The New Orleans Saints entered the 2020 season with a Super Bowl or bust mentality. The club crapped out in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
It marked the fourth straight season the Saints, with a Super Bowl-caliber team, got bounced from the postseason before the final game of the year. From the Minneapolis Miracle to the missed DPI to last year's overtime loss to crumbling versus Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, the losses have come in all shapes and sizes.
The 2020 season looked to be the last hurrah with Drew Brees, who still has not announced his intentions moving forward. Coming up short again coupled with a Brees retirement could lead to a re-evaluation of expectations in New Orleans.
Star linebacker Demario Davis joined NFL Network's Good Morning Football on Thursday and said that he expects the Saints to keep the same winning mentality regardless of how things shake out under center.
"I certainly think the mentality of a winner in any field of life, not just sports, anybody that's had success, is you're going to get knocked down, you're going to get knocked down many times -- as has happened with this team," Davis said. "But what winners, and successful people, understand is that it's all about getting up. When you get up, you don't know what's on the other side, but that's the only way to success, that's the only way to victory, and that's what this team has to do. Falling short, it's going to happen. And it happened to us. But what do you do? You get up, dust yourself off and get ready to move forward. You find a way to take all of that pain from that loss and you use it to motivate you and propel you forward. There is no doubt in my mind that this team will do that as it's always done."
Davis, who signed with the Saints in 2018, has been around for three disappointing endings. The tackling machine has also been a huge part of the defensive turnaround in New Orleans. As Brees' play struggled due to age and injury, the Saints D has kept the club among the top teams in the NFL.
The hope in New Orleans is that the defense can remain good enough to buoy whoever is under center in 2021.
If Davis had his way, Brees would return for one more round.
"I hope so. I sure hope so," he said when asked about whether Brees could come back for another season. "I would feel much better if I could guarantee that he was. But I guess the only way I could be able to guarantee (a comeback) was if one of y'all said something reckless, like, 'he's finished,' or something, then I could guarantee he's coming back. But I sure hope so."
The expectation has been that Brees would ride off into the sunset. Options to replace him span from Taysom Hill to Jameis Winston to any number of available vets. So long as Sean Payton remains the play-caller, there is confidence the offense will be just fine moving forward.
Regardless of who is under center, so long as players like Davis and Cameron Jordan remain alongside Payton, the exceptions in New Orleans shouldn't diminish.