DeJon Gomes Redskins safety DeJon Gomes picks off a Drew Brees pass late in the fourth quarter Sunday. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

With less than four minutes to play in the fourth quarter Sunday at New Orleans, Saints all-pro quarterback Drew Brees dropped back to pass and did something he’d been doing far more than usual that day, something that took Redskins strong safety DeJon Gomes by surprise. 

Brees “was kind of staring down his receivers, which isn’t something he really does,” Gomes said Wednesday.

The Redskins’ defensive line created enough pressure on Brees to cause an overthrow deep down the middle of the field, and Gomes was there to capitalize on the opportunity.

“Once I seen him release the ball, I knew it was up for grabs,” said Gomes, who is in his second year out of Nebraska.

Gomes recorded the first interception of his career and returned the ball 49 yards to the New Orleans three-yard line. He said Wednesday he wished he’d have been in better position on a few of the Saints’ run plays, but that interception – as well as New Orleans’ paltry rushing total of 35 yards – made up for the errors.

However, Gomes’s childhood friends were less forgiving. Gomes played running back at James Logan High in Union City, Calif., and several of those who saw him play back then felt that Gomes should have scored Sunday on that fourth-quarter interception return.

Gomes said several friends let him know after the game that he should have dived for the end zone before he was brought down. He wasn’t so sure about that.

“A lot of people said I should have dove, but I didn’t think there was really room for it,” Gomes said. “I don’t know why I didn’t get it in.”

Although Gomes started Sunday in place of the injured Brandon Meriweather, he said he did not know if he would get the same opportunity this week at St. Louis.

“Honestly, I don’t know how it’s going to go,” Gomes said. “I’ve just got to continue to practice hard and prepare, and if my number is called just be ready to go out there and do what I can to help the team win.”