Saints’ State Of Mind

September 5th, 2008
An 0-4 start in 2007 has the Saints attention

An 0-4 start in 2007 has the Saints' attention.

Joe knows you’ve heard a lot about how the Saints will be playing for the storm-ravaged residents of New Orleans on Sunday against the Bucs at the Superdome. That’ll surely be a theme on the FOX broadcast.

But the Saints’ state of mind seems to have been clearly laid out by Coach Sean Payton in an interview with The Advocate.

And it appears the team’s collective mindset will be on the disaster of last season, rather than the destruction of Hurricane Gustav.

The Saints marched to the NFC Championship game after the 2006 season. But the highly touted 2007 Saints were routed by Indianapolis on opening day en route to an 0-4 start. They missed the playoffs with a 7-9 finish.

When asked what he learned most last year, Payton didn’t hesitate.

“You learn how important it is to start the season off well,” he said. “You learn how important the turnover ratio is. These are lessons that we know, yet they’re pounded in again each year when you start a season. I think we have a chance to be a better football team after some of the challenges we had a year ago.”

Joe’s been around enough teams to know that the Saints will play this game Sunday with maximum intensity. The odds of them coming out flat are slim.

But whether they have enough juice on defense to stop the Bucs from controlling the clock and field position, that’s a long shot.

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