New Orleans Saints Quarterback
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
So much has been made of how good you and the team is in play action. Can you talk about it and how happy you are to have that weapon in your arsenal?
“Typically the run game is what creates good play action. If you run the ball well, teams have to respect it. If you don’t, it’s going to be a long day and then your ability to run play action off of that, I think they just complement one another. The better you are at the play action, the better you are at the naked bootlegs and that kind of thing then the more opportunities that will open up in the run game. The combination of the two complement each other. Typically a great run game is what sets it up too.”
Even though you’ve run the ball successfully, people don’t consider you guys a run team. What do you do to make it work so well?
“Fundamentally there are certain things. You talk about your body language making it look like the run, the way you extend your hand out, the way you keep your off-hand closer to your belly. They’re not sure if the ball is in your hands or the running back’s hands. Timing. Timing of understanding when routes are going to open up down the field and being able to get a good pre-snap read, get your eyes back around, confirm what you saw pre-snap, see the adjustments being made and just be prepared for anything the defense is doing to you.”
It seems like you had four running backs all capable of doing different things. Now with
“We feel real fortunate. Going into the last playoff game, we had quite a few backs on IR. We lost Julius (Jones) and Reggie (Bush) during the game. I’m not even sure if they would have been able to play in the next game.”
Would Joique Bell have been the starter the next week?
“Yes, or Heath Evans would have gone back to his college days and then carrying the rock as a running back. You obviously go with what you have. Right now we have at least three really healthy backs. That’s the opportunity where you want to work every guy in the mix, realize their strengths. That’s helpful.”
Do you feel that unit has been underplayed a little this year, considering they are a top ten unit running the football?
“Yes, it’s a huge part of our offense. Typically, I’d say when you look at an offense, it would probably be hard to be top ten passing and rushing because there are only so many plays in a game and so you’re running it more you’re throwing it more. I think it’s great that we’ve been able to sustain the efficiency in both and create for the other, especially when you look at the overall yardage, both passing and rushing. It’s pretty unique.”
Can you talk about some of the offensive differences with the 2009 team, considering that
“Sure, (it’s) obviously a huge credit to them for the type of players they are and have become. I think it’s a huge credit to our coaching staff in helping to integrate those guys into our system and really build around their strengths, because I think that’s a huge part of being great coaches and part of a coach’s job is to put people in the position to succeed and it’s harder than it seems. Especially with the number of guys we have to be able to balance it out, get everybody their touches and opportunities. That’s something that takes a lot of time and a lot of planning.”
There is an argument that the Lions have an edge because they have a hunger because they haven’t been to the playoffs in 11 years. Do you remember when this team was like that in 2006?
“Both teams have played in a lot of big games, especially this year and I don’t think that one side necessarily has the advantage over the other in either regard. Both sides have some big time players that have played in some big time games. It’s the most important game of the season. It doesn’t get any bigger than this Saturday night just because we all have the same hope, dream and aspiration of continuing on and that’s what makes the playoffs so great to watch.”
When you found out the game would be on Saturday night, were you pleased about that?
“It doesn't matter. Worry about the things you can control. We can’t control what day we play or what time we play at. Obviously it’s another short week coming off a Monday night game, Sunday going into Saturday. I think that we have a good plan in place, a good routine established.”
I know the Lions aren’t a division team, but do they become like a division opponent since you played them already? What kind of advantage and disadvantage is there to that?
“The fact that we played them only four weeks ago, I guess there’s some carryover from that game where you remember how the game unfolded, the type of talent that you were going up against, but then again a lot’s happened in the last four weeks. I feel like we’re playing better football than we were then. I feel like they’re playing better football than they were then. Certainly they’re healthier. Other than that, you go off by what you seen on film, your experiences playing them and you understand there’s going to be some new stuff too.”