NEW ORLEANS ― The Saints made a reputation of coming up with turnovers during their Super Bowl-winning season in 2009, finishing with 39.
But in New Orleans’ preseason opener, the Saints had no takeaways on either defense or special teams.
Saturday night, that all changed.
New Orleans came up with a takeaway on special teams and another one on defense.
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams made the defense do 30 up-downs the first practice after the game against the Patriots because the team didn’t come up with a takeaway.
That won’t be necessary.
“That’s something we worked on,” defensive end Will Smith said. “We didn’t really get a chance to work on it in New England. We went back to the drawing board and did those up-downs that everybody hates. You could see it today. Everybody was trying to get that ball.”
The first turnover came on special teams when former LSU standout Trindon Holliday muffed a punt. Pierson Prioleau recovered
The second came when Smith stripped Arian Foster in the second quarter. Sedrick Ellis fell on the loose ball and the Saints had their second takeaway of the game.
“We didn’t do anything really well last week,” Prioleau said. “We didn’t’ practice well in New England and we didn’t play well in the game. Not to our standards. This week we practiced with a little bit more intensity and we had a little bit more focus and we played better.”
He added, “We hate the up-downs. That’s all I can tell you. Up-downs can influence just about anything.”