Perry Fewell always enjoys when he can roll out his three-safety look, and Sunday proved why.
In the 52-27 victory over the Saints, the defensive coordinator watched from the sidelines as Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown and Will Hill combined for 22 tackles, four pass deflections, two interceptions, two forced fumbles (and an ensuing recovery), and one tackle for loss.
And all that was without Kenny Phillips, who was doubtful heading in and was eventually ruled out on game day with a knee injury.
Hill, playing in his fourth game after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances, picked up that slack.
"The safety group that we have is playing lights out," Hill said. "Antrel came to us yesterday and was like, 'Yo, let the dog out, let the dog out.' He's a veteran in the locker room, and I'm grateful to be here and I owed him that to go out and play like that dog he was asking for."
The triumvirate set the tone two minutes into the game when Brown and Hill collided with Marques Colston, forcing the New Orleans wide receiver to fumble. After bouncing around on the turf in MetLife Stadium, Rolle jumped on the ball at the Saints 45-yard line.
Meanwhile, Hill received his biggest workload of the year. Part of that was due to the game plan, which matched him with the Saints' All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham.
"My role is to play safety, and when it came down to man-to-man coverage, it was to lock Jimmy Graham down," Hill said. "And that was my mindset, my goal, for him to not get anything. I was mad he had that one catch on me, but after that, we had him."
Hill added: "I played a lot this season in the beginning. For the safety position, this was the most I ever had for that though. I was playing nickel all year besides the preseason, but now I got moved to safety. It felt natural."