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Saints GM Mickey Loomis talks Packers loss, Carr injury, Kamara return

Recapping the WWL Saints Hour interview with the New Orleans general manager

New Orleans Saints executive vice president/general manager Mickey Loomis joined voice of the Saints Mike Hoss for a wide-ranging interview on WWL's weekly Saints Hour on Tuesday, Sept. 26. Loomis talked about the Saints biggest news including the teams 18-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 24, quarterback Derek Carr's injury, the return of running back Alvin Kamara from suspension and more.

The biggest topic of discussion was the loss to Green Bay. After getting up 17-0, the Saints gave up 18 points in the final quarter of the game.

"That's a game that we felt like we had in our hands but we let slip away," Loomis said.

Loomis spoke about how the team needs to learn to execute better in situations where they are playing with the advantage, noting times the team failed to capitalize in similar situations in the 2022 season.

"We've got to develop a little bit better of a killer instinct, when we have someone down, not letting our foot off the gas, not giving them opportunities to get back into games," Loomis said.

At the same time, Loomis did stress the bigger picture for the 2023 season.

"Look, it's three games in. So, we have to keep that in mind regardless of whether we'd have won it or not, (we aren't) winning the division or losing the division in week three."

One thing that will affect the bigger picture is the sprained AC joint Carr suffered in the third quarter against the Packers. Loomis said the team will deal with it on a day-to-day basis.

"I guess you could say we were fortunate that it wasn't worse, but unfortunate that it wasn't better too," he said.

Loomis was asked about the development of wide receiver Chris Olave and offered the star receiver praise for the leap he's taken from his rookie year to this season crediting his work in the offseason.

"There's a young man that takes his craft pretty seriously and has a desire to get better and the action to go with it."

Loomis discussed another wide receiver, Rashid Shaheed. Loomis called Shaheed "explosive" and talked about Shaheed's 76-yard punt return touchdown.

"Once he hits that crease, he's going to be hard to catch," he said. "Hopefully we can get a few more of this season."

With the conclusion of Week 3, the Saints were greeted by the return of Kamara from suspension.

"Alvin is such a good player, such a positive influence on our team, and just a weapon that's unique to our league," Loomis said. "It's good to have him back and it'll be good to have him back on Sunday."

Loomis said running backs Tony Jones Jr.  , Kendre Miller and Jamaal Williams did a good job helping to fill in for his absence in the first three weeks.

Alongside praising Miller, Loomis spoke about the rest of the contributions of the rookie class including defensive tackle Bryan Bresee , defensive end Isaiah Foskey and safety Jordan Howden. Loomis said it was "nice to have a rookie class making an impact and contributing to your team in their first year," noting that it isn't what he expects from rookies.

Loomis also discussed three players who received a contract extension this season with the Saints, defensive end Carl Granderson , long snapper Zach Wood and guard/center Cesar Ruiz.

With Granderson, the discussion centered around the journey and work the five-year veteran put in to go from an undrafted free agent to now signing a four-year extension with the Saints. Loomis said Granderson has improved every year and he is still seeing improvement from him.

"No player is self-made, and yet this is a guy who has just worked his tail off to go from this raw, talented kid to being a really productive NFL player."

On Wood's extension, Loomis pointed out that you don't notice the best long snappers in football and it's easy to take the position for granted, but Loomis said Wood is "steady" and "consistent."

"He adds a lot to our locker room as well as his play on the field. So, it's good to have him locked up and hopefully he'll be one of those 14, 15-year guys for us."

With Ruiz, the topic turned toward health as four-year veteran is currently in the concussion protocol. Loomis noted Ruiz will go through the protocol but that the timeline for that can vary greatly for players with some returning in a week and others it can be three weeks or more.

With the Saints attention on their next game in a home matchup on Oct. 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Loomis stressed the importance of divisional matchups and well as noting the Saints results against the team the previous season. Loomis expects the crowd noise to have an impact on the matchup saying the crowd in Week 1 against the Tennessee Titans was "like it was 10 years ago."

"We had Tampa on the ropes a couple times last year, and they came back and beat us, so we've got that kind of sticking with us and bothering us and hopefully we can avenge those losses from last year and get a win on Sunday," he said.

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