NEW ORLEANS – Moments after New Orleans’one-point loss to New England
a week ago, quarterback Drew Brees proclaimed his unhappiness with the first-string offense recording to three-and-outs against the Patriots.
He expects better.
Tonight, when the New Orleans Saints host the Jacksonville Jaguars in a preseason game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Brees wants to see progress.
“I feel like there is still a lot of work to be done,” Brees said. “We’re certainly not satisfied with where we are. I feel like we have made progress but we still have a lot of work to do.”
The hope is to return to the success the first-team offense saw in the Hall of Fame
game, the preseason opener for the Saints.
Led by Brees, the first-string went on a 10-play, 77-yard touchdown drive that set the tone for the evening. They converted six first downs and had five plays of 10 or more yards.
Even if it’s in limited time, those running the offense want that kind of production.
“It all matters because you want to put your best foot forward every time you go out there,” starting left tackle Jermon Bushrod said. “You have to learn from your mistakes. It’s not always going to be pretty. This is a tough league to get first downs and touchdowns in. We just have to continue to fight as one and keep playing together like we always do.”
In limited time, Brees is only 5 of 9 for 45 yards this preseason. Starting running back Pierre Thomas has only five touches for total of 51 yards
The breakdowns thus far, Bushrod said, have been minor and are fixable.
“When you have three and outs, it’s really a small problem,” Bushrod said. “It’s usually one guy not doing their job and that’s really kind of starting with myself.”
The offense isn’t alone in looking for improvement.
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has liked how far his unit has come since Day 1. But he knows the ledge could be closer than everyone thinks.
“I’ve been through this before where you think all the steps are correct and then you get out there in the first regular season game and realize you have a long way to go,”
Spagnuolo said. “The real test is going to be the regular season and we have a little ways until we get there first.”
In the end, though, offense has been what has driven the Saints and Brees wants to see what he’s used to the offense looking like.
“We want to look sharp,” Brees said. “We want to move the ball. We want to score points. We want to limit mental errors and just we just want to play at our level of expectation.”