The Saints benched left tackle Charles Brown during last Sunday’s loss to the Rams after it became clear he wasn’t going to be able to offer up much legal resistance to Rams defensive end Robert Quinn.
Coach Sean Payton explained the decision on Sunday by saying he’d seen enough of Brown, but that may not preclude a return to the lineup in Week 16. On Monday, Payton wouldn’t say whether or not there would be a more permanent change and that Brown wasn’t the only player to fall short of expectations in St. Louis.
Another one was kicker Garrett Hartley, who had a field goal blocked early in the game before shanking one badly late in the game. The Saints looked at other kickers a few weeks ago, but stuck with Hartley. Payton would only say Monday that they are considering their options at kicker and everywhere else.
“I think we are looking closely at every element,” Payton said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I told the team in the team meeting we are looking closely at each aspect of this team. I just think it’s important for us to do that, whether it’s a tackle position or whether it’s a player on defense. The one thing I know I don’t want to do is repeat the process over and over again.”
It’s not an ideal situation to have a couple of positions in turmoil ahead of a date with the Panthers that will go a long way toward deciding the NFC South champion, but it is one that the Saints will have to deal with while also trying to solve their road woes.