The Saints suffered a big setback in their quest for the playoffs last Sunday with a 14-7 loss to their divisional foe, and defending Superbowl Champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The loss leaves the Saints at 6-7 and most likely on the outside looking in in terms of the playoffs.
Head Coach Jim Haslett was not pleased with the play of his offense for the most part, specifically quarterback Aaron Brooks
For 28 minutes, he was pretty good. He was 13-for-15 at one time and he threw nice passes. He came unglued after the fumble. The four turnovers came down to this. He rushed on the first one. We had a double go on. Michael (Lewis) had #29 beat for a touchdown and Aaron wanted to get the ball to him. He rushed, and the ball flew out of his hand. That was the first one. The second one, he got pressure on both sides and he stepped up in the pocket and they did a nice job of chopping the ball, but he has got to secure it. The third one, he did not secure the ball when he took off and ran and Derrick Brooks
made a nice play and the ball popped out. He has got to tuck it away. The last one, we had 'scat' protection on with first and goal at the six and with second and goal. We had 'scat' protection meaning we were sending everybody out. He has got to go through his progression look at one, look at two and either run or throw. He waited and waited and thought Joe (Horn) was coming open and he got hit and the ball popped out. It was his fault really. They were all his fault. He has got to take care of the football better like any other running back or anybody who carries the ball. He carries the ball every single time we snap the ball unless we have a direct snap to Deuce (McAllister). He is probably going to touch it 69 out of 70 times, so he has to do a better job of managing the football."
Despite Brooks's uneven performance Haslett continues to support his quarterback. "I have not lost confidence in him. In the first quarter, he was nine-for-nine. I thought he was on fire. I'm thinking that we are throwing the ball on Tampa Bay, we are doing a good job and we are going down the field. At one point, I want to say, he was 13-for-15 and Joe (Horn) had that one drop. The guy was smoking. He was on fire. He's running and taking the ball down the field. Then all of a sudden the ball pops out. I'm not making excuses for it because it is inexcusable. It can't happen. It can't go on anymore. He needs to take care of the football," said Haslett.
Haslett believe the team is hurting itself by turning the ball over. He again points the finger at Brooks stating that his 18 turnovers are too many, and he also points out that Brooks leads the team in fumbles.
The Saints had several injuries in this game that Haslett addressed in his press conference.
Tebucky Jones has a contusion on his bicep but is not expected to miss any time.
LeCharles Bently injured his left knee and will have an MRI to determine the extent of the damage.
James Fenderson is doubtful.
Cie Grand is also likely to be doubtful to play.
Zachary Hiton should return later in the week, as will Kendyl Jacox.
Fred McAfee is out.
Willie Whitehead is somewhere between doubtful and questionable.