At this time last year, the Saints were just days from improving to 5-2 to start the 2021 season. The going hasn't been as easy this time around.
2022 has been the inverse for New Orleans, which currently stands at 2-5. Year two of the post-Drew Brees era has again seen multiple quarterbacks in the Saints' turnover-prone offense, and new coach Dennis Allen's defense hasn't lived up to its expectations after serving as the backbone of the 2021 team.
"You come out of a game you feel like you should have won, you kind of have some mistakes that cost us the game and you don't feel good," Kamara said, via ESPN's Katherine Terrell. "It's easy to kind of go in there, and it's like, that quiet. That quiet in the locker room, waiting for somebody to say something. I feel like you have a lot of those moments, but I just felt compelled to say something, so I got what I had to get off and I left it at that."
Kamara knows what a winning football team looks like in New Orleans. The running back joined the Saints at the start of the franchise's last push for a Super Bowl with Brees still on the roster, playing a key part in four straight division titles.
Brees has since retired, and Sean Payton walked away from the Saints in early 2022.
"Everybody knew what [Drew Brees] was to this team, to this city. He's gone," Kamara said. "I'm going to be gone at some point. DA's gonna be gone at some point. Cam Jordan, Demario Davis gonna be gone at some point. It don't mean that football stops for the New Orleans Saints. It's gonna keep going. Every year it's gonna be an evolution.
"... Just because 9 [Brees] isn't here, that don't really mean nothing. ... He's not in there anymore. So it's just different. The people in this locker room are the ones that have got to step up and lead and will this team to do what we want to do."
Kamara isn't the only holdover, but on Thursday, he felt it was time to give his teammates a wake-up call. It wasn't personal, but necessary for a team that isn't playing well on either side of the ball after winning just two of its first seven games.
"Because! It was annoying. I'm sick of that. I'm not used to losing," Kamara said, quickly replying when asked why he felt Thursday was the right time to let his thoughts be heard. "Nothing in life when it comes to me, I think personally, says 'loser.' You know what I'm saying? ... Even though we've had ... all these injuries and all that, I still feel like we can overcome. So when I feel like we might not be putting our best foot forward to do that, that's when I get frustrated. And that's when I'm like, 'Alright, shoot ...'
"It does so much to lead by example, but sometimes people gotta say s---. So I felt like I had to say something. ... What I said, it wasn't me talking at people. It was like, 'Shoot, hold me accountable, too.' If you don't see me with that swag and that energy and that pride I'm talking about, then tell me and call me out. Because I'm going to do the same thing to everybody on the field. Because I know what it takes to be what we want to be.
"The past six years ... we've been good. And we've been able to overcome it and we've been able to be a top offense in the league in these past couple of years. So that's what I want to get back to. And just saying that I feel like, that kind of opened some eyes. Dudes know. People know. But sometimes you need a little wake up."
Thanks to the NFC South's general ineptitude, the Saints' season is far from over. New Orleans is just one game out of first place in the division, but can't afford to keep losing games. Kamara hopes his words sparked a shift in mentality for the Saints.
"Even when we were down, it was never like we were looking at the score," Kamara said of the Saints in past seasons. "It was like, 'Well, all right, s---, let's go play football.' ... We haven't really been playing like that. It's been ... just of a little bit of a panic, a little bit of a, 'Oh s---, we're down.' Like man, we don't play like that. I still don't have that kind of mentality."
New Orleans faces the Las Vegas Raiders this weekend, a team that is struggling in similar fashion. It's also a team with which Kamara's coach has some history, adding to the importance of the matchup.
"I actually forget about that, that he did coach there," Kamara said of the Raiders. "S---, we're going to whoop their a-- and make DA feel good."