This New Orleans Saints Defender Is Ready To Play On The Edge

The second-year pass rusher learned plenty as he watched during his rookie campaign.
Saints Defensive End Isaiah Foskey
Saints Defensive End Isaiah Foskey / New Orleans Saints
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As the Saints minicamp kicks off, the New Orleans edge rushers are gearing up to impress the watchful eyes of head coach Dennis Allen and defensive coordinator Joe Wood — one in particular is Isaiah Foskey.

This year, the coaches' primary focus will be identifying who will be vying for the spots behind Cam Jordan (offseason surgery), Carl Granderson, and Chase Young (neck), especially since Tanoh Kpassagnon is on the mend with an Achilles injury. The goal is to exceed last season's 34 sacks, the fifth-worst in the NFL.

FOSKEY HAS PLENTY TO PROVE

The youthful and exuberant edge rusher Isaiah Foskey is ready to show his mettle. Despite the past injuries, he's taken better care of his body during the offseason, making him ready to put in the work.

"Trying to take care of my body, make sure I'm available to play in those games," Foskey said. "But that was a little learning curve. I just had to learn pretty much the hard way."

An injury and self-described mental blocks largely stymied Foskey's rookie campaign. However, he revealed that his progress hinges on a few crucial elements — confidence and trust in his talent.

Aug 27, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  New Orleans Saints defensive end Isaiah Foskey (55) rushes against Houston Texans guard Tyler Beach (65) during the first half at the Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 27, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Isaiah Foskey (55) rushes against Houston Texans guard Tyler Beach (65) during the first half at the Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

HE'S MORE CONFIDENT IN YEAR 2

"I feel like going into the second year is just a lot more confidence in the game plan, knowing who plays. And the main thing was just confidence in it."

In addition, he noted the coaches gave a list of action items as working on "speed, striking, and really commit to the passer's move," which will display improvement this season. "I feel like playing free is just playing with confidence, playing with that little swagger. I feel like that's why I finally got back throughout those OTAs."

He can anticipate fierce competition at the edge position. New Orleans is in dire need of playmaking edge rushers this season to overcome its ranking near the bottom of the league in sacking the quarterback. The second-year defensive end must convince Coach Allen that he can contribute and disrupt the opposition's offense.

Isaiah Foskey
Aug 1, 2023; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Isaiah Foskey and defensive end Payton Turner (98) during training camp at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

"I just pretty much got stronger," Foskey told the media. "That was the main focus throughout all season. Just getting stronger."

After a year, he has a better grasp of the playbook, which allows him to think clearly without focusing on mistakes. "The whole entire year just in my head...Don't make a mistake...Going full speed just helped a lot."

Isaiah Foskey is trending in the right direction. The battle ahead to get into the defensive end rotation may be one of the most intriguing storylines for New Orleans. Will the young pass rusher leap the rotation during his second year?

We shall see.


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Kyle T. Mosley

KYLE T. MOSLEY