The Saints first-team defense closed out today's practice with a dominant display during the two-minute drill, coming up with a pair of stops and a Roman Harper interception on the very first snap.
"It's always good to have it that way," Harper said. "Anytime we can end it with a couple of sacks or anything like that it really stops momentum. We know, first half and second half of the game, somebody's always in two-minute mode. It's not often you have a team just sitting on a knee. In the games nowadays in the NFL, it's always fast pace, there's always somebody trying to play catch-up. The two-minute is a big emphasis, it's a big part of every game played this year."
Outside linebacker Will Smith added, "That is something that we have been focusing on all camp, to finish. It's something we felt we didn't do too well last year and in a lot of our games we lost a lot of close games at the end of the game. This time we are going to focus on finishing. That's why we had two minute drills today. Coach Payton wanted to see how we can finish. The defense stepped up and I'm sure next time we do it our offense will be a lot better."
While the defense was pleased with its effort, Drew Brees and company were left wanting more.
"We want to score every time, and when we don't we're upset, period," Brees said. "A little more to be desired than what we left out there, so we have some work to do."
And even though it was just a drill at practice, the competitive spirit on both sides of the ball is pretty extreme, and well after practice was over today, wide receiver Lance Moore was visibly upset.
"Yes, I expect to make those plays and anytime I don't I'm upset," Moore said. "I'm upset right now. When we don't win that drill, it leaves a sour taste in your mouth. We have to do whatever it takes to make sure that doesn't happen again tomorrow."
Brees added, "Yeah, it's back-and-forth at times. You love that competitiveness, it's what makes us all better. You try and create as much of a game-like scenario as you can. That way, once you do get into a game, there is a comfort level that you've been there."
"You can't help it, it just starts to come out of you," Roman Harper said. "That's the reason we're on the highest level, because we are competitive, (and) we enjoy competing. We have a great offense, so we have to use these guys (as a resource) whenever we can. If Drew doesn't figure out a blitz or something that we do, we know it's going to work in the game. We have to use everything we can. These guys are so competitive and have always been in the top five for as long as we've been here. You've got to be able to use these guys."
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