Zack Baun joins fellow Badgers J.J. Watt, T.J. Watt for offseason training

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A couple of former Wisconsin Badgers huddled up this summer, with Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman J.J. Watt sharing on Instagram that his younger brother T.J. Watt and New Orleans Saints linebacker Zack Baun joined him for a training session ahead of training camp.

Baun was a college teammate with the younger Watt in 2015 and 2016, and went on to find success in the same pass-rushing role in 2019. But the Saints have tasked him with playing out in space more often, with his focus this summer falling at weakside linebacker. Still, maybe he picked up some tricks from two players with 8 combined Pro Bowls behind them.

He didn’t play much in 2020, even after starting linebacker Alex Anzalone struggled — which prompted a midseason trade for Kwon Alexander. Baun initially trained at strong side linebacker, but totaled just 82 snaps on defense compared to 247 on special teams. Now both Anzalone and Alexander are off the roster, and Baun has an opportunity to compete for snaps.

Still, someone is going to be left on the sidelines between him, rookie draft pick Pete Werner, and Demario Davis, unless the Saints suddenly start fielding three linebackers (something they did on less than 100 snaps last season). Hopefully his hard work this offseason pays off.

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