New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees didn't mince words at the Pro Bowl.
The 7-9 campaign in 2014 "was my most frustrating season," he told Sports Illustrated.
But Brees expressed confidence in coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomisa and the team's staff, saying he thinks the braintrust has identified what ailed the team in 2014.
"I think we’ve identified the problems or the things that got us beat or the things that didn’t allow us to be as good as we know we can be, and we have the solution to fix it,” Brees said in the report. “It’s going to take a lot of work, but I know we can get it done.”
Brees alluded to the loss of solid, veteran players -- like Darren Sproles and Roman Harper -- as costing the young Saints valuable leadership.
As The New Orleans Advocate's Nick Underhill pointed out recently, there was individual talent this past season, but most of it failed to play up to expectations, and this team never became a team. All of the quality moments were mirages. Those were the outliers. The team that showed up and beat Green Bay wasn’t the same one that took the field against the Falcons, Cleveland, Dallas and the second game against Carolina.
Where does the blame fall for that? Is it on the players for not showing up, providing leadership and displaying maturity at times? Or does it fall on the coaching staff for not bringing out the qualities in this team? Or is it our fault, as observers, for overrating this team based on last year’s 11-5 record?