ST. LOUIS — Starting left tackle Charles Brown was benched in the third quarter Sunday of New Orleans’ 27-16 loss to St. Louis after giving up a number of sacks, pressures and penalties in trying to defend against the Rams’ Robert Quinn.
“I saw enough,” Saints Coach Sean Payton said. “I saw enough, period. It was enough penalties, pressures, sacks. It was enough. At some point you can’t just keep watching it. Feelings get hurt, it is tough.”
Brown declined to comment after the game.
Payton shifted right tackle Zach Strief to the other side and put in reserve tackle Bryce Harris at Strief’s spot.
Quarterback Drew Brees recognized the tough day Brown had, but said in the heat of the moment, he didn’t realize the move.
“Yeah, I guess not,” Brees said. “But you’re in the moment, you’re in the game. You’re not worried about.”
Strief said he couldn’t recall whether Payton had made a move like that in the past or not.
“I know this, we’ll rally behind Charles,” Strief said. “You can’t … I personally don’t judge a guy by one game, by a half. Coach Payton does what he thinks is best for this team, and we’re 100 percent behind whatever it is that he chooses.
“Yet at the same time, it’s our responsibility as a group to lift those guys up and to perform when your number’s called.”