Alvin Kamara preaches accountability in speech to Saints teammates

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara addressed the team following its 42-34 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday night.

Saints wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith said Kamara, a team captain, told players that everyone needed to hold themselves and their teammates accountable for the mistakes that have caused them to start the season 2-5.

"AK said, 'We've got to find our spot.' This losing mentality, that's not Saints football. We're not used to it," Smith said. "We've got to really police ourselves, hold our own selves accountable, hold our teammates accountable."

Smith said the team hasn't been in this position after making the playoffs every season from 2017 to 2020 and just missing the postseason with a 9-8 record last year.

"It's a feeling we're not used to," Smith said.

The Saints are not only one of the most penalized teams in the league, but they also have the worst turnover differential in the NFL, adding to that figure Thursday when quarterback Andy Dalton threw three interceptions.

Smith said it was the first time someone had addressed the team "in that manner."

"But after every loss, we talk about it. We feel bad but we've got to move on to next week," Smith said. "What AK said really meant a lot to me. It really touched me.

"Ever since I've been on the team, we always won, we're always in the playoffs, probably with the exception of last year. ... This year, we're in the games but we're falling short."

Smith said the team isn't breaking apart but has to work to stick together and ignore the outside noise.

"We know who we are, we know how close we are. We know the mistakes we're making. We don't try to make mistakes on purpose, it happens, we don't like the feeling in our throat right now," he said.

The Saints will have a decision to make at quarterback next week against the Las Vegas Raiders with Jameis Winston starting to get healthy from a back injury that has lingered since Week 1.

Winston said he is "getting better" and needed the recovery time but lamented that the process has taken this long.