The team victories were the obvious objective, but Pete Werner didn't have much to show individually for his first two games as a New Orleans Saints linebacker.
He mainly played special teams in the 38-3 win over Green Bay to open the season, and had two tackles in 35 defensive snaps in the 28-13 win over New England.
But the third game was a bit of a coming out party for Werner.
The Saints didn't win – a 27-21, overtime loss to the Giants in the Caesars Superdome spoiled New Orleans' first home game in front of a packed crowd since the 2019 playoff game against Minnesota – but Werner exhibited the qualities that made him the Saints' second-round draft pick (No. 60 overall) this year.
He had 10 tackles, including a tackle for loss, in 40 snaps.
"Nobody can really say they played well after a loss," Werner said.
Everyone, though, can say that they have an idea why New Orleans decided to add the former Ohio State standout to the linebacker room.
Whether in traffic or in space, Werner made several plays that supported the decision to have him in the starting lineup.
"I would say I'm stepping through things and feeling a little bit more confident day by day," he said. "But making plays definitely helps, my confidence has gone up and it did throughout the game. So that helps and that will only continue to build as reps continue to go."
Werner initially was slowed in his NFL career by a training camp injury, and after he'd worked his way back into form for the regular season, he injured his hamstring against Green Bay and missed the second game, against Carolina.
Judging by his sideline-to-sideline plays, the hamstring is healed and his physical abilities are aided by what he adds via film study.
"I would say film study helps, but it's all vision," Werner said. "Putting your eyes in the right spot definitely helps a bunch. You have visual keys and different tendencies to help out with everything like that. So as much as you can open your eyes and see the whole picture, I feel like that helps me out a little bit."
Too, Werner said the team will be helped by the messaging provided by Coach Sean Payton after the Giants game, in which New York erased an 11-point, fourth-quarter deficit by scoring the game's final 17 points.
"What he mentioned our first meeting back and what has kind of stuck with me is, every little thing matters," Werner said. "Everybody's got the talent around so if you mess up a few plays give up some explosive plays, then it changed the whole game around. So the little details, I would say.
"You can't give up those explosive plays, you've got to tackle in space. Just every single little detail – if you're supposed to start behind the line, you better not be touching the line. Little things like that."