Demario Davis now has another tough first act to follow.
The first was quarterback Drew Brees, who over the course of a New Orleans Saints career that began in 2006, has given memorable, inspirational, impassioned pregame speeches that have inspired his teammates and fans alike, that have been purposeful and timely and shaped for the moment. Brees, recovering from surgery to repair a torn ligament in his thumb, missed a Saints game on Sunday for only the fourth time since joining the franchise, and wasn't on the sideline for the first time.
The second act for Davis to follow is himself.
If you haven't yet seen his pregame speech to his teammates prior to Sunday's 33-27 victory over Seattle at CenturyLink Field, find it (preferably, on NewOrleansSaints.com). Because the emotion and direction with which the linebacker provided his teammates – "Everybody eats!" – immediately lifted his exhortation into the pantheon of inspiring directives.
"Set that bar pretty high, man," he said, laughing. "I don't know. We'll see how it goes from here. We'll see."
Davis, who had nine tackles and a quarterback hit against Seattle, exchanged texts with Brees before assuming the responsibility. The speech wasn't planned; there really wasn't much time for that.
"It was really spontaneous, because he texted us the night before and I didn't really think about it until the night when he texted us," Davis said. "I slept on it. It was kind of a random text a little bit.
"But then (Sunday) morning, when I woke up, I said, 'I guess he's not going to be there.' And I was like, 'OK, what's gonna happen to the speech?' And so I just asked if he wanted me to do it, because I was kind of feeling like him sending that text, he was kind of wanting to ask one of us to do it, and he just didn't ask. So I just asked, and he was like, 'Yeah, get 'em hyped.' I guess I'll hold it down while he's gone."
There were no objections to the way that Davis held it down.
"I loved it. I loved it," left tackle Terron Armstead said. "It was perfect. It was suited to the way we had to approach that game, our mind-set, just banding together. Going out and hunting, and taking a win. It was perfect, I loved it."
"I watched it a couple of times," Davis said. "It went better than I could have imagined it going. I think my teammates did a big job of helping me get fueled. I could tell they were feeling it, so it kind of added to my hype while I was giving it."
Armstead said it was another example of teammates having to fill in gaps during Brees' absence, from Teddy Bridgewater stepping in at quarterback, to Davis handling the pregame huddle.
"It was definitely a few unusual situations last week with 9 being out," Armstead said. "But everybody stepped up into their role and found a way to make it happen."
KAMARA FACTOR: Coach Sean Payton said that running back Alvin Kamara's season-high, 25 touches against Seattle (16 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown, nine catches for 92 yards and a touchdown) weren't predetermined. Rather, that simply was what the game flow dictated.
"A lot of times a game unfolds a certain way," Payton said. "It can just vary, and it's something that's not decided ahead of time. Sometimes it can be, but in that case it wasn't."
Kamara's career high in touches, 31, came last year. In the previous game, against the Rams, he totaled 14 (13 carries, one catch).