METAIRIE, La — The New Orleans Saints will start Andy Dalton at quarterback going forward, coach Dennis Allen said Wednesday.
Although Jameis Winston was fully involved in practice for the first time since Week 1, the Saints (2-5) are sticking with Dalton due to his performance as a relief to Winston over the past four games.
“Andy will do it again this week [against the Las Vegas Raiders]”, Allen said. “I feel like he played well. Offensively, I have the impression that we are a little in rhythm. We moved the ball well, we scored points. And so we’re going to continue down that path with Andy as our quarterback.”
Dalton completed 63.4% of his passes for 946 yards and 7 touchdowns, with 4 interceptions. He was fired four times. Dalton threw for 361 yards and 4 touchdowns in New Orleans’ loss to the Arizona Cardinals last week, but also had 3 interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns late in the first. half time.
When asked if the decision was based on performance, Allen called it an “offensive decision”.
“And what I mean by that is over the last four weeks…we’re one of the best offenses in terms of ball movement, we’re one of the best offenses in terms of points scored,” Allen said. “And that’s really the name of the game. So we’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing. We have to do a better job of protecting football. And if we do that, I think we can be very effective offensively. “
Saints running back Alvin Kamara said Wednesday that Dalton did a good job of playing with confidence and going through his reads.
“I feel like he never freaks out when he reviews his readings. played,” Kamara said. “I think it’s going to be good going forward. Obviously I know he’s probably been the hardest on himself last week, those two interceptions [that were returned for touchdowns]. He is fighting much harder than anyone – the coaches and all of us – to get this fixed. He’s a competitor. The same thing I was talking about with Jameis. The two clash.”
Allen clarified that Dalton will remain the starter as long as the offense continues to operate.
“Well look, Jameis is back healthy right now. We’re going to go with Andy as we sit here right now. And if we keep playing well offensively and moving the ball offensively, Andy will stay there. -in it,” Allen said.
He added: “There are a lot of things that we do very well offensively. And I didn’t feel like it was necessary to upset the apple basket there. We will carry on as we are. What if we keep doing this, so we’ll stay the course.”
Winston was re-signed and declared a starter early in the offseason after the Saints tried and failed to acquire Deshaun Watson. Dalton was signed later in the season as a substitute.
Winston started the first three games of the season but injured his back in New Orleans’ win over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1. He played through the injury for two games before the Saints do not make him sit down to recover his health. Winston said last week he didn’t think the process of restoring health would take that long.
“Andy is rolling. Obviously it sucks that Jameis was injured, out, trying to come back,” Kamara said. “Andy, I feel like he played well, giving us some stability – not that Jameis wasn’t, but I don’t get paid to make those decisions. Up top, I guess They wanted to go with Andy. Be the best at the moment. I know Jameis, and I know he’s going to keep working and improving. Just because he’s not starting doesn’t mean “He’s not going to prepare like he’s the starter. The next time his number is called, I know he’s going to be able to perform.”
#Saints #start #Dalton #healthy #Winston