Offsides: Brees Picks Up Where He Left Off (1 Viewer)


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By Douglas Williams | Staff Writer
September 16, 2009


In this Offsides article, the author will discuss the past Saints game, the next Saints game and other tidbits from the NFL.

False Start

The Lions, coming off a NFL record 0-16 season, made a lot of moves in the off-season to improve including the drafting of QB Matthew Stafford from the University of Georgia with the 1st overall pick in the 2009 draft. They sported a new team, new coach and a new attitude. The future looked bright and the new coaching regime had no problems expressing that notion to the media.

There was a lot of talk proceeding the game from Lion's new coach Jim Schwartz about Detroit attempting to confuse Drew Brees with different packages and coverages.
"He (Brees) doesn't know exactly what we're going to do. What we showed in the preseason may or may not be what we are going to do down in the Superdome.”

"I don't think he has a good beat exactly on what we are going to do, so maybe that's an advantage for us." <sup>1</sup>
Brees was obviously not impressed as he carved up the Lions defense for the tune of 358 yards and 6 touchdowns. Coach Schwartz will surely learn from this mistake and be more careful on what he discusses for the media as to avoid choking on his own foot again.

Despite being over-matched in the loss against the Saints, the new-look Lions did show some improvement and there is no doubt that Detroit is headed forward.

Illegal Motion

Drew Brees has other teams going to the drawing board to figure out how to slow him and this Saints offense down. After throwing for over 5,000 yards in 2008 (only 15 yards shy of Dan Marino's record), Drew Brees started the 2009 season as if Week 17 of 2008 was last week.

In the last 5 regular season games (last 4 of 2008 and week 1 of 2009) - Drew Brees has thrown for over 1550 yards (311 per game), 16 touchdown passes (3.2 per game), and only 4 interceptions (0.8 per game).

To quantify those numbers, this is a projection of what his statistics could be after 16 games:

4980 yards passing, 51 TD passes and 13 interceptions.

Not likely to happen with the competition the Saints play this season but it goes to show you how good Drew Brees has been for the past 18 months.


The ongoing saga concerning the fate of Saints' defensive ends Charles Grant and Will Smith (in the now infamous StarCaps case) has now been put on hold even longer due to the latest decision handed down from Federal Appeals court.

The courts decision was that the Minnesota Vikings players would continue their court case due to Minnesota law but the Saints players could be suspended by the NFL. In a unprecedented situation, NFL commission Roger Goodell decided to not punish Smith and Grant in consideration of &#8220;fairness, uniform application of our policies, and competitive integrity&#8221;.<sup>2</sup>

The Saints now appear to have their defensive ends for the rest of the 2009 season at least.

Roger that.

Illegal Use of Hands

Some might even say that Reggie Bush also had an illegal use of his legs.

Bush had a terrible game by both his own standards and the expectations of the fans. His two fumbles and indecisiveness running between the tackles had some fans in the Superdome upset.

Bush finished with 14 yards on 7 carries with a long of 10 yards. Reggie Bush did have some bright spots in the game catching 5 balls for 55 yards.

He responded to the sparse booing on Monday by practicing his punt returning and again letting everyone know that Reggie is Reggie's biggest critic.

You have to wonder if his lack of playing time in the preseason has affected his ability to turn it on now that the regular season has started. The Saints nation is ready to see Reggie fly and the Eagles would be a good game to start.

Piling On

The New Orleans Saints offense which has been ranked #1 two of the last three seasons came on strong against the Detroit Lions for nearly 500 yards of offense. Despite a few turnovers, the Saints still scored 45 points.

The emergence of Mike Bell as a reliable 'between the tackles' RB has given the Saints yet another dimension that has been missing in the past. This makes the Saints offense that much harder to defend.

However, there were some issues in the 45-27 win for the Saints. At times, pressure from the Lions defense was causing Drew Brees to step up, slide out and release the ball early on occasion. Due to Brees having unbelievable pocket presence, he was not sacked.

This is something that the team must focus on as they face tougher opponents such as their Week 2 opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles. Teams know they must get pressure in Drew's face in order to slow him down and look for the Eagles to get to him early with blitzes.

Illegal Return

The Buffalo Bills in Week 1 had the New England Patriots down by 11 with less than 3 minutes left in the game.

After a Brady to Watson TD with 2:06 left, the ensuing kickoff was returned out of the end zone and Buffalo's Leodis McKelvin subsequently fumbled the ball giving the Patriots great field position. The 2<sup>nd</sup> play of the next drive results in another TD to Watson and the Patriots win the game 25-24.

Who is to say that if the Bills down the ball they win the game but that is a mistake that the coaches will surely drill into Mr. McKelvin's head in the next few days.

Twelve (12) Men in the Huddle

This segment will be used to point out some key games in the NFL for Week 2:

  • New York Giants (1-0) at Dallas Cowboys (1-0)
    • Prediction: Giants win 24-20
  • Carolina Panthers (0-1) at Atlanta Falcons (1-0)
    • Prediction: Falcons win 27-20
  • New England Patriots (1-0) at New York Jets (1-0)
    • Prediction: Patriots win 34-24

And finally...

  • New Orleans Saints (1-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)
    • Prediction: Saints win 31-17


<sup>1 </sup>
<sup>2 </sup>

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