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whodatworm23

The Forgotten Man

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This offseason the Saints made improving their edge rush a priority with the FA addition of Alex Oakfor and the drafting of Trey Hendrickson and Al Muhammad but through all that the best option left available to the Saints is the one guy most have already sort of written off.
 
Hau'Oli Kikaha was set to breakout in 2016 after switching back to his more natural position of defensive end after playing out of position at SAM linebacker during his rookie campaign but unfortunately for Kikaha he suffered a season ending ACL tear during the early part of the 2016 offseason camp placing him on IR for the entire 2016 season. The fact that this was Kikaha's 3rd ACL tear (2 in college) of his career lead to many to consider Kikaha (while talented) a lost cause. 
 
Since his injury, Kikaha has been focused on his return and is set out to prove to everyone that the injury will not derail his career. Throughout last year and this offseason Kikaha has added a reported 15 lbs of muscle to his frame placing him north of 260 lbs and appears to have no lingering physical affects from the injury. Kikaha is reported to be obsessed with his comeback and a recent story from Sean Payton confirms it. Payton says that while returning to the teams practice facility late one night (10 pm) he had the belief that he was their alone but went to investigate a sound coming from the teams lockeroom area where he found Kikaha in a towel. Both shocked to see eachother Payton asked what are you doing here, Kikaha replied with the same question to Payton. Apparently Kikaha had taken up the routine of getting in an extra workout and film study from 8-10 unbeknown to Payton. 
 
If anything what this showcases is the mindset of the player. Kikaha understands that his injury has placed him behind the 8 ball in the minds of coaches and fans but he still very much believes in his ability and in himself and is driven to succeed this year. This is tremendous news for all Saints fans and one of the lesser known storylines of this upcoming season. The fact remains that while somewhat forgotten, Kikaha is still one of the top 3 pure pass rushers on this roster and a very strong candidate to earn the starting job opposite Cam Jordan on the Saints defensive line. 
 
I for one am rooting for this kid and cannot wait to see him on the field finally this season once again.
 
 
 
WHODAT

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Definitely rooting for him, but now that TC has started I'm always terrified he's gonna be in the headlines for the wrong reason. He deserves a healthy season.

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2 minutes ago, domepatrol91 said:

Definitely rooting for him, but now that TC has started I'm always terrified he's gonna be in the headlines for the wrong reason. He deserves a healthy season.

I'm calling it... if healthy Kikaha will have a 8+ sack season. Even if it's in a pass rush specialist role I think he's hungry and ready to breakout. The injury was a long time ago, plenty of time to heal. He's not even wearing a brace in camp and says he feels no effects from the surgery. I truly believe if given the chance, Hau will surprise people this year. No I don't think he's ever gonna be a 15+ sack guy but he can be every bit of a 8-12 sack guy with the ability to create turnovers as we saw in his rookie season where he played out of position. Kikaha reminds me of Rob Ninkovick with a little better pass rush ability. 

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11 hours ago, Spartica4Real said:

I'm a big fan of Kikaha and I think if he ever stays healthy he'll be a sack monster. 

I believe Kikaha has the temperament, motor and ability to be a very good NFL pass rusher. I'm not sure he possesses the athletism to be an elite guy but he just has a knack for creating turnovers and his big plays always seem to come when his team needs it most... that's called clutch. 

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18 hours ago, whodatworm23 said:

I believe Kikaha has the temperament, motor and ability to be a very good NFL pass rusher. I'm not sure he possesses the athletism to be an elite guy but he just has a knack for creating turnovers and his big plays always seem to come when his team needs it most... that's called clutch. 

He was my favorite player from that draft class for us. I am so hoping his knees can keep up. His rookie season was nothing but promise. Constantly swarming to the ball, always in on the hits, constantly separating ball from player. He is a legit baller. Like you said, he may not ever become an "elite" guy, but if he stays healthy and returns to his rookie form, he will become a "Colston" on defense. Not flashy, never remembered by non-Saints fans, no Pro Bowls, but consistent performer always showing you can't sleep on him.

 

Hope he returns to form. Love this kid.

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I mentioned in @whodatworm23 TC notes that I think Kikaha will have to rebrand himself if he gets hurt again.

IMO he would need to realize he's not a DE simply because his body can't hold up. I think he could lose 20 or 30 LBs and become a situational pass rusher and ST ace. He'd be good for 4-6 sacks and just as many turnovers a season, even if he's only playing STs and 3rd down passing situations. I think less weight would be good for his knees. 

He's a playmaker, and he's very valuable if he's healthy even if he's only playing a third or quarter of the snaps.

Taking away some of his snaps might hurt us early on, but when he's still healthy in November and December we won't regret it.

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13 hours ago, domepatrol91 said:

I mentioned in @whodatworm23 TC notes that I think Kikaha will have to rebrand himself if he gets hurt again.

IMO he would need to realize he's not a DE simply because his body can't hold up. I think he could lose 20 or 30 LBs and become a situational pass rusher and ST ace. He'd be good for 4-6 sacks and just as many turnovers a season, even if he's only playing STs and 3rd down passing situations. I think less weight would be good for his knees. 

He's a playmaker, and he's very valuable if he's healthy even if he's only playing a third or quarter of the snaps.

Taking away some of his snaps might hurt us early on, but when he's still healthy in November and December we won't regret it.

He's a classic tweener... this is a BIG season for him.

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On 8/3/2017 at 11:57 AM, whodatworm23 said:

So Triplett ask Kikaha about his weight increase... he's at 261 lbs up from 246.

Hope his knees can take it. 

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