METAIRIE, La. ― Drew Brees ripped down on his chin strap and tore off his helmet, yelling at himself for whoever was around to hear.
The Saints all-world quarterback wasn’t exactly happy.
Somewhere in New Orleans’ indoor facility, defensive coordinator was likely smiling.
His defense had just shut down the Saints offense in the two-minute drill, the first full-fledged competitive period of training camp when true down-and-distance was kept and scoring mattered.
Competitive? You betcha.
“Our players keep track of that,” Head Coach Sean Payton said after Thursday’s practice. “We will have 20 of those drills in two-minute before the end of camp. We’ll finish practice, needing a field goal or a touchdown and so it is competitive. And I think that’s good.”
The scenario laid out this time was this – 1:58 left on the clock, the offense down by four points and 75 yards to go. The offense had at least one timeout to play with.
On third-and-five from the 30, Brees found wide receiver Lance Moore for 16 yards. Thanks to a downfield block by running back Reggie Bush, Moore was able to race out of bounds stopping the clock.
Brees hit tight end Jeremy Shockey on the very next play for 23 more yards and with 1:12 to play, the offense had first-and-10 at the defense’s 31-yard line.
But then the offense stalled. Brees’ pass to Shockey was dropped by the tight end. That was followed by a pass throw to Shockey that was slightly behind the tight end.
Brees completed to Moore once again on third-and-10, this time for nine yards. With more than 35 seconds left, the offense was at the 22 yard-line and smelling a score, but was stuck in fourth-and-one.
And that’s when Brees got angry. His pass to receiver Devery Henderson was broken up by cornerback Randall Gay.
The second team didn’t do much better.
Quarterback Patrick Ramsey took a six-yard sack on first down. Nevertheless, on fourth-and-16, he completed a 45-yard pass to receiver Courtney Roby. But on the very next play, Ramsey was intercepted by cornerback Reggie Jones, who slid to the turf, sealing the defensive win.
“Ultimately, your success if you are defending it is if you prevent the score,” Payton said. “Offensively, to get a score or a field goal. … It’s an area that we have been pretty efficient at on both sides of the ball.”