NEW ORLEANS -- First Chris Chamberlain, now Victor Butler.
It's probably nothing more than a cruel coincidence, but for the second consecutive year, a linebacker who followed his coach to the New Orleans Saints in free agency has blown out his left knee before the season started.
On Tuesday, newly-acquired outside linebacker Victor Butler reportedly suffered a torn left ACL after colliding with running back Mark Ingram during team work in OTAs. Butler played the past two seasons in Dallas for Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who joined the Saints in February in a similar capacity and is charged with making the switch to the 3-4.
Last Aug. 17, free agent linebacker Chris Chamberlain was lost for the season after tearing his left ACL in the Saints opening exhibition game against Jacksonville. Chamberlain had come from the St. Louis Rams and was reunited with Saints first-year defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo under whom Chamberlain had played the previous three seasons in St. Louis.
A projected starter this season, Butler had a working knowledge of Ryan's 3-4 defense. Chamberlain, too, knew the ins and outs of Spags' 4-3 defense in St. Louis and was expected to compete for a starting job last season.
In 2012, the Saints' defense yielded an NFL-record 7,042 yards, prompting Spags' firing and Ryan's hiring to oversee the schematic transition.
Based on the recent string of bad luck, bad play and the bounty scandal involving former DC Gregg Williams, the "Doomsday Defense'' might be an appropriate nickname for the Black and Gold unit.
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