June 24, 2024

Khalen Saunders and Nathan Shepherd, two defensive tackles with the New Orleans Saints, were new to the Black and Gold coming into the 2023 campaign. Both players had spent time with other teams the previous season (Shepherd with the New York Jets, and Saunders with the Kansas City Chiefs), therefore their objective was to join and bolster a defensive line that had suffered a number of injuries during the summer. Together, the two proved successful in their task; Saunders even managed to generate some offence in the red zone while playing fullback.

In terms of statistics, Saunders had two tackles for loss and 57 total tackles at the end of the season, 24 of which were solo. With 50 total tackles at the end of the season, including 26 solo, three sacks, and


Saunders’ finest performance of the season came in Week 9 against the Chicago Bears. With five tackles in the end, he also had a tackle for loss. With three tackles and a sack against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 18, Shepherd had his greatest performance to date.

“This is a terrific year to learn how to play with each other—we have some incredible players. We’re still in good standing.We are still getting to know one another, so I’m sure that by the following year, there will be even greater unity and a greater understanding of one another’s playing styles.”

“My greatest strength is persistence. tenacity and postponed satisfaction. I knew going forward with my path that I would have to deal with those two things on a regular basis. being in a position to keep working hard, focus, and wait for my chance. Sometimes I felt that was the best case scenario, even if I didn’t always know where it was coming from.”


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