Trevor Siemian steadies Saints in win over Buccaneers

New Orleans Saints quarterback Trevor Siemian (15) passes in the first half of an NFL football...
New Orleans Saints quarterback Trevor Siemian (15) passes in the first half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)(Derick Hingle | AP)
Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 12:44 AM CDT
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The Saints know the next man up mentality as well as anyone, especially at quarterback. Jameis Winston’s injury makes it three straight years that they’ve lost their starter in the middle of a game. And that’s a big reason why they were able to roll with the punches against the Bucs on Sunday.

“Sean (Payton) was like, ‘Trevor, come on,’” says Alvin Kamara. “And the O-line and all of the skill guys were like, ‘Let’s go. We’ve got to do our jobs that much better to carry the load and make sure Trevor is comfortable and can operate and run the offense.’”

In coach Payton’s eyes, Trevor Siemian was the right man for the job because of his demeanor. He describes him as a quarterback that’s always ready no matter how many practice reps he does or doesn’t have leading up to the game.

“He has some of those traits that you would say, ‘Man, that’s not for everyone,’” says coach Payton. “Some guys, if they’re going in without any work, it’s going to be difficult. But he was cool at halftime.”

“You’ve got so much going on,” says Siemian. “You’re so focused. It’s pretty easy for me to focus on the task at hand. You’re anticipating looks and going over cards and things like that. So it’s pretty easy to stay dialed in.”

Even more impressive from Siemian was how he handled the magnitude of the situation. This wasn’t a game where he could simply come in and manage their way to a victory. Siemian had to make some big plays.

“We knew we were going to have to be aggressive,” says Payton. “We weren’t just going to be able to run it into some tough looks.”

“As the game wore on, it was evident that they weren’t going to just let us run it 15 times to finish the game,” says Siemian. “They’ve got a good front and a lot of good players. A bunch of guys stepped up and made plays.”

And the result was one of the most impressive wins of Siemian’s journeyman career that hasn’t seen him throw a touchdown pass since 2017. He finished the game completing 16 of 29 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown.

“I kind of lost a little bit of the sense of how fun it is when you’re out there in a huddle in the middle of a drive and you score,” says Siemian. “There’s a joy to this game that you can’t get chasing anything else. And I was kind of reminded of that.”

As for what’s next for Jameis Winston, despite the fact that it’s being called a significant injury, you’d never know by looking at him. As seen on social media, Winston was dancing in the locker room, and his teammates say he was the first one to shake their hand and congratulate them on the win.

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