New Orleans Saints QB
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
What did you take away from the Redskins game after watching film?
“A lot of little mistakes. A lot of things that killed drives for us offensively, whether it was a penalty or a mental error or you just missed an opportunity. We just had a lot of those and they came at some pretty inopportune times. You walk away from it just saying it never really felt like we were ever in a rhythm. That could be attributed to a lot of those things I’m talking about. Really, you’re able to establish a rhythm once you get a drive going and it just never felt like we really got off the ground ever, or rarely. Before we knew it, we were down by enough there in the second half that it became a little bit of a two-minute fest where you’re trying to play catch up. It’s hard to believe that we even had a chance in the end because if you look at just the way we played, we didn’t deserve to have a chance. (We were) just inefficient, all the way around, it felt like it was inefficient. It certainly didn’t feel like what we’re used to around here.”
We’re used to you breaking passing records and not the 46 percent completion percentage?
“We set the bar high. We have high expectations. There’s no harsher critic on myself than me. I walk away from that game and it felt like every third pass was completed. It was one of those days that for whatever reason, and you can attribute it to a lot of stuff, there were an inordinate amount of batted balls in that game that I felt like – hey, those are completions. There was one to Jimmy (Graham) that’s a touchdown that gets batted. They blow a coverage and yet instead of us walking away with seven points, we end up only getting three. That’s a big play in the game. A lot of little things like that where all of a sudden it’s a 46 percent day as opposed to a 70 percent day.”
What about the short passes? Were those not open and were you were looking more down the field?
“The mentality, especially once we got behind, was that we had to play a little bit of catch up so we had to stretch the field a little bit. We had to take some chances that normally we would be in a position where we could throw check-downs and that kind of thing, but we were trying to manage the clock at that point.”
When a guy like
“No, you walk away from it and look at the stat sheet and you look at ten rushes total and you just say that’s not what we wanted. I think if you just look at the yards per carry, it’s deceiving. It was ten (carries) for 32 (yards), so it’s 3.2 per carry. It felt like at times we were better than that. It seemed like Pierre was five yards per carry. A couple of those were short yardage situations that may have brought the average down. Like I said, we got in a situation where we had to get chunks and get points.”
Can you reflect on if how much what’s happened off the field recently has had an impact on what’s happening on the field?
“We’re not in the business of making excuses. Obviously, that’s something that has been talked about a lot during the offseason and during the preseason. In fact, I think it’s been made too much of a big deal of. For us, it’s the guys in our locker room. It’s the coaches that are there. Let’s take what we have and move forward. We built a foundation here. We know how to prepare. Let’s focus on the process and (we) know that that’s been a winning formula for us.”
Can you talk about what might have triggered the inefficiencies you talked about?
“I think it was really an off day. I think that they played great. You have to give them a lot of credit. They came in offensively and played extremely well. I think defensively they played very well, but we had quite a few self-inflicted wounds as well with the penalties and just lack of execution. I don’t think they did anything that was earth-shattering that we didn’t expect or that we hadn’t seen or anticipated. I think we just, there was a lot of emotion going into the game obviously. As, we get into this season, you kind of start to come together as a team. You start to establish that identity. Sometimes, you’re going to have struggles and you have to find a way to pull through it. We just have to kind of swallow it a little bit. We didn’t go out and play our best. It didn’t start the way we wanted it to, especially in our home opener. But there’s no better way to get back on track than this week at Carolina, a divisional opponent.”
Would you say that any of the struggles could be attributed to you not being here in the offseason?
“No, not at all.”
Can you talk about Sean Payton’s ability to identify matchups during a game, maybe seeing a play that didn’t work the first time but might work later?
“Honestly, I think it’s not any coach’s fault when you have a holding penalty or when you have an offsides penalty. That’s just execution by the guys that are on the field. There are ways that I can improve that, there are ways that the guys up front can improve that and there are ways that everyone on the offense can improve that. That has nothing to do with coaching or who was or wasn’t there. Listen, throughout the course of this year, Sean brings a lot. So not having him, you can certainly say you’re missing Sean, but you have so many other great strengths with the guys that you do have and we’re going to manage.”
You said there was a lot of emotion going into this game. Is it okay for this team to acknowledge that going into games this season?
“Here’s the thing, we talked about that before the game, just knowing that typically in emotional-type games, that emotion can kind of zap you early on if you don’t recognize that it’s there. Still, early on we made those mistakes against our better judgment and just acknowledgment. Unfortunately, it cost us in a lot of cases and we were down by a lot very early on. We always seemed to have that deficit. We never really closed that deficit until all of a sudden it’s the fourth quarter and there are ten minutes left and we have to make up 16 points. Then it became this fast break mode. Here we are on Wednesday, and as much as you guys want to talk about the Redskins game, it’s behind us.”
As a leader, what do you say to look upon yourself and find a way to center this circle?
“Focus on the process and the result will take care of itself.”
Coach Kromer said on Monday you all already sensed a wakeup call. Do you sense that as a team?
“Yes. Sunday was disappointing. We’re not used to losing. We haven’t lost in that building (Mercedes-Benz Superdome) in a long time. We didn’t lose there last year. When you do the math, it’s been almost 500 days since we’ve lost in that building. The disappointment of that and knowing we’re better than that, and probably also too knowing that we’re going to get all these questions about Sean (Payton) not being here and the crazy offseason and all of that stuff. We just want to get back on the field.”
What does Jon Beason bring to that Carolina team?
“He’s a stud. He’s one of the best middle linebackers in this league. I know they missed him last year. You can tell he’s a great presence on the field. You can tell he’s a leader. He’s one of their captains. He’s very productive, very instinctive. He really has no weaknesses.”
Would you be surprised if the Carolina defense was using last year’s final game as motivation for this game?
“No, it doesn’t surprise me. You do whatever you can to find motivation to maybe right the wrong. I know they’re a prideful organization. I have a lot of respect for their coaching staff. I know that they’re going to walk away from that game, with that being the last game of their regular season, with that memory being a little more recent to them than others. They want to right that wrong. They want to show that they’re a much better team than maybe the team that came out that day. Listen, we were hitting on all cylinders. I know how good of a team Carolina is. I know what the game was like when we went there last year. It took 60 minutes for us to pull that one out in the end. I think we know what this team is all about. They’re healthy. They’re probably about as angry as we are right now after their week one loss, so we know what to expect.”
Aaron Kromer mentioned several times about players trying to do other people’s jobs. Moving on, how do you make sure that each player is just focusing on his job?
“You focus on your routine and the process throughout the week and trust and have confidence that it’s going to prepare you to go out and do your job, trust the guy next to you and play well.”
It always seems like you bounce back very well from a game that might be below your standards. Is that something you think about?
“Definitely. You never want to have back-to-back poor performances. Even when you have a good performance, I’m on myself probably even more so to not want to have a lapse or any kind of complacency. I have a saying that you’re only as good as your next performance, so the minute you put another good one out there, that’s the most recent memory, but then you have to find a way to top that the next week. It goes on and on, and you drive yourself crazy doing it.”
During timeouts, you stand halfway in between the bench and the huddle. Can I ask what you’re doing during that time?
“I’m doing a lot of things. A lot of it’s just taking a deep breath, observing who’s in their huddle, what’s happening, what’s the play call, what’s the expectation for this drive, what’s the situation, just assessing all those things. Then you kind of just flip the switch the minute the referee gives you the high sign, buckle your chinstrap and you’re ready to go.”
Getting back in sync with your receivers, is that any easy fix? Is it a wait and see process to see how it goes?
“No. If you practice it the right way, you feel good about it going into Sundays. We have a standard for the way that we do things around here. We understand there are going to be maybe off days or times where you miss one, but it’s about how you respond. We want to make sure we respond the right way and we’re certainly preparing ourselves to do that.”
“We’ll see, but he can obviously play all the receiver positions. He’s a guy that I know and trust. I’ve been around him a long time. But regardless, there are guys that can fill in if needed and we’ll see.”
Can you talk about Joe Morgan being one of the receivers you can count on?
“We’re working. We’re getting there. That’s not an overnight thing either, especially with the number of reps that I typically get with the first team guys throughout camp and such. We’re probably playing a little bit of catch up together. We spend a lot of extra time together after practice. We really have been all throughout camp and into now and we’ll continue to do that.”
What concerns you most about Carolina’s front seven?
“They’re stout. They fly around. They diagnose things quickly. They have some really good young guys, especially in that front four and then their linebackers fly around and make all kinds of plays. The rookie #59 (Luke Kuechly) has done a great job. You can just tell those guys seem to be the leaders, the guys who get everybody lined up, and the guys who get everything orchestrated. (Chris) Gamble has been there forever. (Charles) Godfrey has been there forever. I feel like they’ve been there ever since we started playing these guys in ’06, at least Gamble has. Godfrey’s been there for a large part of that. The other two guys are new, the left corner and the free safety, but there are guys they work in that have been there before. I feel like it’s a defense that’s youthful and yet has been together for a little bit now. When they’re playing their scheme and they’re hot, they play well.”
Will you play angry this weekend?
“No, there are those times when you want to get excited or you want to get mad or whatever, but I really try to stay as even keel as possible. I think that’s something I have to portray to the guys in the huddle -- certainly an aura of confidence, borderline cockiness, but also a respect for the opponent and a respect for the dangers so to speak, and yet a confidence in our scheme and what we’re doing, feeling like we have all the answers.”