2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Vitt defends Brees, says Saints still have hope

By BRETT MARTEL - AP Sports Writer
    2012-11-30 18:52

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt scoffs at the idea that Drew Brees' recent and uncharacteristic interception epidemic is to blame for New Orleans' fading playoff hopes.

Vitt doesn't want the Saints' franchise quarterback to change a thing.

``When you have a great quarterback on your team, great quarterbacks can't have a conscience. They're going to stick tight throws. They're going to make great plays. And those great plays that great quarterbacks make take great courage. And that's just the truth,'' Vitt said Friday. ``When you're on a little bit of a dry spell and maybe you wish you had a throw back or two, potentially bad things happen.''

A lot of bad things have been happening to Brees in the past two losses.

Against San Francisco last Sunday, Brees had two interceptions returned for touchdowns in an 11-point loss. Then it got even worse in Atlanta on Thursday night, when Brees threw five interceptions and had a late-first-half lapse in clock management in a 23-13 loss to the rival Falcons.

Even Brees' NFL record 54-game streak with touchdown pass came to an end.

``I couldn't believe it. I've never seen anything like it,'' said Saints safety Roman Harper, the only player available Friday for interviews. ``All I'm used to is the Drew we see every Sunday, not a Drew that has five turnovers or things like that and it was just off.

``We should have won the game. We just did not take advantage of the opportunities we needed to whether it's right before the half or a couple of the turnovers,'' Harper said. ``We just can't put it all on Drew and say, `Hey, if Drew has a bad game, we don't win the game.' Sometimes we've got to bail him about because he's bailed us out plenty of times.''

Brees still threw for 341 yards, highlighted by numerous downfield completions. Perhaps the interception that deflected off of running back Chris Ivory's hands was bad luck. Perhaps the end of Brees' streak was bad luck, too, given Lance Moore's drop in the end zone.

But Brees blamed himself for the turnovers after the game, and for losing track of the clock late in the first half, when the Saints got inside the Atlanta 5 and came away empty.

Vitt said the best thing Brees can do now is have ``amnesia'' and come back ready to prepare for the New York Giants next week.

``We're all in this situation here now, and I'm talking about the success we've had over the last six years, because of guys like Drew Brees,'' Vitt said.

Vitt then praised Brees for his touchdown-pass streak, which earlier this season surpassed a half-century-old mark held by Hall-of-Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas.

Vitt said Brees' streak belongs alongside the 2,632 straight Major League Baseball games played by Cal Ripken, Yankee great Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak, or Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game.

``That record is something he'll have forever and it's really guaranteed his enshrinement as a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer,'' Vitt said.

Brees' recent woes, however, have contributed to a two-game skid that has left New Orleans at 5-7. By the end of this weekend, the Saints could be as many as two games out of the final NFC wild card with four games left.

The Saints figure they'll have to run the table to have a chance. The good news is their defense and running game have both looked better. The Saints yielded a season-low 283 yards to Atlanta, and Vitt said it was clearly the unit's best game this season.

``This defense is getting better every week,'' Vitt said.

New Orleans also rushed for 101 yards against the Falcons despite trailing the whole game, averaging 4.4 yards per carry.

Vitt told his players that in 1983, he was an assistant with a Seattle team that went 9-7 and not only made the playoffs but advanced to the AFC title game. He noted that in 2004 he was on staff with a St. Louis squad that made the postseason with an 8-8 record and won a playoff game. On the flip side, he said, he was with a 10-6 Seahawks team in 1986 that missed the playoffs. His message was that the Saints should only worry about playing great for four games and see how it shakes out in the end.

Harper said the Saints aren't ready to give up their playoff hopes yet, and will play with pride either way.

``There's no more time. We're a desperate team. We've got to act like it. We've got to play like it and we've got to become that team,'' Harper said. ``All we got to do is win. Winning out could do it. You just never know. This league is a crazy league.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Giovani BernardOct 31 11:12a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) is unlikely to play in Week 9.

Trent RichardsonOct 31 10:32a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is not on the injury report for Week 9, and should be able to play Monday, Nov. 3.

Rashad JenningsOct 31 10:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) is aiming to return for the Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Ronnie HillmanOct 31 09:12a

Updating previous reports, Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) is expected to have his normal workload in Week 9, despite his limited practice repetitions.

DeAngelo HallOct 31 08:52a

Washington Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall (Achilles') tore his Achilles' again at home and had surgery to repair it Thursday, Oct. 30.

Ron JohnsonOct 30 08:22p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (back), DE Michael Bennett (toe), C Stephen Schilling (knee), CB Tharold Simon (knee), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), LB Malcolm Smith (groin), DT Jordan Hill [ More ]

Patrick WillisOct 30 07:52p

San Francisco 49res CB Tramaine Brock (toe) and LB Patrick Willis (toe) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Jimmie Ward (quadriceps) and CB Chris Culliver (hamstring) practiced in full.

Chris MatthewsOct 30 07:42p

The Seattle Seahawks re-signed WR Chris Matthews and TE Brett Brackett to their practice squad Thursday, Oct. 30.

Scott WellsOct 30 07:42p

St. Louis Rams OG Rodger Saffold (shoulder), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), DT Aaron Donald (shoulder) and S Cody Davis (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Rodney McLeod [ More ]

Luke JoeckelOct 30 07:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars OT Luke Joeckel (concussion) has recovered nicely from the concussion he suffered in Week 8, and he could play in Week 9 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Joeckel [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

Arian FosterOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (knee) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Johnathan JosephOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans LBs Brian Cushing (knee), Brooks Reed (groin) and Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. RB Alfred Blue (ankle), LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), CB Johnathan [ More ]

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Justin TuckOct 30 06:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), CB Carlos Rogers (knee) and WR Kenbrell Thompkins (non-injury) did not [ More ]

Anthony CollinsOct 30 06:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Anthony Collins (foot) and LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring) and DE Michael Johnson (hand) were limited.

Brian RobisonOct 30 06:32p

Minnesota Vikings DT Shariff Floyd (ankle, knee), TE Chase Ford (foot), CB Jabari Price (hamstring), CB Josh Robinson (ankle) and DE Brian Robison (glute) were limited in practice Thursday, [ More ]

Louis VasquezOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos S Quinton Carter (hamstring) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Lamin Barrow (concussion), TE Virgil Green (calf), LB Steven Johnson (ankle) and OG Louis Vasquez (illness) [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) was limited in practice for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

Billy WinnOct 30 06:22p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DE Phil Taylor (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Desmond Bryant (wrist), S Jim Leonhard (ankle), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder), [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Chris JohnsonOct 30 06:12p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson, who carried the ball just three times for seven yards in Week 8, said he's frustrated with his limited role in the offense. [ More ]

Tom CrabtreeOct 30 06:02p

The New Orleans Saints waived TE Tom Crabtree Thursday, Oct. 30.

Patrick PetersonOct 30 05:42p

Arizona Cardinals S Tony Jefferson (head) and TE Troy Niklas (ankle) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Calais Campbell (knee), LB Kenny Demens (knee), S Rashad Johnson [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 30 05:22p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Jamell Fleming (hamstring) and LB Josh Martin (hamstring, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Eric Berry (ankle) and CB Christopher Owens (knee) were [ More ]

Demario DavisOct 30 05:22p

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls (calf, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), OG Willie Colon [ More ]

Keenan RobinsonOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins S Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) and OT Trent Williams (knee) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Ryan Kerrigan (wrist), LB Trent Murphy (knee), CB Tracy [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) practiced in full for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:02p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) will start against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9, barring any setbacks this week in practice, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Mike PounceyOct 30 05:02p

Miami Dolphins OG Daryn Colledge (illness, back) LB Chris McCain (foot) and TE Dion Sims (toe) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Nate Garner (neck), LB Koa Misi [ More ]

Andre BranchOct 30 04:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Will Blackmon (finger), DE Andre Branch (groin), DE Chris Clemons (non-injury), LB Geno Hayes (non-injury) and DT Roy Miller (non-injury) didn't practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group