New Orleans Saints executive vice president/general manager Mickey Loomis discussed the Saints' 34-0 victory over the New England Patriots in Week 5, running back Alvin Kamara setting the Saints touchdown record, the team's upcoming schedule and more in an interview with voice of the Saints, Mike Hoss, on WWL's weekly Saints Hour on Tuesday, Oct. 10.
Later in the show, David Carr, NFL Network analyst and 11-year NFL veteran as well as older brother to Saints quarterback Derek Carr, joined alongside Loomis where they discussed David's relationship with his younger brother Derek.
Loomis opened the show commenting on the Saints ability to rebound and seize the victory in week 5 following the team's 26-9 loss the previous week to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Loomis said it was good to "see us get off the mat."
"The mark of any team, whether they are growing and improving, is how they react to a poor performance," Loomis said.
And react the Saints did, securing a shutout against the Patriots. The Saints defense held stout all game, particularly on third down, allowing only one conversion in 14 attempts, a feat Loomis described as "unheard of."
Likewise, the team was efficient in the red zone on both ends after struggling in that capacity against the Buccaneers, scoring touchdowns on all three drives when the offense reached the 20-yard line and in. The defense meanwhile managed to improve its red-zone performance a slightly different way.
"It's easy to flip red-zone numbers if you don't allow them in the red zone which is what our defense did in this game," Loomis said.
Loomis said he felt the Patriots offense had some missed opportunities but that more often than not the Saints defense was making plays. One such play was when safety Tyrann Mathieu intercepted quarterback Mac Jones and returned the ball 27 yards for the first touchdown of the game.
"It was great to see Tyrann get us going with an interception return for a touchdown on a play where our d-line affected the quarterback and caused an errant throw."
One historic moment Loomis discussed was when Kamara ran in a two-yard touchdown against the Patriots, his 73rd touchdown as a Saint, becoming the franchise touchdown leader after breaking his tie with former Saints wide receiver Marques Colston. Loomis reflected on the similarities between the 10-year Saints' stalwart Colston and Kamara, saying they were both quiet guys who go about their business and who were unheralded coming into the organization.
"Both those guys, obviously Marques was a seventh-round pick from Hofstra, and so certainly under the radar pick when we took him, but Alvin also even as a third round was kind of under the radar," Loomis said. "I don't think a lot of people, you know, knew the name or knew what he was capable of."
Loomis also spent some time discussing wide receiver Michael Thomas, who brought in four catches for 65 yards against the Patriots. Loomis said it's been good to see Thomas getting "more and more back to the Mike Thomas that we all are familiar with, making big catches, contested catches for first downs, big plays," after Thomas battled injuries for the three previous seasons only playing 10 games in that stretch.
One play that Loomis was asked about was linebacker Demario Davis' tackle on fourth-and-one with 7:22 left in the fourth quarter on running back Rhamondre Stevenson to force a turnover on downs. Loomis said the game was "well in hand" with the Saints up 31-0.
"And yet here he is playing as hard as he did on that play as he did on the first play of the game," Loomis said. "That's what you love about Demario and that's why he's a captain and been a captain now for (six straight years), he's been a captain every year, that's why. That's what he brings to the table and it's just part of his DNA."
The team rallied against the Patriots in spite of the external criticism regarding the team after its game against the Buccaneers, but Loomis said it isn't hard for the coaches to keep the noise out.
One coach who was the focus of much criticism was offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael.
"Pete's a great offensive coordinator," Loomis said. "He really is. He's a really good play-caller. He's had a lot of success and when you are not having success, that bothers him more than anyone, and yet, man, I've always had confidence in him. We have confidence in Pete, our players have confidence in Pete."
Loomis said that the Saints still have much to improve on offense which he said Carmichael would agree with, stating the team could have had "another 12 or 14 points in that game if we executed properly."
One facet the team needs to improve its execution, according to Loomis, is penalties with the Saints having 12 penalties for 86 yards against the Pats. Loomis said it is critical to clean that up "otherwise we are going to be in a close game and it's going to cost us a game."
Looking ahead, the Saint have three straight games against AFC South opponents, two of which are one the road with Sunday's road game against the Houston Texans, the short week Oct. 19 home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Oct. 29 game against the Indianapolis Colts, saying they don't have the "luxury of familiarity" with these matchups outside the NFC.
"We've got to be road warriors for the first half of this season and this is part of it," Loomis said.