Starting Middle Linebacker Job Wide Open

Heading into training camp, the New Orleans Saints were actively seeking a starting middle linebacker. With talent and depth within the roster, the middle linebacker job was wide open competition between veteran Orlando Ruff, rookie Courtney Watson, and second-year linebacker Cie Grant.

Just as anxious the Saints were to get the competition started in camp, the depth at the position took an immediate turn for the worse. Watson suffered an injury, Ruff has been relatively average in practice sessions, while Grant, the former Ohio State Buckeyes defensive standout has been impressive.

According to those close to the team, Grant has been solid and at times has displayed spectacular athletic ability. The speed and quickness Grant possesses provides the Saints with an element at the middle linebacker position missing for many seasons.

Watson needs to get back to practicing in order to make up for lost time.

"I hope so because he is another guy who can't miss the reps and Cie Grant has done a heck of a job especially today. He had a great practice, last night and today. He needs to get back in the mix," head coach Jim Haslett said after Sunday's practice.

Ruff has yet to establish himself since signing with the Saints after the 2002 season so look for this competition to continue all camp.

Scout NFL Network Top Stories