Saints Dawson Moving from Defense to Tight End to Make Plays - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Saints Dawson Moving from Defense to Tight End to Make Plays

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HELENA -

Last year as a freshman Eric Dawson was just trying to learn where he needed to be on defense to make plays. This year, he's learning to be where the defense isn't to make them.

"Knowing out defense now, going back to offense, it's kind of nice knowing what they're going to do against what we're going to do," said Dawson. "Being able to catch the ball again, run with the ball, and hitting people I love doing it."

"The switch was because he was an All State tight end in high school," said Saints head coach Mike Van Diest. "I made the switch about moving him to linebacker because we had some tight ends returning. Nate Hinrichs was the starter from the year before, and started last year. He has the size, he has the talent, now he just has to learn the position again."

It's been a while since Carroll has had a difference maker at the tight end position. No Saints tight end has had more than 14 catches in a season since Bubba Bartlett had 67 in 2010. It's a streak that Eric sees himself breaking.

"I just see him as a tight end that if we're playing ten games next year in the regular season, I hope he can catch 30-35 passes," said Van Diest. "Intermediate routes, crossing routes, sit downs, he's a good safety valve for Mac."

"Going from tight end to linebacker I hope during the season I didn't lose as much last year as it looks like now," joked Dawson.

Making a switch from defense to offense may seem more glamorous, but Eric's former defensive teammates may not have forgiven him yet.

"A lot of the guys I played with last year are out to get me," said Dawson. "I mean friendly, teammate-wise, but they want to cover me, and want to do those things that they didn't get to do last year."

"He takes some hits, but he can give them too," said Saints senior quarterback Mac Roche. "He's been laying the wood on some of the smaller guys."

The Saints are hoping that Eric not only continues to lay some wood from his new position, but can add a new dimension to their offense by this fall.

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