August 21, 2006

Saints Shut Out in First Half In Loss to Colts, 27-14

It could be worse

Don’t forget Saints fans- if this was a year ago we would be hearing over and over again that they just have a few things to clean up. How bout also being told that so and so is a heckuva player.

As the Saints head back to New Orleans, all I can say is thank goodness for Sean Payton. Now he may not turn out to be a successful head coach, but the odds are in his favor. What we do know for sure about this man is that he won’t pull many punches. Any coach that comes out after a game in which his starters were flat out destroyed by the other team’s starters and says: “I’m having a hard time swallowing it.

If you leave here dismissing this as a pre-season game then you are just fooling yourself. I was disappointed.”

That is the kind of coach that will get things turned around. I wouldn’t look for that to happen anytime soon but there’s no doubt Payton will continue to tell us the truth.

Okay with that out of the way, let’s get to the brass facts of this team on the field. Is it me or is anyone else concerned with Drew Brees and the way he has played? Is it play calling? Is it Brees trying too hard? Is it a problem with the shoulder? Does he just need more time in game speed situations? I don’t know what the deal is, but Brees has been behind center for fourteen drives and three have resulted in scores – two field goals and only one touchdown. What we saw Saturday night in Jackson may be very typical of what we will see for a while. Sometimes they get going and then a drive stalls. Or sometimes they get going and there is a turnover. Then every now and then things work out. Sean Payton said “we are not a ready product right now.” Boy you can say that again.

The Colts are a ready product and looked like a machine. The Saints looked like they are still on the assembly line and the factory is out of parts.

The bottom line is that Brees is a better QB than he has shown. His numbers have been good but then again, Aaron Brooks used to put up good numbers. Results are all that matter and one touchdown in fourteen tries is not good enough no matter what the reason is. The good news is Drew knows this. Payton knows this. And the team knows this. Haslett would say it’s no big deal and Aaron would say, Hey, I did my job, just look at the stats. When it comes to the offense I would lean towards saying they need to play together for a few games and the problems they are having finishing drives will work out.

Defensively I can’t even begin to tell you how these problems will be solved. There are many people within the organization who feel like at the end of the day the Saints will end up with LB Donnie Edwards and that will help- but they need a lot more help. I mean did anybody notice that they couldn’t even cover the Colts’ tight end? Not good folks.

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