SAINTS QUARTERBACK DREW BREES
General thoughts after this one?
"Yeah, we didn't get many possessions, right? We got about seven possessions if you don't count that last one. So, I think we knew how valuable the possessions in this game would be. I felt like we started the game off well, put together some good drives, three scoring drives. The turnover at the end of the half was unfortunate because I feel like it took points off the board from us, a field goal at least, and it gave three points to them. If there's one thing I wish I could take back from the game, it would be that. We had a lot of mental errors. I felt like we weren't playing as fast and maybe as confident. I felt like we ran the ball well. Really, for the most part, you know penalties, at the end of the day if you look at the stat sheet it hurt us. I think offensively we really just had one drive where it really set us back. We had two holding calls, an illegal block in the back, put us in a third-and-20 situation. I think that was our first drive of the third quarter. But, you know, you look at what they were able to do offensively. I think at the end of the half and then in the third quarter, obviously, I feel like they did a great job of possessing the ball. I think they had 36 minutes of possession time, we had 23, 24. So, listen, we know what wins football games and we know what makes it very difficult to win football games and obviously we made way too many mistakes out there in order to win that game."
Can you expand on the interception and what you were seeing on that play? Was that intended to go to Deonte Harris?
"Yeah, I had to throw it a lot earlier than I wanted to. Bottom line is, I shouldn't have thrown that ball. That was either a bad decision or make a much better throw, but at the end of the day just checking out. I didn't have the time that I needed to really make a good read. I should have just dumped it to Alvin and moved to the next play."
How different is it for you with Michael Thomas not being out there?
"Well, you know, I say the big adjustment was just having to move some guys around. Just moving guys around. Tre'Quan [Smith] basically was playing a lot of Mike's [Thomas] snaps. Then, you had new guys at Tre'Quan's position. So, obviously we're very multiple with what we do, with our personnel groups, with our formations and plays and everything else. You know, just honing in on where everybody kind of fits in the best and how we can execute better as a result of that."
Did you guys feel like you're in sync right now?
"You know, every drive in this game was very valuable because we ended up getting only seven of them. If one ends up as a turnover, where we could have gotten points, and the other one results in three penalties that takes us out of field goal range and didn't allow us to get points. Two out of seven possessions, should have resulted in some points. In a game like this, those are valuable. You got to have it. You just have to have it. Are we totally in sync right now? No, we're not. We're not even close to what we're capable of. We did some good things tonight, early on, but just wasn't enough for the few opportunities we had. We need to take better advantage of that."
Is some of that stuff effected by no preseason? Are you guys still working into shape because you didn't have the preseason?
"I don't know if the preseason, what difference that makes. You know, typically the starters play one quarter in the preseason. Sure it would have been nice to have that. But listen, we have some new faces. We have just got to get back on track. I think, we've got to put to get what is going to be consistent execution. I would say we are just inconsistent right now."
I feel like asking this question a little bluntly because it is a popular narrative that there is a sharp decline from your performance. What would you say to counter the narrative that you don't feel like you're starting the season showing decline?
"Well, my job is to execute the offense. So, I've always evaluated myself on being a good decision maker. And so, at the end of the day, I'm going to throw the ball to the open guy, move the ball down the field, score points, help us win football games. That's my job. My job is not to have the most air yards, or throw the ball down the field the most, or anything like that. My job is to help us win. My job is to help put everybody around me in a position to succeed and that's all I'm focused on."
Just in your own evaluation, what's something you'd want to clean up?
"Again, I feel like we just need to be more efficient. We have a wealth of stuff that we do within the framework of our offense. You know, we called a shot play, or two, today and just got the wrong coverage on both of them. What could have been big play opportunities, big throws down the field had to be checked down. One was a 10-yard check-down completion and another one was something close to that as well. Again, at the end of the day it is our job to get the ball down the field and score points. However, we do that, we do it."
Just curious what you thought of Tre'Quan today filling in for Mike?
"Listen, I thought he did a great job. I think we all see what he can do when he gets the ball in his hands, just the run after the catch. Obviously, Deonte Harris some more opportunities today. I think we need to continue to find ways to get Emmanuel Sanders more involved. There was an opportunity, or two, there, just thinking back, I'm sure after I watch the film, we say 'a few more touches, a few more catches.' Listen, we got a lot of guys. I think we just need to hone on where everybody is fitting in the best and what will allow us to really execute at the highest level."
Game action photos from the New Orleans Saints vs. Las Vegas Raiders matchup in Week 2 of the 2020 NFL season.