Things started with hope every year, but hope is often a mask for denial. Strikeouts, misses and injuries left the Saints without much depth at safety. Undrafted guys and players from other leagues arrived every summer like a spring in the desert, but the spring always evaporated -- if the hope of salvation ever existed at all. For a while there, the Saints had Kenny Vaccaro, injured players and disappointments on the depth chart. There was a long time between the signing of Jairus Byrd and landing Marcus Williams. The bad days are over. Long over. The safeties could very well end up being the identity of this year's defense, in part because they'll be the pieces that are unidentifiable by offenses. They're going to be playing deep, in the box and blitzing.