Saints DE Sedrick Ellis "thrilled" with Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo

Saints defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis is one of those thrilled with the change from Gregg Williams to the zone blitz scheme of Steve Spagnuolo. Ellis said last year - his worst as a pro - he just kept his mouth shut and played.

In 2011, Sedrick Ellis had only 29 combined tackles and a half a quarterback sack in 15 games. Ellis said he isn't the biggest of defensive tackles, and he was asked to play the demanding position of nose tackle.

"We played a significant amount of 3-4 front last year, and that put me at zero technique over the center," Ellis told WGNO Sports. "You might get hit by 2,3, or 4 different guys on any given play."

Ellis said the team was winning, and that was good enough for him. He said if you want to play a sport when you get all the glory, then play an individual sport: "Sometimes you just keep your mouth shut, and just play football."

Early in camp, Ellis was sent to work with the second unit, as the Saints tried Cameron Jordan at defensive tackle. Ellis said if the coaches were trying to motivate him with a possible demotion, so be it.

"I get paid to play football. If they put me on the second team, I will play on the second team. If they put me on the third, I'll play third."

Ellis' rookie contract expires after this season. He says he wants to remain a Saint, but he also knows that last year's numbers weren't good enough.

But, he thinks Steve Spagnuolo's scheme will make a huge difference in his playing. Ellis said it's the scheme he played at USC, so it's like coming home.

The Saints play their first home game of the preseason Friday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars.