Saints coach Sean Payton says David Hawthorne will replace Curtis Lofton at middle linebacker _lowres

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan demonstrates technique for ILB David Hawthorne (57) during the morning Saints Training Camp practice Saturday in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.


PHOENIX — It might look like the Saints created more holes on their roster with the various moves made over the past few weeks, but Sean Payton doesn’t see it that way.

The New Orleans coach said he would never make a move without having a fallback plan in place. So, while others wonder how linebacker Curtis Lofton, guard Ben Grubbs, and tight end Jimmy Graham will be replaced, Payton already has the answer.

He said on Wednesday that the plan is to move David Hawthorne to middle linebacker, have Tim Lelito slide in at left guard, and use more of Josh Hill at tight end, who Payton appears to be particularly high on.

“Josh Hill is a player that we value a lot,” Payton said. “He’s not on anyone’s fantasy first three rounds, I promise you, but he’s a real good tight end, he’s versatile in the running game, in the receiving game, as a special teams player.”