Saints’ Drew Brees braces for improving Browns – (WWL) Saints News

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Saints’ Drew Brees braces for improving Browns – (WWL)

USA TODAY Sports

Saints’
Drew Brees braces for improving Browns
September 16, 2018
Categories: 
Sports Local
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(AP)
— Drew Brees is in his 13th year playing for the Saints — and it’s
been about that long since he’s beaten the Cleveland
Browns.Brees’ first game with New Orleans was a
victory at Cleveland in 2006. The Browns have won the past two
meetings in 2010 and 2014.”Man, they’ve been
tough games against these guys,” Brees recalled this week as he
prepared for his latest clash with Cleveland on
Sunday.While the Saints (0-1) made the playoffs
last season, they’ve opened the season with an upset loss at home
to Tampa Bay. Cleveland (0-0-1) comes in with a marginally better
record after its opener against Pittsburgh finished in a
tie.And Brees doesn’t want to hear about how the
Browns haven’t won a game since 2016 — not after watching
Cleveland’s defense produce six Steelers turnovers last
weekend.”You hate the fact they haven’t had a
win for a while, because you look at their side of the ball and
you’re like, ‘Man, that is a really good defense that did a lot of
good things,'” Brees said.”Forget their record.
Forget last time they had a win. … Whatever they throw at us, we
have to have a plan for, we have to be ready for — do all the
things that equate to winning football.”If
Cleveland were to end a long winless streak in the Superdome on
Sunday, it wouldn’t be the first time.When the
current incarnation of the Browns joined the NFL as an expansion
team in 1999, they arrived in New Orleans winless through seven
games and wound up celebrating their first victory after Tim
Couch’s 56-yard heave as time expired found Kevin Johnson in the
end zone. The lasting image for Saints fans was deflated then-coach
Mike Ditka lying face-down on the turf.For the
Saints to avoid falling on their collective faces against Cleveland
again, New Orleans’ defense likely will have to improve on the more
than 500 yards it allowed to the Bucs in Week
1.For new Browns QB Tyrod Taylor, the
opportunity to play the Saints represents a shot at redemption. He
struggled against the Saints last year while playing for Buffalo.
He passed for only 56 yards without a touchdown and was intercepted
before being removed from that game and benched the following
week.”Of course, I remember that game,” Taylor
said. “It didn’t go as planned. So, definitely looking forward to
competing against that group again.”Some other
story lines surrounding the Browns-Saints
matchup:Renewing
AcquaintancesAdding intrigue to
the matchup is the return of Browns defensive coordinator Gregg
Williams to the city where he helped the Saints win a title in
2009. Williams left after 2011 and was suspended months later for
his role in the Saints’ bounty scandal, which also resulted in
Saints coach Sean Payton’s one-year
suspension.The previous time the Saints faced
one of Williams’ defenses, Payton’s offense ran up the score in a
49-21 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. But Payton now dismisses
any notion of lingering animosity.”My
relationship with Gregg is great. He was part of a championship we
won,” Payton said. “He has done a great job in Cleveland. … This
game is more about the Saints and the Browns and finding a way to
win regardless of how many points it
takes.”Better
BreesBrees is now 39 and in his
18th season, but showing little sign of slowing down. He passed for
439 yards and three touchdowns last week. And while the Saints
lost, the offense looked good scoring 40
points.Brees “continues to play at a really high
level,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “Obviously, they have very
talented players around him.”Saints running back
Alvin Kamara, who had 112 yards receiving last week, said Brees’
ability to read defenses will help against the blitz packages
favored by Cleveland coordinator
Williams.”They’re a high-risk defense. They want
to get pressure on the quarterback,” Kamara said. “When you do
that, you’ve got to make sure you make it to the quarterback. So,
with some of those looks they’re bringing, we’ve got some good
things schemed
up.”PressureThe
Saints’ second highest-paid player on offense is left tackle Terror
Armstead, who expects to have one of his tougher assignments this
season against Browns defensive end Myles Garrett. Last week,
Garrett had two sacks.”It’ll be a fun game,”
Armstead said of facing Garrett, the top overall draft choice in
2017. “Size, speed, power — he possesses a lot of
tools.”QB
QuestionsWhile wet conditions
didn’t help, Taylor’s Browns debut was a sloppy one. He went 15 for
40 passing. If he doesn’t perform better in the dome, it’ll only
increase pressure on Jackson to turn to 2018 top draft choice Baker
Mayfield.Buckeye
battlesThe game sets up a
possible matchup between a pair of former Ohio State players who
thrived in Week 1.Cleveland rookie defensive
back Denzel Ward had two interceptions and could cover Saints
receiver Michael Thomas, who had 16 catches for 180 yards and a
touchdown against the
Bucs.
Tags:  Saints Browns Drew
Brees NFL Football
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