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Saints defense tasked with tackling NOLA native Leonard Fournette in week 5

Steve Geller
October 09, 2019 - 11:44 am

Former LSU running back Leonard Fournette was the 4th overall pick of the draft in 2017 and has had a healthy start to his 3rd season in Jacksonville. Last week he finally scored his 1st TD of the season against the Panthers, but in the previous game racked up 225 yards on 29 attempts helping spark a comeback victory in Denver.  

“He's strong,” said Saints head Coach Sean Payton. “The thing that's dangerous about him is the speed. If you can get an edge, he's one of those backs that that can score a touchdown from anywhere on the field. He's good in protection. He knows how to block a blitz. He stays on the field. He's playing 90, 91% of their snaps.”

Fournette is a big body back standing 6ft, 228 lbs. and even though he can dish out punishing blows, he has dealt with a few injuries.  He hurt his ankle his rookie year, then suffered a hamstring injury the first game of his sophomore season.  Throw in a few suspensions due to poor conduct and Fournette has appeared in just 21 games his first 2 years in the NFL. Despite some drama going on in Jacksonville this season, he has played in every game and is averaging 5.4 yards per rushing attempt.      

“I think a back like him, who runs behind his pads, that’s hard to tackle, explained Payton. “I think that is why he has been successful and I think he has that rare combination of size and speed.”

The running back now resides in Florida, but is New Orleans at his core.  Fournette was born and raised here, prepped at St. Aug, then choose LSU over Alabama to play college ball.  The Fleur Di Lis D will have their hands full, but we’ve already seen the Saints keep RBs like Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliot in check.   

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