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Jenkins thinks Brees’ absence will help defense learn new system


Optimists see half-empty glasses as half full. Eternal optimists see fully-empty glasses as an opportunity to fill the glass.

And that’s the attitude that Saints defensive back Malcolm Jenkins brings to Brees-free OTAs in New Orleans.

Barring a loaves-and-fleur-de-lis miracle, quarterback Drew Brees won’t be present for the launch of the practice portion of the Saints’ offseason program on Tuesday. And Jenkins actually has found the whisper of a silver lining in the dark clouds that continue to dump rain and other more objectionable substances on the franchise.

The team is learning a new defense, under coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Jenkins believes it will be easier to learn the defense without Brees there picking it apart at will.

“It becomes a lot more relaxed when you don’t have Drew out there making the plays that he does,” Jenkins told Ryan Jones of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “We’ll be able to learn quickly what we can and can’t do in that defense.”

And when it comes to the new defense, a lot of learning will be needed.

“It’s totally different,” safety Roman Harper told Jones. “There are a lot more eyes on the ball, not as much [man-to-man defense], and [we’re] just trying to make plays on the ball. I’m looking forward to it. We’re still going to pressure. We’re still going to get after the quarterback like we did. The more we’ll get to work with it, the more comfortable we’ll be with it.”

They’ll get to work with it plenty. And they’ll get to figure it out while trying to confound Chase Daniel, who’ll be running the offense in Brees’ absence.