For the final installment of "Monday Morning Quarterback," I sat down for an exclusive interview with Saints QB Drew Brees after the Black and Gold put a bow on another 7-9 season.
The Saints made the second half of the Falcons game interesting - after scoring just 13 points in the first half, the Saints rallied for 19 points in the 4th quarter, but much like the entire season just missed getting the win. "We obviously were not pleased with our first half performance, really the talk at halftime was we need to play better at all phases. We're not putting pressure on ourselves, we're just executing. The 4th quarter got interesting, we were one or two plays away from winning that game," Brees said. That quote could have applied to handful of games this season for New Orleans. So close, on many occasions.
So how would Brees summarize the 2016 campaign? "It's hard to right now, just puting closure on the season as we look back we'll say there were three or four games that we should have had. Not just winnable games, but games we had in the palm of our hands and we have to find a way to close those out and win those games, and that changes the complexion of the season," Brees explained.
So what now? Where are the Saints headed after three straight seasons at 7-9? The very optimistic Brees says the Saints are close to turning the corner and returning to their winning ways. "I feel strongly about that. Bottom line is we're measured by wins and losses. I feel like we're just ready to explode, ready to break out. We're going to look back on these last few years and say that's why we went through all of that stuff to get to this point where we are a veteran team, a hardened team, a tough team, a gritty team one that knows how to win and finds ways to win," Brees added.
While the Saints haven't experienced three straight losing seasons under Sean Payton, the Saints have been through two lean years prior to the previous three seasons. In 2007 and 2008, New Orleans was 7-9 and 8-8 losing in similar ways those two seasons, and in 2009 they went out and won the Super Bowl. Brees believes the experience of the past three seasons will bode well next season. "Sometimes you have to go through tough times in order to reach the mountain top and do things that you never thought you could do. That's the pivotol moment we are at right now. I believe the last three years are preparing us for something great," he said. While I understand fans calling for sweeping changes, I don't know that now is the time for that to happen. The Saints aren't far off from getting back in the playoff mix.
To listen to the full interview, click the link below.
FULL AUDIO: "Monday Morning Quarterback" with Drew Brees
Photo via USA TODAY