Saints GM Mickey Loomis likes pass interference challenge; thinks NFL will eventually get it right

WWL Newsroom
November 26, 2019 - 11:45 am

By: Tim Zimmer

The Saints will have a quick turnaround this week when they take on the Atlanta Falcons Thanksgiving night. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis joined Zach Strief and Bobby Hebert on the Saints Coaches Show to talk about their win over the Carolina Panthers. Plus, Mickey talks about officiating in the NFL and how the Saints have dealt with pass interference and other calls made against them so far this season.

While the Saints did come away with a 34-31 victory Sunday, many fans were critical of the calls made by NFL officials on two pass interference penalties. Loomis talked about the pass interference calls and says the NFL is still adjusting to getting the call right.

“When it comes to pass interference calls and replays, we’re trying to figure out what the standard is. The guys in New York are trying to get it right and imply the right standard and consistent standard. It’s going to take some time for this to settle in,” said Loomis.

While there have been some inconsistencies around the league on what exactly pass interference is, Loomis thinks eventually the NFL will come around in making the right decisions.

“I think so far nobody is happy with it, and yet I like how we have the ability to challenge pass interference. I think that over time we’ll get it right. I don’t think any of us players, fans or coaches expect perfection. We expect consistency, we expect what kind of things from week to week that are going to be called. I think over time we’ll get it right,” concluded the Saints Executive VP/GM.

Luckily for the Saints, the call late in the fourth quarter didn’t come back to bite them as Carolina kicker Joey Slye missed a 28 yard field goal. The Saints were able to drive down the field to set up Will Lutz’s second game winning field goal this season. Loomis says guys like Lutz are players they want on this roster.

“Sean says the mental toughness that Will has is his greatest strength. Every time he goes out there, I feel real good we’re going to put three points on the board,” said Loomis. “When you have guys you feel real good about at those positions, you tend to take them for granted. We’ve had some good kickers here over the years and one thing that gets undersold is how mentally tough they are.”

Another player, who saw an uptick in production against Carolina, was tight end Jared Cook. Cook had his best game, finishing with 99 yards and a touchdown. Loomis thinks his chemistry with Saints QB Drew Brees is still evolving.

“We know what kind of ability Jared has and he’s demonstrated it for a number of years in the NFL,” Loomis said. “It does take time to create chemistry between QB and any receiver. Drew missed five games too, so that probably hampered that too. It seems like Jared has made some big plays, and we’ve had some flags on some plays too. So some of that production probably isn’t accounted. He’s a guy that the opponent needs to be concerned about; he impacts the game just by being out there.”

One issue Mickey addressed was the increased number of penalties the Saints are committing. Other than pass interference, the Saints have committed numerous other penalties that is usually out of character for Sean Payton football team.

“I think historically we’ve been a lower penalized team. Yet, we’ve had some games this year where we’ve had double digit calls against us,” continued Loomis. “Honestly, we need to stop committing these fouls. There’s been a number of hands to the face calls. Whether it’s an emphasis or not, we obviously have a target on our back relative to that call.”

The Saints committed twelve penalties for 123 yards Sunday vs the Carolina Panthers. New Orleans is 8th in the NFL in penalties committed with 86 total.

“We have to stop committing them, number one,” Loomis insisted. “Historically, we’ve been a lower penalized team and we’ll get that cleaned up. I think this is an anomaly, and we can’t continue to commit that number of fouls, because it puts us offensively or defensively in a tough situation.”

The Saints will travel to Atlanta Thursday for a primetime Thanksgiving matchup. They can also become the first NFL team to clinch a playoff spot by winning their division with a win Thursday night. Kickoff for that game is at 7:20pm. Wall to wall Black & Gold coverage begins at 3pm here on WWL!

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