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Zach Strief & Drew Brees: Monday Morning QB - Saints vs Browns

Zach Strief
September 17, 2018 - 8:20 am

Saints QB Drew Brees acknowledged that the Cleveland Browns forced the New Orleans Saints to slowly work their way down the field all game on Sunday. 

“Gregg William’s defense is one of those, ‘we’re gonna play super ultra-conservative and then we’re gonna blitz you.  Ultra-conservative and then we’re gonna blitz you, and there’s really no in between.’” 

The Saints were willing to take what they were being given with those conservative defenses waiting for their moment to take a shot and make a big play.  Unfortunately, for much of the game the Saints were unable to convert on their big play opportunities.  An underthrown deep pass to Ted Ginn was nearly intercepted early; and Ginn was unable to make the adjustment on the next shot play for the Saints.  The running game didn’t provide much of a spark all day either after having a long run of just 4 yards in the first half. 

This game, though, like many in the NFL, would be decided in the 4th quarter; and it was there that the big plays would come.  Alvin Kamara took the Saints first play of the final stanza 18 yards off right tackle.  Mike Thomas would have a huge TD catch on a fade route to the back of the endzone.  Then it was Marcus Williams with the play of the game for the Saints.

With 5:22 remaining and the Saints trailing by two, Tyrod Taylor’s pass to David Njoku was intercepted by Williams and returned 22 yards to the Browns 18.  It’s a play Drew Brees has been on the other end of several times since the start of training camp. 

“He is a ball-hawking safety. I just know from going up against him now for the last couple months in training camp and OTA’s and such.  He’s a guy you always have to be aware of as to where he is, and he’s got such good instincts and he’s such a smart football player too.” 

For Williams it was the first chance to show he has moved on from last year.  For some, his eye-opening camp performance wasn’t enough.  For many, his continued refusal to answer questions about a play that had occurred last year was a sign that he had not yet moved on from the mental anguish that must have followed it.  Well, in the biggest moment of the game, it was Marcus Williams not hiding from the moment but thriving in it.  When the Saints needed it most, Williams came through. 

In Sean Payton’s press conference after the game, he noted he was glad the Saints had won, but he was not very pleased.  I think that is an appropriate way for him to feel.  The Saints have work to do, they know they do, but they got a win on a day they didn’t have their best stuff.  That’s what championship teams learn to do. That should make us all very happy. 

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