Training Camp watch list: New Orleans Saints linebacker Ramon Humber

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ramon humber

 

Ramon Humber (53) goes airborne to force an incomplete pass from Indianapolis Colts quarterback Dan Orlovsky (6) during their 2011 contest.  Photo credit:  Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune.


An undrafted free agent signed by the Colts in 2009, Humber was one of the Saints’ best-kept secrets until the beginning of the 2014 NFL free agency period when both the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots made offers to Humber’s representatives.  A native of Minneapolis and alumnus of North Dakota State, the offers were enticing but Humber ultimately decided to return to New Orleans on a one-year contract.

Since joining the New Orleans Saints at the end of the 2010 season, Ramon Humber has been known as a special teams ace with a knack for making tackles – he has only missed twice covering punt and kickoff returns in three seasons with the Saints, and has tied for third-most in special teams tackles every year.  Check out the chart below for his special teams numbers and rank on the team in each category:

Year

Total

Solo

Assists

Missed

2011

7 (3rd)

6

1

1

2012

8 (3rd)

8

0

1

2013

7 (3rd)

5

2

0

 

But even the best special teamers can’t make a career on that alone.  Chicago Bears all-time returner Devin Hester was cut this spring, and New Orleans hero Steve Gleason saw time as a safety in his playing day to keep his roster spot.  Humber will also need to carve out a place on the defensive depth chart, and this may be the year he accomplishes that.

The Saints have two starters penciled in at inside linebacker – Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne.  But they both have big price tags and it’s very likely that the Saints will part with one or both of them after the 2015 season.  You never want to try to find two new starters at a position in one offseason (see the Arizona Cardinals’ situation right now), so it stands to reason that the Saints will try to find a successor for either of them in 2014, which is where Humber comes in.

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