Drew Brees may have been on the sidelines cheering on the New Orleans Saints during the team’s ugly victory over the Tennessee Titans Friday night, but the gap between being on the bench and being in the huddle is immeasurable. The Pro Bowl quarterback’s presence changes the way his teammates approach, play and act during the game.
With 22 penalties in the Superdome, the outcome of the contest would have been much different if it were to have been played in Nashville. All I’ve heard is preseason this, preseason that, what does it matter if it’s only preseason? Well, it does matter. While the physical mistakes may cost you a big play or two, it’s the mental ones that cost you the game, and that’s not something you want to stay consistent at.
It’s obvious that the Saints’ high-powered offense relies on Brees when it comes to moving the ball and scoring — it’s been that way since 2006. However, I believe his occupancy in the huddle also affects the cerebral aspect. His vibe is heavy and he’s not only a quarterback, but a mentor as well.
After Sean Payton‘s interview following indoor practices (weather) on Monday, it sounds like number 9 is going to return to action and play in Saturday’s matchup against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. Last week’s 22 penalties are inexcusable. I am not blaming that on the absence of Drew whatsoever, but his presence should help eliminate some of the unnecessary blunders. I’m talking penalties, route-running mistakes, blocking errors, among other things.
The Colts are a special organization and I don’t think Coach Chuck Pagano and company are going to allow the Black and Gold to come in there and escape with a victory the way they did at home against Tennessee. I also don’t think Brees will allow his offense to make the same mistakes they did during his vacancy on the field. That heavy vibe he brings influences the defense as well. Of course, Sean Payton, whose patience was tested Friday, will also have his input, especially during these days leading up to the third week of the 2014 NFL Preseason.
These next few training camp sessions will be crucial. There are numerous areas that need improvement after last week’s slip ups. It will interesting to see how the return of Drew Brees affects that fundamental part of the game, but either way, it’s good to have him back.