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QBREES9 10-13-2009 12:07 PM

Savoring the start
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When the New Orleans Saints return to work Monday, they’ll be well-rested and, for the most part, as healthy as they’ve been since training camp began in late July. What’s more, they’ll be brimming with confidence.

After making it through the first quarter of their schedule with a 4-0 record, the Saints will begin preparing for a 12-week run to what they hope is their first playoff berth since 2006.

The Saints enjoyed a rare five-day break, thanks to coach Sean Payton and a bye that came after a 24-10 win over the New York Jets last Sunday.

Payton normally holds practice on Tuesday through Thursday of a bye week, then gives his team three days off. But he chose to reward the undefeated Saints, sending them off Tuesday afternoon after a film review and meetings.

They will be back Monday for a bonus day of practice for next Sunday’s game against the New York Giants in the Superdome. It’s a potential clash of unbeaten teams as the Giants are also 4-0 going into today’s game against the Oakland Raiders (1-3).

The contest against the Giants is one many Saints were looking forward to, but not as much as the time they got to rest and recharge their batteries — their longest break since the last week of July.

“The more you prepare for games like that, the more comfortable you become in those situations,” quarterback Drew Brees said. “When you have a team that knows the formula and becomes comfortable preparing for those big games, that just helps you down the road in the long run because they only get bigger — especially as you get into the playoffs and beyond.”

Because they know they have a lot of work to do, the Saints aren’t looking that far ahead. But Payton isn’t worried about that because they have enough veteran leaders to not let it happen, he said.

“They understand the significance of the game in front of you and understand that that’s really the only one you can play,” he said. “All the other stuff, you really can’t pay attention to. All the forecasts and experts’ predictions, they’re like the BCS standings — they really don’t mean anything until the end of the season.”

While they can’t look too far ahead, Payton doesn’t mind if the Saints play with confidence. It’s been building since a Week 2 thrashing of the Philadelphia Eagles and grew even more with the win over the Jets.

Beating teams like the Eagles and Jets, he noted, help raise the level of confidence. But they also help because it’s easier to correct the mistakes when players and coaches feel good about a win.

“Winning always has a tendency to build confidence,” Payton said. “What’s important, though, is you can bring your players in and you can teach and coach them. There are always things to look at and say that we have to be better in this specific area.”

Based on their most recent game, Payton said the Saints could be better in short-yardage situations, punt returns and in ball security — which no doubt will be stressed starting Monday. Still, the Saints have done enough to turn some heads and are no longer flying under the radar. They opened a lot of eyes when they crushed the Eagles by 26 points on the road, then handled the Buffalo Bills and Jets when their productive offense wasn’t at its best. | Saints | Savoring the start — Baton Rouge, LA

foreverfan 10-13-2009 01:03 PM

Re: Savoring the start

arsaint 10-13-2009 02:09 PM

Re: Savoring the start
Put your money down on the Saints control of HFA trifecta!

Saints What If?

Saints, Ravens, Bears!!!

QBREES9 10-13-2009 09:11 PM

Re: Savoring the start
I remember last year. This years has been great !!!!

Rugby Saint II 10-13-2009 09:30 PM

Re: Savoring the start

Originally Posted by QBREES9 (Post 170229)
I remember last year. This years has been great !!!!

Really? I don't remember last year. :nuts:

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