Smith finding familiar roles in new Saints defense

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METAIRIE, La. (AP) – When the Saints' Will Smith burst through the line for his first sack of this preseason last weekend, he was lined up at the defensive end spot he's played the first nine years of his career, not at his new outside linebacker spot.

Coach Sean Payton says that doesn't mean the Saints are leaning toward making Smith a lineman again, but does mean the club will play to Smith's established strengths as a pass rusher in its new 3-4 defense.

Although Smith potentially could get caught in mismatches with quicker players while covering short passes, the veteran defender maintains that talk of his transition to a new position is overblown. Smith says his new spot might make him a more productive pass rusher because he'll see fewer double teams.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

8/21/2013 1:14:42 PM (GMT -5:00)

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