Hey, what’s up people? This week, let’s go over our tough last-second loss to New England, where the Saints are so far and my personal connection to Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Rob Ryan’s always moving me around, sending me on some blitzes, covering some receivers. That versatility keeps me in the game, and I’m having fun.
For all NFL fans, the last two to three minutes of Saints-Pats made for an exciting chess match, back and forth. From a situational standpoint, we could’ve been more aware. Granted, we got two stops late, but it’s hard to give Tom Brady three two-minute drills. He made a perfect throw into the end zone. From a defensive standpoint, with ten seconds left, we might’ve been able to play back more on the goal line. Force them to throw it in the field of play, tackle them and make it difficult for them to stop the clock and get another play off.
But we move on. One thing Coach Payton confidently told us afterward was, “this game won’t lead to another loss.” Just like we’ve done in our wins, we put it behind us and focus on preparing for our next game. His approach is, when we’re winning, don’t eat the cheese with people telling us how good we are. And by the same token, with a loss like this don’t let it spoil your stomach either.
As for my play this season [8 tackles + 1.5 sacks vs. Pats], defensive coordinator Rob Ryan talked about using me in multiple roles. I wanted to play the nickel corner, something I did in my first three years. Even though we have some legitimate corners on our roster, he had faith to rotate me into that position as well. I’m starting to make some plays closer to the line of scrimmage as opposed to sitting back as a deep safety. He’s always moving me around, sending me on some blitzes, covering some receivers. That versatility keeps me in the game, and I’m having fun.
Rob Ryan: big ego, big hair, big gut… and a big impact on the Saints D this season.
Overall, especially coming off our last season (7-9), we’re grateful to be 5-1 going into our Bye week. Our coaching staff told us to enjoy it. We get so caught up in this game, and the pressure to produce is so big, that routines are hard to break. Every day it’s about football, focusing on the game plan, watching tape, preparing yourself to get over a win or loss and it’s almost like clockwork. So we really need this time to get away from it, physically and mentally. The coaches also told us to stay off the ESPN ticker and come back ready to go.
I’m looking forward to staying here in New Orleans mostly, spending some time with my wife, Morrisa. We’ve got a baby girl coming in December, so this is her chance to get me to work on the baby’s room and all that stuff. I’ll also take in the Ohio State-Iowa game this weekend. I’m excited to return to Columbus, go Bucks! Then meetings next Monday and we start our routine again!
As you’ve surely noticed, the NFL is again awash in pink as part of its Crucial Catch campaign. On a related note, I developed my pink “Hope” bow tie and pocket square, available through Rock Avenue Bow Ties, in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month but also because my mom is a breast cancer survivor. We all have stories.
Pink this month, moustache next month. Capeesh?
A couple of years ago, the Saints held an event for cancer survivors and women presently dealing with the condition, and I was one of the ambassadors. We got to just hang out, they shared their stories, and that was touching for me. Shortly after that, my mom was diagnosed and went through it. She’s fine now. That was a blessing for me and a reason I wanted to create the “Hope” concept, and the proceeds are going to breast cancer research. Real Men Wear Pink is our challenge for men to support efforts to bring awareness to prevent and cure breast cancer!
—As told to Ashley Jude Collie