Text Us: 870870
Studio: (504)260.1870
Toll Free: (866)889.0870
A   A   A
 Follow 
Share

Posted: Thursday, 02 January 2014 10:19PM

Saints offense has kept playoff-savvy core intact



METAIRIE, La. (AP) As Drew Brees heads into the playoffs with New Orleans for a fifth time in eight years, he has a lot of familiar faces joining him.

Five key players on this season's offense were part of the 2006 Saints, who went to the NFC title game. Two more arrived a season later and were part of the 2009 Super Bowl team.

They hope their experience together aids them as they prepare to make another postseason run, starting in Philadelphia on Saturday night.

"We have been through a lot together," said Brees, who has been teammates with receivers Marques Colston and Lance Moore, as well as offensive linemen Jahri Evans and Zach Strief, for eight years. "We know the expectation level. We know the preparation. I think there is a level of pride that comes along with that - and accountability. You want to perform well for each other. You know how much we have invested."

In 2007, receiver Robert Meachem arrived as a first-round draft choice and running back Pierre Thomas as an undrafted free agent. They were key contributors on the 2009 team that won a Super Bowl.

Meachem left in 2012 when he was offered a free agent deal by San Diego that New Orleans wasn't willing to match. But he struggled in to fit in with the Chargers' offense, and when San Diego released him at the end of this past preseason, Saints coach Sean Payton acted quickly to bring him back to New Orleans.

Meachem has not been as productive this season as his previous three in New Orleans, but he's had some big catches, including a pair of touchdowns in victories over Arizona and Tampa Bay.

Meachem acknowledged a greater comfort level when he returned to New Orleans.

"To me, they're like your family away from family," said Meachem, recalling how supportive Brees, Colston and Moore were when he was struggling with a knee injury early in his career, and then when he was working to refine his techniques and pre-snap reads.

"They went above and beyond to help me get better," Meachem said. "For me, having Colston, Lance, Pierre, Drew and Strief - the guys who were here when I was here - means a lot. ... You see how happy they are when you have success because we worked so hard together and it pays off."

Moore said the Saints shouldn't underestimate the Eagles simply because they don't have as many players who've experienced winning in the postseason together. Experience, he said, is not an overriding factor in who wins in the NFL.

For Moore, the longevity of key players on the Saints' offense was more a testament to their unselfishness and commitment to Payton's offensive system.

"We almost have an ultimate trust for each other and one thing that this team specifically does is we want everybody to be successful," Moore said. "That's something that could be somewhat unique in that we're all like that. The result of the whole is more important than each other's success and I think that's why we've been able to be so good here."

During the last eight seasons, Brees has passed for 38,733 yards, more than any other NFL quarterback during that span. Colston, Moore and Meachem have had a lot to do with that, as has Thomas, with his knack for turning screens into big gains.

More recently, tight end Jimmy Graham, drafted in 2010, and running back Darren Sproles, signed as a free agent in 2011, have blended well into an offense that ranked fourth in the NFL this season, averaging 399.4 yards per game while Brees eclipsed 5,000 yards passing for an unprecedented fourth time.

Now the Saints are in the playoffs for the fourth time in five years, and they confident that their chemistry and experience makes them a particularly strong No. 6 seed.

"I would say it is pretty rare that you have that many guys to be here for that period of time," Brees said. "When it is all said and done, if we can look back and say man, we did some pretty special stuff together regular season, playoffs, championships, that's what it is all about."

NOTES: Thomas (chest) and S Rafael Bush (ankle) were the only Saints to miss Wednesday's practice. Both played through most of last Sunday's game without any apparent limitations. Payton, who spoke before the injury report was released, did not discuss the severity of their injuries.

A   A   A
 Follow 
Share
Deke's Blog
Deke: SEC rankings, week four
Well folks, if the SEC West added Georgia, Missouri and South Carolina, then the rest of the nation's games really wouldn't matter. Currently all seven of the SEC West's members are ranked among the top 42 teams in the nation with five of...
Read More
Deke: NFL Top Ten, week three
The Monsters of the Midway have supplanted the Cheese Packers in my poll. The Who Dats way down yonder in New Orleans are out, while the 2-0 Bills from South of Canada have burnt me before, so I'll use caution before I put Buffalo in my best 10. ...
Read More
Deke: CFB Top Ten, week four
SEC WEST, SEC WEST, SEC WEST, Yes! The SEC West has four teams in this week's top 10, and that's no fluke. The first weekend in October could be the biggest regular season in the history of the SEC with monster games like Ole Miss hosting Alabama,...
Read More
Deke: Saints at Browns is bigger game than most people think
New Orleans Saints (0-1) vs Cleveland Browns (0-1) Sunday, September 14 First Energy Stadium, Cleveland Ohio Kickoff 12pm Series History: Cleveland leads the series 12-4 over New Orleans Last week: Atlanta beat New Orleans 37-34 in OT and...
Read More
Deke: NFL Top Ten, week two
"Bow Down When you Come to My Town" was once a hot tune by Westside Connection in the 90's, and it came to mind last Thursday night when I drove home and was listening to a beat-down in Seattle. I've seen a bunch of beat downs, but rarely one as...
Read More
Hokie's Blog
Bobby's Blog
Kristian's Blog
Kristian: Saints are focusing on the details
The little things: The little things get you beat. A play here and a play there in the NFL really is the difference between being 0-2 and 2-0. The Saints say the harsh reality of their 0-2 start is about paying attention to the little things: "We just...
Read More
Kristian: Saints RB Ingram played most of Browns game with broken hand
Ingram Update: Saints coach Sean Payton announced running back Mark Ingram had surgery to repair a fracture in his hand. "There was a fracture, it was displaced, so it wasn't something he could put a cast on. Everything went well. He'll be a week to...
Read More
Hokie: Saints 0-2 start "sucks, it really does"
The Saints are off to an 0-2 start to the season, and color analyst Hokie Gajan puts the blame at the feet of the players. "You can't continue to have the breakdowns that you have seen," Gajan said. "I am putting it on the players. When you make...
Read More
Monday Morning QB: Brees says "we have to stick together"
Sure, it's not the start the Saints envisioned, but as many have said in the past, you are what your record says you are in the NFL - and the Saints are 0 and 2 for a reason. "Typically a play here, a play there, you can't describe. A lot of these games...
Read More
Kristian: Reality check! Saints are 0-2
Uh-0 and 2: In July when the Saints started training camp, nobody thought they would start the season 0 and 2, but it's reality after a pair of gut wrenching losses in the final second of regulation and overtime. Now the Saints face an uphill battle to...
Read More
Saints vs Vikings

Team News
Saints Schedule
Team Leaders
Division Standings
NFC Standings
ADVERTISEMENT

FACEBOOK

1 Thing

Contact Us

Contests

WWL iPhone App

Powered By InterTech Media, LLC™