<
>

Tony Dungy: Drew Brees needs to relax

Tony Dungy thinks New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees could “take a page out of Aaron Rodgers’ book” and needs to relax.

“Their defense is not holding leads, they're giving up some big plays. So Drew is feeling like, ‘I gotta score every time I've got the ball,’” Dungy said on ESPN’s Mike & Mike radio show Tuesday. “‘Now I’m getting rushed a little bit, the pressure's around me. And rather than throw the ball away and punt, or rather than just take the checkdown and let my backs work with it, I've gotta try to make something happen because I'm worried about the defense.’ And he’s throwing interceptions at inopportune times I think because of that.

“So they just need to relax, let their playmakers play, and they’re gonna be fine. They play better at home. This is one of those statement games [Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers]. In my opinion, they have to win this game if they want to be a playoff team.”

Dungy’s take on the Saints has become a popular one in the wake of some of Brees’ costliest interceptions over the past two games against the Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brees has been sharp in several areas this season, but he has struggled when trying to force the ball out under duress. According to ESPN Stats and Info, he has the NFL’s worst passer rating this season while under pressure.

However, Brees, coach Sean Payton and teammates like offensive tackle Zach Strief have all agreed with Dungy’s assessment that, “They’re going to be fine.”

They feel -- and I agree -- that Brees is the least of the Saints’ worries going forward and their best chance of leading them back into contention.

Also worth a click:

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter points out that the Saints still have a good shot at winning the NFC South, where no team is above .500 right now in this piece that requires Insider access.

ESPN Stats and Information took a look at how in sync Rodgers is with his receivers right now.

For all your Packers news and notes this week, check out their ESPN.com team page. And follow Packers reporter Rob Demovsky on Twitter @RobDemovsky.