NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — New Orleans Saints cornerback Paulson Adebo was a fan favorite and a media favorite for training camp MVP at the start of the 2022-23 NFL season.
Watch full Paulson Adebo interview below...
Adebo made play after play against a competitive Saints training camp offense that looked poised for an uptick in production. This was an offense — and eventually a defense — that looks a lot different than it did in July and August.
The Saints rid themselves of linebacker Kwon Alexander (Jets, 7-5) and nickel cornerback C.J. Gardner-Johnson (Eagles, 11-1), who leads the NFL in interceptions with six total picks in 11 games. In fact, the former Saint snagged those six picks in a 5-game, one-month stretch from October Week 5 to November Week 10. Ceedy Duce did not play in Sunday’s 35-10 win over the Titans on Sunday and should miss multiple weeks since the NFL’s top-seeded Eagles placed him on the injured reserve with a lacerated kidney.
The excitement around Adebo faded a bit before Game 1 of the regular season because he injured his ankle during practice doing what he had been doing all offseason long, trying to intercept a pass from Jameis Winston to Tre’Quan Smith. Adebo would miss the first two games of this season.
The Saints’ 76th pick in the 2021 draft recorded three picks in his rookie season against the eventual MVP Aaron Rodgers, a former MVP Matt Ryan, and Washington backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke. The Saints won all three games in which Adebo had interceptions.
In the last three weeks, the former Stanford standout has performed well with 17 total tackles, one tackle for loss, and most recently two pass deflections on Jimmy Garappolo in last week’s 13-0 loss to the 49ers.
And that brings us here…to a seemingly must-win Monday Night Football game in Tampa Bay against division foe, Tom Brady’s Bucs. The last meeting put the NFL’s most physical WR-CB rivalry on center stage like a boxing match, as Mike Evans and Marshon Lattimore were ejected for a fight in the fourth quarter of the Saints’ 20-10 loss in the Superdome.
Adebo was not playing in that game, so he simply watched from the sideline.
WGNO sports journalist Jack Culotta talked 1-on-1 with Adebo in the Saints locker room Saturday before the team left for Tampa.
“Right where we stand is not where we wanted to be when the season started. It is a very urgent situation that we’re in,” he said. “You’d be lying to yourself if you say that it wasn’t. But I don’t think that changes the preparation for me.”
On Marshon Lattimore, Adebo said, “Week in and week out, I definitely pick his brain.”
Lattimore, listed as questionable, is a game time decision on Monday night.
Paulson Adebo will be ready to guard anyone, regardless.