MMQB with Drew Brees: ''We never got into a rhythm''
Following the Saints' loss to the Redskins, I got to talk one-on-one with Saints quarterback Drew Brees:
Q: Drew, when you guys point to things that went wrong, I'm sure you'll look at penalties?
A: Yea, it's what those penalties resulted in. You know, one of them, I know, was special teams, where instead of us getting the ball, all of the sudden it puts their offense back on the field. So defense has to rally and get back out there. There's not something that should happen. There was plenty on offense, where it was a big penalty that would set us back and put is in a 2nd-and-long, 3rd-and-long situation. We were not able to overcome that. At times we can, and today we did not, and it killed a lot of drives, and therefore, it resulted in keeping our defense out there entirely too long. It didn't allow us to get into any kind of rhythm and get points.
Q: From week 1 to week 2, that's when you guys have said that’s when you can see the biggest improvement…
A: Yeah, definitely, because you get that first one under your belt, and I think you learn a lot. Unfortunately, it was some not so good things, but things we can certainly improve and correct. We've got a great team, and we've got a great character. Unfortunately, you the home opener, and everyone's extremely disappointed...Fans, the organization, our team...But the fact is, there are 16 of these things, and it's a marathon. There's no better way to redeem ourselves than to go on the road and beat a good Carolina football team within our division.
Q: I know it’s never good to take any silver lining from a loss.. You were here last year as a one-loss team, and went on to 13-3.
A: Yeah, and similar things last year. I know there was a turnover that was a critical one in that game, we had a big play on special teams in that game, and we had a big play (in the Redskins game) with the blocked-punt touchdown, that was huge. You know, just some of the things that we know better...penalties, that kills you. We just never really got into a great rhythm. We were not efficient at all, offensively. We're used to being that way. It's frustrating, but we're going to get back on track.
Q: What kept you from getting on a rhythm?
A: Well it was the penalties. (Laughs.) The penalties set you back, and you can't convert first downs. I think we had four three-and-outs (in the game.) I think that's enough for the first half of a season. For us, I think just the expectation level is much higher for us offensively, that we're better than that.
Q: For fans who say, "I miss Sean Payton," is it that, or about execution on the field?
A: It's about execution. You know, I think we had a great plan, I think we were ready for this game, obviously it was an emotional week. But, the fact is, that team was pretty good. They played extremely well, offensively and defensively, they had a good plan. They didn't make the mistakes, we did. We were still able to overcome some of them, and had a chance in the end to win, which is unbelievable considering that we had a lot of them. I think it just teaches you that nobody is invincible to those types of things. You just got to continue to work at it, continue to focus on making sure that you are as efficient and as emotionally prepared as possible.
Q: I think one thing you can like about this team: You faced some early adversity, and then still had a chance to come back.
A: Yeah...Yeah. We've proven that time and time again. We're going to continue to need to prove that, because that is the National Football League...Because so many games are decided in the last quarter of the game by one play here, one play there. We want to be the team to make those plays to get us those hard-fought victories, finish games, because in the end that's what helps you achieve your goals.