? - JOEL JACKSON / CORPUS CHRISTI, TX

Bryan: I get the sense that this question is more about is Lawrence earning his money? Lawrence is fine. He's still a offensive coordinator's nightmare in having to not only deal with him as a pass rusher but a run defender as well. He's playing at a high level and will likely continue to do so. Numbers will come.

Rob: The stat sheet does show he's contributing. Everyone looks at the 2.5 sacks in four games, but he also has 10 quarterback pressures. That ties for Maliek Collins for second on the team behind Robert Quinn's 11, despite some double teams and quarterbacks getting the ball out fast. Lawrence missed 99 percent of the offseason program and training camp. He'll continue to round into form.

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