Brees on Saints' 0-3 start: We have to go back to work

The New Orleans Saints are 0-3, and even if they are in good company at the bottom of the NFC South right below the 1-2 Panthers, there seems to be far less optimism that they can dig themselves out.

That is, unless you ask the Saints directly.

"I only know one way, and that's to go back to work," quarterback Drew Brees told reporters after Monday's 45-32 home loss to the Falcons. "Whatever is happening now is here for a reason. It's here to make you stronger, it's here to sharpen you up a little bit, toughen you up a little bit and bring you together in a way that will serve you in a positive way down the road."

Even if the 0-3 start was meant to be, it didn't stop Brees from calling on his fellow veterans to step up and assist him with the heavy lifting.

"It's about accountability. Veteran guys need to have it," he said. "Young guys need to have it. We all need to have it. We all need to look in the mirror and say 'what can I do to make this team better? What can I do to be better to help this team?' Bottom line is there is no magic formula. There's no magic offensive play or defensive scheme that's going to win you a game... but let's not be a team that's going to beat themselves by doing those things that we know will get you beat."

From an outsider's perspective, the Saints' offense has lacked its distinct high-flying beauty for years now. Some have suggested we are just witnessing the decline of Brees or the stagnation of Sean Payton's offense, though Brees' numbers have been good enough nearly every week to win. He has only thrown one interception in three games to eight touchdowns. Monday night, his passer rating was near 100.

So once again, the Saints might have to turn their attention to defense, which ranks 31st in points and yards surrendered. They rank 28th in first downs given up, 25th against the pass and 28th in yards per attempt. Maybe we know what other veterans and young players Brees is looking for to step up.

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