Patten's proof that 0-2 can be overcome
METAIRIE - By now, every New Orleans Saints player has heard the statistic.
Since the 1978 expansion to 10 teams, only 26 of 224 teams to start a season 0-2 have qualified for the playoffs.
But if the Saints need any motivation, or inspiration, after this year's dismal 0-2 start, they have to look no further than David Patten.
Patten was a member of the 2001 New England
Patriots team that started the season 0-2 only to get hot and win the Super Bowl.
"I think about it all the time," Patten said. "That year, I think we might have lost five games, but the bottom line is that it's a week-to-week thing - whether you lose early or late, it's still a loss.
"Everybody expected us to be so high and be so good, and right now, we're not looking like that. We have 14 more games and even if we were 2-0 right now, it doesn't mean a thing. We could still end up 14-2. We just have to keep working."
The Saints have bucked history before in regards to the 0-2 start. In 1990, the Saints opened the season 0-2 before finishing 8-8 and making the playoffs.
"It definitely can be done, that's the bottom line," Patten said. "Sure, you'd like to win them all, but it's still early and a lot can happen."
Speaking of 0-2
Three NFL teams have started this season with back-to-back road games - the Saints, Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs.
All three teams are currently 0-2 heading into home games this weekend.
The Falcons play host to Carolina and the Chiefs - the only 0-2 team to qualify for the playoffs in 2006 - welcome the Minnesota Vikings into Arrowhead Stadium Sunday.
The Saints open the home schedule Monday night against the Tennessee Titans.
Former Opelousas High School star Devery Henderson did a little role-playing on Wednesday, taking one of the television cameras and a microphone and interviewing Patten.
Henderson started off the questioning by grilling Patten on the Spygate scandal in New England.
"How much of a role did you play in that New England thing?" Henderson asked the veteran wideout.
"I already said I'm not talking about that," Patten replied. "If you were a professional reporter, you'd know not to ask those kinds of questions."
"I'm just trying to do my job, man," Henderson responded, before firing off another question, just like a pro.
"Tell me about the leadership you have with these young guys?" Henderson asked.
"I don't think it's tough. I think these guys make it easy on me," Patten replied. "We have young guys like Devery Henderson, he's a very humble guy, but he's a knothead. Other than that, it's good."
After two questions, Henderson already had enough of being a reporter.
"Man, this thing is heavy. I'm too worn out to ask another question," Henderson said.
Henderson was benched in favor of Patten during the second half of the Saints' loss to Tampa Bay last Sunday.
Henderson, who had a couple of drops in the first half and a missed assignment in the second half, was not making any excuses Wednesday.
"I dropped passes, I didn't do my job," Henderson said. "I'm not mad or anything, it's an understanding. If you don't do your job, you're not going to play. I'm not going to make any excuses. It doesn't matter if it's a tough play or not, I'm supposed to catch the ball and if I don't, that's a drop.
"I'm not going to hang my head. I'm just going to keep working and do what I can to help this team win."
Four players were held out of practice Wednesday as the Saints continued preparations for the Titans.
Deuce McAllister was nursing a sore right knee. Kendrick Clancey was out with an injured toe. Jonathan Goodwin was out with a back and Jay Bellamy was out with a left ankle injury.
"Because of our extra day, I backed off of him and let him sit," Payton said of McAllister skipping the on-field work Wednesday. "We'll see where he's at tomorrow, but he's going to be fine."
For the first time in his career, McAllister will wear a visor Monday night, to help protect an injury he suffered during the Tampa Bay game.
McAllister suffered a black eye when his helmet slid down, making contact with the top of his eye. He said he also got poked in the eye later, adding insult to the injury.
It's the second time McAllister has injured that eye. He said he suffered a broken orbital bone earlier in his career.