The New Orleans Saints were brought back down to earth last Thursday when their 10 game winning streak was brought to a grinding halt by the Dallas Cowboys. The Saints lost 13-10 in what was one of MVP candidate Drew Brees’ worst performance of the season. The quarterback finished with 18 of 28 for 127 yards, which included one touchdown pass and one interception and a season-low passer rating of 71.6.
Sean Payton’s side will take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday and a win will see them winning the National Football Conference (NFC) South division title. But their loss against the Cowboys saw them lose the NFC number one seed to the Los Angeles Rams, who can now cease home field advantage in the playoffs by winning all their remaining four games.
Brees accepted that there was a “lot to be desired” in their performance against the Cowboys and has called on the team to focus on the details when they face the Buccaneers on Sunday. He admitted that their execution of plays during the game against Dallas was worrying as it was not up to regular standards.
“There was a lot more to be desired there. You turn on the film and (see) just play after play where you felt like there were opportunities or just better execution that would have gotten us some first downs, maintained or sustained some drives and gone down and gotten points,” Brees said Wednesday, as quoted on the Saints’ official site.
“I think we left a lot of opportunities out there, we left a lot of points out there. They played well, but I’m more worried about our execution, our execution was certainly not up to our standards. That part of it was frustrating,” he added. “Just focus on the details. Focus on the little things. Back to work. Back to the details. Back to our routine. Finally we get a normal week, after a while (with) a couple extra days rest. I think that’ll settle for a lot of guys. We’re ready get back to work.”
Meanwhile, in the face of the Green Bay Packers’ sacking of head coach Mike McCarthy after 13 seasons at the helm, Brees was asked about his relationship with Saints head coach Payton, who has also been with the team for the same period.
The 39-year-old signal-caller explained over the years the relationship had evolved and that there is a healthy respect between the two and a willingness to communicate openly with ego not coming in the way.
“There’s a player coach dynamic. He’s my head coach. He is a play-caller. He is the boss. I respect that. If something’s bothering me I have no problem telling him or if there’s communication that needs to take place, I have no problem talking to him,” Brees said.
“I think that’s the biggest thing in regards to just communication and there’s no ego. I respect whatever boundaries there might be between player and head coach. I respect that and yet there is a friendship or a bond because of our experience together. There’s a great deal of respect that allows us to communicate very freely and nobody takes offense to anything and it allows us to be as successful and productive as we possibly can,” he added.