New Orleans Saints Quarterback
Post-Practice Media Availability
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
How odd will it be to have you, Tracy Porter and Peyton Manning on the field at the same time again just in a different configuration?
“(It is) the nature of this league I guess. There are transactions that occur throughout the course of your career. It’s funny sometimes you end up playing with guys that you played against for so long or vice-versa. It’s always interesting. It feels like every week there is at least some kind of situation like that but, obviously, that was a pretty big thing that we were all involved in.”
Given that Super Bowl history, will you say something to Tracy on the field? Are you looking forward to seeing him?
“Yes. Any time it’s a former teammate, like last week it was Carl Nicks and this week it will be Tracy, I am sure there will be more guys down the road, (Robert) Meachem the week before that, a lot of guys that were a big part of our success here over the last few years, it’s always good to see those guys.”
From your perspective, what does Peyton Manning do better than others? What is the one thing you would say he does best?
“He has such great command of the offense and the situation. You know he is one of those guys that is just so meticulous, you can just see it. I am sure his performance is indicative of his preparation. You can tell he is sitting there and surveying, he is making adjustments and you look at his sideline routine and the way he is studying pictures, you just constantly see a guy who is competing. Competing and trying to put himself and his team in the best position to succeed. You have a lot of respect for a guy like that, that has that approach.”
Does he do things differently than other quarterbacks pre-snap at the line?
“No. As a quarterback, we have our job within our offense, within our system. It is to survey what is happening, get into the best play possible. You study so that you see things, feel things, anticipate things that maybe others can’t, or you can recognize them faster so that you’re able to put yourself in a position to make that play that might be the difference in the game.”
Do you think that the Denver team is pretty stout overall?
“Yeah, they are. All the way around. Here is the thing, they play with a lot of confidence. I have a ton of respect for John Fox and I know how well prepared they are going to be. You know they have the ability to adjust on the run. It’s a constant chess match. I think our biggest challenge is ‘don’t get caught up with what they’re doing on the other side of the ball.’ Obviously, we know what their offense can do, we know what Peyton Manning can do. It becomes even more of a sense of urgency. Every opportunity we get, we know we have to make the most of it and take advantage of it.”
How well do you know Paul Tagliabue?
“I have met him before. I don’t know him extremely well.”
How would you view the way he handled the league?
“It always seemed to be good. You look at his tenure, I believe it was 1989 through 2006, so I’d say in that amount of time the popularity of this league, the advancements in a lot of ways for both sides occurred. Certainly the revenues. So, with all of those things, I’d say you’d measure his success as commissioner as being pretty high.”
Were there any complaints like there are now with Rodger Goodell?
“Not that I remember. Obviously there were some labor battles. I didn’t get involved in the union until 2004 which is when I became a player rep and never was there an instance like what’s occurred here over the last year, or multiple instances.”
Are you behind the NFLPA? They are officially trying to recuse him from hearing the appeals.
“I see the information that all of you have which is his affiliation with the law firm and the NFL. There are a lot of those relationships that still exist. So, is it fair? Is it biased? Is it not? There are those questions and I think that’s the concern at this point.”
“No question. He is a clutch receiver. He is a go-to receiver. He is a dependable guy, a guy that I have a ton of confidence in. There is nothing he can’t do. He is probably one of the smoothest route runners, ball catchers that I’ve ever been around.”
Is the altitude in Denver a factor?
“I don’t run as much as those guys so they’re probably better to ask than me. Everybody says the ball travels a little bit further and this and that. I don’t know if I throw it high enough, far enough, hard enough for it to make a difference. I think it is definitely something that you take into consideration. The hydration part of it, that can sneak up on you just because dry air kind of sucks it out of you and you don’t even know it. Getting into those elements and at least having some acclimation before we go out there (is important) and that is why we are going out a little earlier than normal.”
Have you heard about the latest poll that has you the second most favorite player in the NFL, one percentage point behind Troy Polamalu? Why can’t you be number one?
“Because I don’t have that beautiful head of hair. That’s flattering, but Troy deserves it. Troy is a heck of a guy.”
Talk about Champ Bailey at this point in his career and how Tracy Porter is fitting into this new defense from what you see on film.
“Champ Bailey has been one of the greatest players in this league for a long time. I remember coming in to this league as a rookie and playing against him twice a year. That was no fun. That was long before Revis Island. He has been doing it at such a high level for so long. Not only that but you can’t just say he is a cover corner. Listen, this guy will come up and force the run, he’ll make tackles, he’s as tough as they come on the edge and he’s a competitor. The longevity and the durability, I have a ton of respect for him. You can just tell over the last few years, and now with John Fox being there and that system, he continues to thrive. Not only just his productivity but you can tell just as a leader. His intensity, his approach, it’s impressive.”
Offensively, is it starting to feel a lot like last year as far as the rhythm?
“I am not big in to comparisons and certainly not at this point. There are just too many other things to focus on. Definitely the feel that you want during a game is that no matter what play is called, we are going to make it work and we have the opportunity to really make something happen. Obviously there was that stretch last week, and the week before, and the week before, where we definitely had those moments for a prolonged period of time throughout the course of a game. That’s the feeling you want, when everybody is in sync, everyone is in rhythm and you feel like you can make any play that comes your way.”
What does it say about the rhythm the offense is developing that you were able to perform as you did against Tampa Bay without
“Every guy is important and every guy plays a critical role in what we’re doing. We would be naïve to think that we’re just going to go through our whole careers and everybody is going to be healthy and we’re going to have access to every person. There is going to be times where a guy is down, a guy is a little dinged up, and you have to manage. By Lance Moore being down against San Diego, that gave opportunities for others. When Jimmy was down this last week that gave opportunities for others. What you love is when you have access to the full arsenal but when you don’t you put together a plan that is conducive to putting everybody you have in the best position to succeed according to their role, according to their strengths.”
Taking football out of the equation, describe your views on Joe Vitt and him as a person.
“I love Joe. He is a guy who has been here since 2006. (He is) probably one of the most tenured coaches in this league. His experience level, his intensity, his fire, his passion, I think those are the things that you immediately notice whether you know Joe Vitt or not and you appreciate and you love. He is one of those guys that loves his players. He is hard on you, at times. He expects a lot out of you, but it’s because I think he sees the potential in everyone and the good in everybody. He wants to get the best out of you so he is going to push you hard. There are those times where you are out on the field and you’re sweating and you might hate him for making you repeat nine reps in a row but in the end you appreciate him because he is trying to get the best out of you and you know that if you’re going in a foxhole you want that guy with you.”
Now that he is back, what does he bring?
“He brings all of those things. Also, being away, stepping away and then coming back, you see things from a different perspective. It was interesting, I have heard him on a couple of occasions make comments to me and others ‘hey, I saw some things on TV or just from afar that I probably wouldn’t have noticed otherwise and here they are and I think this can help us. That’s interesting. That’s interesting when you get that perspective that you only would have gotten had you stepped away for a little while.”
In the first half against Tampa Bay, is that the best you’ve played all season? You threw it less in the second half, did they make adjustments or did you want to establish the running game more?
“I’d say a couple of things. Number one, we got fewer opportunities in the second half. I believe we got four possessions and really the last two were kind of in a four-minute drill mode where you are just trying to pound it, keep the clock running, get two first downs and end the game. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do that. We would have liked to have stayed on the field and never put our defense back out there again. That was due, in large part, to the situation whereas if you’re not up by two scores and the game is even, you’re executing your offense trying to go score. When you can have four consecutive touchdown drives where you’re extremely efficient throwing the ball, running the ball, third-down efficiency, all of those things, those are great moments that don’t always come like that. You have to enjoy them when they do.”