Stephone Anthony is fine with shifting over.
The addition of James Laurinaitis means that Anthony will likely end up moving to strongside linebacker after serving as the middle linebacker as a rookie last season. And he’s fine with it.
“It kind of makes my job easier,” Anthony said. “I’m enjoying it.”
Serving as the middle linebacker, Anthony was responsible for calling plays in the huddle and getting players lined up. By moving to strongside, those responsibilities will no longer be on his plate.
The move allows him to focus more on making plays and what he’s supposed to be doing.
He said he’s comfortable at either spot, though there is a bit of an adjustment.
“You can’t see as much but it’s a different game,” Anthony said when asked about the differences between the two positions. “You can’t see as much, but it’s more of a point-of-attack game. It’s something I got to get used to.”
Coach Sean Payton has said that he expects Anthony to play on the strongside this season, but he has also been getting repetitions on the weakside during organized team activities. He said the coaching staff called him during the offseason and told him to prepare for a shift.
Anthony likes that the move will free him up a little bit more to do some different things. One area where he might be more active is in blitz packages.
“It’s going to show the different things I can do,” Anthony said. “I’m going to have some fun with it and make the best of it.”
Anthony said he has been studying film to prepare himself for the move. He’s also eager to get on the field with Laurinaitis, who he feels will help alleviate some of the pressure on the linebackers.
“He’s a great asset for this team,” Anthony said. “The way he communicates, the way he gets guys lined up is going to help us a ton.”