New Orleans Saints executive vice president/general manager Mickey Loomis joined the Saints Hour on WWL on Tuesday, Nov. 28 and discussed the Saints game against the Atlanta Falcons, former offensive lineman Jahri Evans, and more in an interview with Mike Hoss, the voice of the Saints.
Evans, the star right guard on the team's Super Bowl team who is in the Saints Hall of Fame, was named a semifinalist for the NFL Hall of Fame on Tuesday. As someone who drafted Evans in 2006, Loomis had a great perspective on Evans.
"Jahri is fantastic. First of all, he's a fantastic human being. Great teammate - not a good one - a great teammate. Great representative of the New Orleans Saints," Loomis said "...There was a stretch where he was the best guard in the NFL, best guard in football, and maybe the best offensive lineman in football for a period of time. .. It's well-deserved that he's in this group and he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame."
The main topic of conversation was the Saints' 24-15 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Loomis said he was disappointed in only coming away with five field goals despite being in the red zone so frequently.
The Saints never really found their footing in Atlanta, eventually dropping to 5-6 ahead of Sunday's home game against the Detroit Lions.
We need to get on a string of wins, you know we need to stack some wins up. It's good to be back in New Orleans playing a game, and it will certainly be good playing three in a row at home. We need our fans to be loud and proud at home and we need to give them a reason to be cheering at the dome and make it loud and difficult on our opponents. Saints executive vice president/general manager Mickey Loomis
Speaking on the momentum-shifting pick-six in the red zone, Loomis said, "Their safety made great play. We have to be able to bounce back from those kinds of things and I thought we did, we had a chance. We had a couple chances, we climbed back into the game...We just couldn't finish off drives."
Although he said he was frustrated with the offense's inability to find the end zone, Loomis also called out the defensive showing at the end of the game. The Saints defense allowed a late TD by the Falcons to seal the win for the division rival.
"Defense gave up 17 points overall, and that's a winning performance in terms of points, but given the kind of game it was we needed to get a stop particularly in the last two drives in the four-minute offense and it was disappointing not to do that."
Safety Tyrann Mathieu led the defense with two interceptions, but it was not enough to overcome the scoring outburst that Atlanta was able to put on.
Looking ahead to the game against Detroit in Week 13, Loomis was asked about Coach Dan Campbell, a former Saints player and assistant coach.
"He's a fantastic coach. He's a fantastic person, and I love being around him," Loomis said, "What he and his staff have done to elevate the Detroit Lions from a long period of tough years is fantastic."
The Lions (8-3) played on Thanksgiving day where they lost to the Green Bay Packers due to some unforced errors, but Loomis cautioned that the Saints should still be wary of their high-powered offensive unit.
"I would say this, look, they're very explosive. They've done a good job of overcoming turnovers, I mean they're -5 I think in the takeaway/giveaway ratio and yet they've got a darn good record. We're +6 and we have a losing record which is really unusual."
Detroit currently has the second best offense in the NFL, behind the Miami Dolphins. To add to that, the Lions defense is also ranked in the top 10.
Although the Saints need to find the end zone, kicker Blake Grupe went 5 for 6 against Atlanta, which warranted a bit of a hat tip from Loomis.
"Except for the last one he nailed them all. There were a number of tough kicks in there," Loomis said. "He's a very talented young player, and we are excited about him. We are excited about him now and we are excited about him for the future."
Although it may not have been the start that anyone was looking for, Loomis highlighted the importance of remaining level-headed and improving in certain areas.
"When things aren't going well, you can't just be negative. There's enough negative noise out there. We don't need to be negative. Not a lot of people get inspired by negativity. Part of our job is to focus on the positives, focus on what we're doing well and accentuate that, and not sweep the things we aren't doing well under the rug, but attack them and improve in those areas. I believe with all my heart that we got the right people in the building. I know we do."