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BillyCarpenter1 10-02-2003 01:56 PM

One thing the Saints won't do is change quarterbacks
 
http://www.nola.com/saints/t-p/index...4656250850.xml



Saints need turnover turnaround

Fumbles, interceptions putting stranglehold on N.O.'s offense


Thursday October 02, 2003


By Jeff Duncan
Staff writer

Coordinator Mike McCarthy knows what's wrong with the Saints' offense -- turnovers.

The Saints have lost seven fumbles and thrown three interceptions in four games. Nine of the turnovers have occurred in their own territory, and led to seven touchdowns and two field goals for the opponents.


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Ask McCarthy how to cure the problem, and the answer gets a little trickier and takes a lot longer to explain.

"I'd like to give you something," McCarthy said after watching his unit commit four turnovers inside their own 31-yard line in a 55-21 loss to Indianapolis on Sunday night. "I wish I could say, this is what it is. Then you can write all about it and everybody can watch the game on Sunday and everybody will be happy. But that's not the case.

"We emphasize it every week. It's our No. 1 goal and objective each week. We've got to find a better way or a different way to say the same thing over and over again. That is my emphasis right now -- turnovers. We've got a problem. We've got to get it fixed."

The turnovers wouldn't be as noticeable if the Saints were countering them with big plays of their own. But that hasn't been the case.

The Saints have produced only 16 "big plays" -- defined by the staff as rushes of 10 or more yards or passes of 20 or more yards -- in their first four games. In the same span last season, they made 26 -- 14 passes of 20 or more yards and 12 runs of 10 or more yards.

"The big play hasn't been there a lot for us," running back Deuce McAllister said. "Last year that's what we thrived off of. We've been efficient but we haven't had that big play or anything to get excited about."

McCarthy said the Saints had 19 opportunities to make "big plays" against Indianapolis, well above the average of 10 to 13 chances per game, McCarthy said. The Saints converted on only six of the plays. McCarthy said the offense's goal is to convert 65 percent of their big-play chances.

"We're not obtaining our goals in that area right now," McCarthy said.

And as a result, the turnovers have had a devastating cumulative effect. Not only do they change momentum, sap confidence and reduce the number of chances Saints playmakers have, they also place undo pressure on a depleted defense that is missing several injured starters.

Equally damaging, when the mistakes occur deep in Saints territory and lead to points, the early deficits force the offense into "catch-up mode" and render them one-dimensional.

"We're getting chased out of our game plan too many times," McCarthy said. "We're in two-minute, no-huddle offense way too much for my liking."

McCarthy strives for 2-to-1 run-pass ratio. But because they have trailed for so much this season, often by double figures, the Saints have attempted 133 passes and rushed only 93 times.

If the Saints are one-dimensional, opposing defenses can concentrate on stopping the passing game and dial up the pressure from their front seven.

As an example, McCarthy pointed to the third quarter of the Colts game. Facing a 27-10 deficit, the Saints passed on nine of 11 plays in the quarter. One of the plays ended on a sack and a fumble. Another resulted in an interception.

"I get asked all the time, 'why don't you play three receivers all the time?' " McCarthy said. "Just look at the third quarter (of the Colts game). That's why I don't like to play three receivers all the time. That's the kind of game you get into. Its wide open, and you expose your quarterback to hits and pressures. You've got to be able to run the ball."

McCarthy said he and his staff will continue to emphasize ball security in practice this week. He'll also stress to quarterback Aaron Brooks the importance of improved decision-making and poise under pressure.

"We've got to ride the waves and get through the hard times better," McCarthy said.

One thing the Saints won't do is change quarterbacks, which might come as a disappointment to the fans who cheered when backup Todd Bouman replaced Brooks early in the fourth quarter of the Colts game.

"The worst thing we can do is make a quarterback change," McCarthy said. "That kid needs to play now more than ever. I want to see how he responds this week. That's a part of the growth of a young quarterback. He's going to be a good player for a long time in this league. And you can write that in bold letters."


Brooks said focus and attention to detail are the keys.

"It's just a mind-set," Brooks said. "You've got to be conscious of that, that turnovers can win a game and lose a game. They've been losing games here, so you got to get the confidence to hold onto the ball."

Before a disastrous second half against the Colts, Brooks was the highest-rated player on the Saints offense, McCarthy said.

"These are important times for Aaron and everybody on our football team," McCarthy said. "This is all about accountability right now. My name is on the cover of this. I am fully accountable for their performance. And everybody is accountable for their individual performance. If we just stay focused on that, everything is going to turn out the way we want to. When everybody starts looking over here and over there, that's when the problems start."

. . . . . . .


TheOriginalSwampdog 10-02-2003 04:20 PM

One thing the Saints won't do is change quarterbacks
 
More proof that our coaches are truly retarded and need to be replaced. Brooks should be benched for humility sake alone. These are truly troubled times.

BillyCarpenter1 10-02-2003 04:28 PM

One thing the Saints won't do is change quarterbacks
 
He\'s going to be a good player for a long time in this league. And you can write that in bold letters.\"

TheOriginalSwampdog 10-02-2003 04:34 PM

One thing the Saints won't do is change quarterbacks
 
Put the pipe down, boy! JUST SAY NO!

BillyCarpenter1 10-02-2003 04:39 PM

One thing the Saints won't do is change quarterbacks
 
And now -- Your starting quarterback -- For your --- New Orleans Saints --

Aaaaaaaaaaaron Brooks !!! Hey SwampDog -- You seen Aaron in those commercials yet?? The ones with the up and coming QB\'s?? I\'ll think of you everytime i see one

TheOriginalSwampdog 10-02-2003 04:45 PM

One thing the Saints won't do is change quarterbacks
 
And what commercials are these? Dude, you keep thinking that way. I\'ll be back Monday to talk over Aarons \"star\" performance. Oh yeah, like the one\'s he\'s been having. 4 tds and 3 ints for 4 games. Can you get me a ballot for the probowl?

[Edited on 2/10/2003 by TheOriginalSwampdog]

BillyCarpenter1 10-02-2003 04:46 PM

One thing the Saints won't do is change quarterbacks
 
Dog --

Who do you think will have a better game this week? Aaron or Jake??

[Edited on 2/10/2003 by BillyCarpenter1]

TheOriginalSwampdog 10-02-2003 04:53 PM

One thing the Saints won't do is change quarterbacks
 
Depends on what you mean by \"better\". If you mean the winner, I\'ll take Jake. Brooks will probably get some useless stats when the game is practically over, so Brooks might have more yards, but Jake will be 4-0.

BillyCarpenter1 10-02-2003 04:54 PM

One thing the Saints won't do is change quarterbacks
 
Quote:

Depends on what you mean by \"better\". If you mean the winner, I\'ll take Jake. Brooks will probably get some useless stats when the game is practically over, so Brooks might have more yards, but Jake will be 4-0.
So what your saying is that Jake will have little to do with the win if that happens??

TheOriginalSwampdog 10-02-2003 04:59 PM

One thing the Saints won't do is change quarterbacks
 
Uhhh, nowhere in the post did I say that. Jake will be one of the MAIN reasons they win. He\'s a winner and can lead an offense. Absolutely Jake will have a hand in their win.The Panthers are a running team, so Jake will be efficient just like they want him to be. I predict he will be 15-22-236 yards and 2 tds, 0 ints. Brooks will be 22-45-281 yards 1 td and 2 ints. Now, any other questions.


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