New Orleans Saints helmet cam analysis
1 - Sean Payton is a gutsy leader. This we have known for a long time but it's worth reflecting on one game changer in particular from this past week.
What I love about Coach Payton is that even when the chips are down, and without the luxury of being in the driving seat with points on the board, he still went with his gut and took his Quarterbacks word as gospel at the close of the 1st half. A lot of coaches would have taken the 3 points and come off the field as quickly as possible to speak with his team en masse. Payton decided to put all his trust in his main field lieutenant and was rewarded when Drew Brees converted with a Quarterback sneak.
Lord Payton of Pimlico
2 - Drew Brees is a practitioner of perfection. Watching Brees beat himself up on the sidelines in the first half was tough to see. Here is a man who studies the game like no other. He puts in the hours at the training facility, in the film room and probably at home too. He works toward and expects perfection from himself and those around him so when the game plan was collapsing you knew damn well he was going to work the situation harder than anyone.
And sure enough when the camera panned to him, time and again in that first half, he was studying those aerial shots intently looking for the dinks in the Dolphin defence that he could exploit. This is a man that never says die, is born to win and will stay cool when all around him are loosing their heads. The second half revival was testament to the fortitude of his character and leadership qualities.
3 - The Saints Defence is for real. They genuinely make us title contenders. The early points put up by the Dolphins and the speed with which the Saints Offence kept returning possession placed a massive strain on this unit. They were under pressure to keep the game within reach and give the Saint Offence time to regroup and work a fix. This they did and then some.
Key to the unit was the play of both Jonathan Vilma and Darren Sharper. At times in the first half they looked like the only two who had turned up with their game heads on. Vilma in particular pursued the ball with conviction and plugged up the holes on a number of 3rd downs to stop promising Dolphin drives. He led the defence by example and was key to the end result.
Meanwhile, in the Saints secondary, Darren Sharper was patrolling with intent and when his moment came he made a decisive interception which he returned for a touchdown to shift the games momentum early in the second half. The confidence number 42 instils in the secondary unit is clear to see and against the Dolphins they added another 14 points to their season tally.
For these reasons I hereby name Darren Sharper and Jonathan Vilma my Super Saints of the Week.