Brees wants to turn Saints’ losing ways around
METAIRIE — As can be expected, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is taking his team’s winless start hard as he and his teammates look for the underlying causes for their first 0-2 start since 2007.
“I’m always going to look at the thing with a very critical eye,” Brees said Wednesday as they began preparing for Sunday’s game matchup with the 0-2 Kansas City Chiefs. “I take my job seriously. I feel like every time I step on the field, we can find a way to win, and obviously, I’m a part of that.”
While Brees can’t be blamed entirely for the 0-2 record, his numbers are well off the record-setting year he had in 2011 when he set NFL records with 5,476 passing yards and completed passes at a 71.2 percent rate.
He’s thrown for 664 yards and has hit on only 54.5 percent of his passes. His passer rating of 71.6 is well below the career-high of 110.6 he set last year.
“I have looked at so many things over these last two games and say I could have been better here, we could have been better here,” he said. “I’ve seen improvement, but we’re nowhere near where we’re going to be.”
Brees got some good news from his receiving corps Wednesday when Devery Henderson returned from his concussion and participated fully in practice.
Henderson took a hit to the back of the head in the third quarter of the season opener with Washington and was sidelined in practice last week as well as for Sunday’s game at Carolina.
Henderson said it was hard to watch his teammates practice and play with him not being able to participate.
“The part of me not being involved and wanting to be involved was tough,” he said. “It was just something I had to deal with because I hadn’t missed a game probably since 2006, so it was kind of different for me.”
“He can do everything: He can do the downfield stuff, the intermediate stuff, the short stuff,” Brees said. “He’s’ a great blocker in the run game. He can stretch the field. So it’s great to have him back.”
The Saints welcomed cornerback Johnny Patrick back to work after he missed last week’s game with a thigh injury. Like Henderson, Patrick had full participation in the workout.
Not practicing were DE Turk McBride (ankle) and LB Jonathan Casillas (knee), while WR Marques Colston (foot) was limited. Brees (ankle) and SS Roman Harper (wrist) practiced fully.
Interim coach Aaron Kromer said Colston, who was nursing a foot injury leading up to the season opener, didn’t have his usual speed Sunday at Carolina and they decided to rest him a little this week.
The Chiefs had 10 players who missed all or part of Wednesday’s practice, which forced them to change their schedule and push their padded workout back to Thursday.
G Ryan Lilja (back), TE Jake O’Connell (knee) and TE Kevin Boss (head) were held out of practice, while three wide receivers — Dexter McCluster (shoulder), Steve Breaston (wrist) and Devon Wylie (hamstring) — were among seven players who were limited.
The Saints also announced Wednesday that they signed veteran cornerback Elbert Mack and waived cornerback Jerome Murphy.
Mack, a five-year veteran, was with the Saints in training camp after being signed as an unrestricted free agent from Tampa Bay. But he was released on Sept. 2, two days after the final cuts were made.
Murphy had taken Mack’s spot on the roster he was claimed off waivers.
Also, the Saints reached an injury settlement with wide receiver Adrian Arrington and waived him from injured reserve.
The Saints have given up 75 points in losses to Washington (40-32) and Carolina (35-27), the most in the first two games since 1985 when they surrendered 81 points to Kansas City (47-27) and Denver (34-23).
Seven of the points this season came on an interception off Brees that Carolina returned for a touchdown.
Saints officials said Wednesday that a portion of the Chiefs’ ticket allotment was returned and are available at the Saints Ticket Office, which is located at 5800 Airline Drive in Metairie.
Fans can also call (504) 731-1700 to buy tickets, which are also available through TicketMaster at http://www.ticketmaster.com.