The Saints have no shortage of ready-made excuses for their stumble out of the gate against the Redskins.
If they were so inclined, they could blame an offseason filled with distractions of their own doing and Mother Nature’s, they could blame quarterback Drew Brees‘ holdout and they could blame the absence of head coach Sean Payton and interim head coach No. 1 Joe Vitt. Brees is choosing to point the finger in a different direction, however. He doesn’t think there’s anyone to blame other than the players who were on the field for starting the year with a loss.
“It’s not any coach’s fault when you have a holding penalty or when you have a (false start) penalty. That’s just execution by the guys that are on the field. There’s ways that I can improve that. There’s ways that the guys up front can improve that. There’s ways that everyone on the offense can improve that. It has nothing to do with coaching and who was or wasn’t there,” Brees said, via the Associated Press. “Sean brings a lot. So not having him, you can certainly say, ‘Hey, you’re missing Sean.’ But you’ve got so many other great strengths with the guys that you do have, and we’re going to manage.”
Brees had his lowest completion percentage in almost six years against the Redskins and it’s hard to believe he won’t bounce back from that performance against the Panthers this week. That won’t cure everything for the Saints, not when their defense got lit up like the sky on the Fourth of July, but it will go a long way toward making it feel like business as usual in New Orleans again.
Brees and his teammates are the only ones that can make that happen. We’ll find out if they do on Sunday.