|Aaron Kromer said his team might have been a little distracted. (US Presswire)|
Even with the giant-sized photo of suspended coach Sean Payton staring down at his Saints team from the wall and imparting the players to “DO YOUR JOB,” it's not surprising that an offseason filled with distractions served to, um, distract the team in its season opener.
At least that's the view taken by the interim-to-the-interim coach Aaron Kromer after New Orleans was dropped by the Redskins last Sunday in the Superdome.
“It was very frustrating in the first half,” Kromer told WWL (via sportsradiointerviews.com). “We went three-and-out way too many times. That's not characteristic of our offense. It really came down to sloppy play. I know we're going to get it fixed. I know the guys want to get it fixed. It was, I think, we were so hyped up to play in front of this crowd. There was talk of helping the people who were flooded … and talk of guys coming back off of suspension. Maybe it was a little bit of a distraction. We don't believe in distractions, but maybe in the back of our minds we were thinking about that more than we were thinking about our play and our assignments.”
Not so, said Drew Brees -- who, for the record, recorded his worst completion percentage (46.2) in a game since 2006.
“It's probably been made too much of,” he said, via Rapid Reporter Guerry Smith. “For us, it's the guys in our locker room, it's the coaches that are there. Let's take what we have and move forward. We've built a foundation here. We know how to prepare. Let's focus on process. That's been a winning formula for us.”
Look, it'd be hard to believe the Saints haven't been distracted by the bounty program and the latest storm and the Brees contract negotiations. Particularly since the case for Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith still is in flux (for now, they're not suspended but they're meeting with Roger Goodell next week), it seems likely that the Saints weren't 100 percent focused on the Redskins.
And it cost them a victory at home.