A little more than 12 hours after their season-opening game against the Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints interim coach Aaron Kromer headed to the office for one of those days coaches love to hate.
After a 40-32 loss to the Redskins in his head coaching debut as a fill-in for suspended coaches Sean Payton and Joe Vitt, Kromer already knew in the pre-dawn hours what kind of day that it was going to be: “Overreaction Monday.”
Kromer explained Wednesday the backlash that comes with expectations that aren’t met happens on a weekly basis all around the NFL, not just in New Orleans.
Like in the Saints’ surprising loss to the Redskins.
Excited fans eager to forget all the talk about the bounty scandal certainly expected more from an offense that set an NFL record last season with 7,474 total yards and a defense that should be improved under Steve Spagnuolo.
But they looked anything but that. The Saints struggled on both sides of the ball, uncharacteristically so on offense, and played on their heels most of the afternoon.
Hence, the overreaction Kromer referred to.
“Half the teams lost and half the teams won,” he said. “Every team that won was crowned a Super Bowl champion and every team that lost wasn’t going to make the playoffs. We know that is far from the truth.”
Kromer pointed out in his Monday news conference that the New York Giants, who also lost their opener last Wednesday night, finished 9-7 a year ago — making the playoffs on the last day of the season — yet still won Super Bowl XLVI.
What he didn’t mention was the Giants also lost their 2011 opener to the Redskins, which would go on to win only four more games the rest of the season.
That’s not to say the Saints are going to win the Super Bowl, or the NFC South title, or even win nine games.
The point is we’re going to have to wait to see if it’s going to be feast or famine although Sunday’s game at Carolina could be a better barometer of where this team is headed.
“It’s a long season. … It’s 16 games and it’s important to keep everything in perspective,” said tight end David Thomas. “Every game is important. At the same time, win or lose, you have to move on and get ready for the next one.
“Obviously, last week was not what we expected.”
Pro Bowl tackle Jermon Bushrod said he can understand why fans are worried or concerned about their dubious opening performance.
“We’re not used to starting a season like that,” he said. “So when we do start like that, after everything we went through this offseason, we wanted a better outcome.
“But it didn’t work out that way, and I understand why people might be upset or a little bit frustrated. We’ve got to go out there and continue to do our job, and not pay attention to what people are saying.”
And, hope that there aren’t many “Overreaction Mondays” to come.