Drew Brees Sending The Punt Team Off Against Sean Payton's Orders Is, To Put It Mildly, Not A Good Sign
NOLA- In the second half, the Redskins poured it on, even adding a defensive touchdown when Dashon Goldson returned an interception 35 yards early in the fourth quarter.
The pass from Brees tipped off receiver Marques Colston's hands.Brees, who was being backed up by rookie Garrett Grayson, stayed in the game even as the blowout got worse.
At one point in the fourth quarter, he appeared to wave off the punt team and the Saints failed on a fourth-and-4 deep in their own territory.
Let me be clear, it's not that I agree with one side over the other in this situation. Down by more than 30 in a game that your team has shown no interest in showing up to, with an "offensive" line that is living up to it's name, you really don't stand to benefit too much from going for it on 4th down at your own 30 yard line. Still, as a fan you don't want to see your team quit on a comeback, no matter how inevitable. Regardless, that decision had no effect on the outcome of the game, but it very well may have an effect on how we view Sean Payton's standing in the locker room.
Do I think Drew Brees and Sean Payton can't overcome a minor disagreement in a game that was well in doubt anyway? Of course not. They are basically conjoined at the hip. Their pinnacle of their careers paralleling one another. Their success predicated on their ability to seemingly share a brain. The most concerning thing about Drew Brees waving off the punt team that Sean Payton sent on is that they weren't on the same page. Saints fans have been present for the highest of highs to the lowest of lows during the Sean Payton and Drew Brees era. We have seen some great teams and some pretty bad teams. However, all throughout those years, the one thing that remained consistent was an unforeseen level of agreeance between head coach and starting quarterback. If that no longer exists then I am not so sure that Sean Payton's oft-discussed potential departure isn't what's best for both parties involved.
It seems, according to this article and it's corresponding GIF that Sean Payton, before quickly sending the punt team out, had no idea it was 4th down. That's inexcusable. I don't know if he has lost this team, or he has lost his passion for coaching, but the Sean Payton of years past, much like Drew Brees, never thought a game was out of reach. He was never mentally checked out. I don't believe that it was anything more than Drew Brees' competitive spirit that was responsible for him being outwardly defiant of his coaches orders. I certainly don't think he intentionally showed a lack of respect for the head coach he has always maintained such a great relationship with. I do know that's how it will be seen by the public. That, along with a host of other issues surrounding this team, may just be the fall straw that inevitably breaks up one of the most formidable coach/quarterback combinations in NFL history. It would be easy to turn a blind eye to a play that, all things considered, didn't really matter. However, if it happened to two people that weren't named Sean Payton and Drew Brees on a team that wasn't the New Orleans Saints it would be huge news. So let's not act like that alone makes this insignificant.
This team is in complete meltdown mode and it's not just one meaningless, unsuccessful 4th down try that's evidence of that...