Stephone Anthony to switch positions


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Photo: Derick E Hingle
Photo: Derick E Hingle

The New Orleans Saints announced recently that former Clemson standout Stephone Anthony will move from middle linebacker to strongside linebacker in the Saints' 4-3 scheme for his second NFL season.

"Anthony had a very good rookie campaign, starting all 16 games as the quarterback of the Saints’ defense and ranking 20th in the NFL with 112 tackles," ESPN.com said. "But coach Sean Payton suggested earlier this offseason that the Saints were looking to take the signal-calling part of the job off Anthony's plate, which is why they signed veteran free agent James Laurinaitis."

Anthony led the Saints in tackles with 112 tackles and also forced two fumbles, a sack and had an interception. He was named to the Professional Football Writers Association All-Rookie team for 2015.

"Now the 6-foot-2, 245-pound Anthony can concentrate more on using his impressive combination of power and athleticism. Saints linebackers coach Joe Vitt said before the draft that Anthony could be the first true 4-3 Sam linebacker for New Orleans since Scott Fujita."

Anthony was the first Saints' rookie to reach 100 tackles since 1981 (Ricky Jackson).

The Saints made a savvy move picking Anthony with the #31st overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. He had 330 tackles, 34.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, three interceptions for eight yards, 18 quarterback pressures, 13 pass breakups, five caused fumbles and one recovered fumble during his Clemson playing days. He also was named a consensus first-team All-ACC selection his senior season with 90 tackles.

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