Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo says he and his defensive players feel they've let their team down and recognize there's an urgent need to improve.
Spagnuolo says his unit was sometimes tentative and a step late on a handful of big plays in a 40-32 loss to Washington last week that marked the debut of his new defense with New Orleans.
He says his defenders will have to play a little faster against Cam Newton this Sunday in Carolina.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera says Spagnuolo makes adjustments well, and that it would be short-sighted to judge his defense after one sub-par performance.
Spagnuolo acknowledges he's had experience with his units playing better later in a season, but says his Saints have to improve now.