New Orleans Saints Quarterback
Post-Practice Media Availability
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Can you talk about why you dressed as Iron Man to take your son Baylen trick or treating?
“Yes, first of all, I do not pick my Halloween costumes. It’s my son, so Baylen’s old enough now that he can tell me what I’m going to wear for Halloween, so he was going as little Iron Man. I was going to be daddy Iron Man. Unfortunately at the last second, he did not want to put on his Iron Man costume. He decided to go with pajamas instead, so he rolled in pajamas and bare feet with his Koala bear stuffed animal trick or treating until he ate the first or second piece of candy, got on a quick sugar high and then we couldn’t keep up with him.”
How would Sean Payton handle the situation you guys are going through right now?
“Just stick together. I think this is when a lot of teams or maybe less mentally tough individuals would start pointing the finger and starting getting overly frustrated or pessimistic. That’s not our mentality. That’s not the way we’ve been brought up so to speak in this organization with this foundation we’ve built. There’s never a more important time to circle the wagons and rally around each other and make it about each week once at a time. We can’t look at anything else. We can’t look at the rest of our schedule. We can’t look at our division. We can’t look at anything other than how do we win this week? I feel like that’s the approach we’ve taken this entire season. I feel like we’ve gotten better every week with the exception of last week. Last week was extremely disappointing, the result of the game and our overall performance as a team, just did not play up to our standard, certainly with the hype going into that game and we were all hurt by it, but it also lights a fire within all of us that we don’t want that to be the lasting memory that people have of our team. We’re better than that and we need to show them on Monday night.”
Do you try to think about what Sean would do in that situation?
“In my mind and for all the guys that have been around Sean, I think you know the things he would be preaching maybe to you and to the team. Joe Vitt has been around Sean Payton longer than all of us, so he knows Sean and so a lot of the things Joe Vitt is saying now are reminiscent of things Sean has said in the past when we’ve been in tough situations. Maybe it’s not something where we are going to hear this specific story, but we’ve heard some Joe Vitt stories that have been very applicable to our situation.”
Have you at any time of the season tried to do more than you should and how do you fight that urge?
“I’m sure that along the way that we’ve all done a little bit of that, but I can’t really sit here and say specifically, but I think it’s human nature. It’s natural to feel like there is a piece missing or certain pieces missing that you would need to do more or extra. That might add pressure. I feel like the first four games of this season are so long ago and so, I can’t even reflect back on those. What I can reflect on are these last three weeks. We had a great team win at home against San Diego on a Sunday night. (We had) an even better team win after the bye week going to Tampa, a divisional opponent the way it turned out and then this last week against Denver. (There were) a couple of really good performances as a team and then arguably probably our worst performance of the year at Denver, so it’s really one of those weeks that says how are you going to respond and how are you going to choose to respond to this challenge.”
How would you assess the state of the running game right now? I know you want the ball in your hands and the team wants the ball in your hands, but the other day you had six third and short situations and threw on all of them. Shouldn’t the team be running the ball better than it is?
“I think our goal is always to be more balanced and to continue to work on having a better ratio in that regard and you mention the third and shorts. I’d say if you go to third and two to three in this league, in a lot of cases you’re throwing the football. It’s not just your two tights (ends) and pound it runs. You have to get somewhat creative. Defenses are too good in short yardage for that. Yes, we’re continuing to make that emphasis and I think we understand we can be even more successfully when we can improve in those situations.”
Offenses have scored 31 points a game on you on average. To win, you’ve had to score more points. How challenging is it to have to try to win in these shootout games consistently? I know every game is different, but that’s the way it’s been.
“Two things. First of all our job on offense is to score one more point than them. We’ve won games around here 14-9. We’ve always won games 40-thirdytsomething. The way I look at it is we’re a 30-40 point a gam offense, so regardless of what’s happening on the defensive side of the ball, I know that our execution needs to be what our standard is and so I think about and it’s our goal that we have the attitude on offense that we should score each time we get the ball. If we don’t’, it’s not good enough. We need to execute, play with tempo, spread the ball around and we have high expectations for that, but it’s not putting pressure on yourself. It’s about how good can we be? We know we’re good. We want to be great. How great can we be offensively? I think we’re taking steps forward. Obviously last week was one of our poorest performances offensively in a long time. I also know that the better you play offensively, the more it helps your defense. You take care of the football, it doesn’t put them in tough positions with bad field position or create negative momentum shifts. You possess the ball, keep them (defense) off the field, convert third downs, score points and give them momentum. Then you have a raucous crowd in the (Mercedes-Benz) Superdome, because you’re scoring points and livening up the crowd. So, I understand the complementary nature that the offense can play with the defense as well.”
Do you personally try to block out a defense’s performance and just focus on the performance on offense?
“When the defense makes plays it gets us fired up on offense. When the defense gets a turnover, that’s a huge momentum shift for our offense and we have to do something with that for sure. In last week’s game, the defense gets a fumble recovery and we go right down and score and that’s happened plenty of times this season already and plenty of times since I’ve been here. That’s an area where we’re going to feed off the defense when they get a sack, a negative play, get us good field position, whatever it is, that’s a motivating factor for us offensively.”
What happens when you have the unfortunate moment where it goes the other way?
“You just think about execution. You think about answering the call. There’s going to be times where the other offense scores on a couple of serieses and you’re just thinking to yourself that you have to match it. It’s not pressure. It’s a sense of urgency.”
How would you assess your performance this season statistically?
“I don’t know how many yards I’ve passed for. I don’t know completion percentage. I know touchdowns to interceptions, because interceptions bother me. But, I’m not in the business of assessing my performance other than was it good enough to help us win and I have high standards and expectations for myself. Certainly last Sunday was not up to par for me by any stretch. I just think about trying to get a little bit better every week and put my team in the best position to succeed. There’s times where stats don’t tell the story. I’ve walked out of a game with maybe no touchdowns or one touchdown and not a great completion percentage, but I made great decisions, threw the ball away when I was supposed to avoid negative plays and made one or two critical passes that helped us continue the drive that helped us win the game. To me, it’s about what can I do to make the plays to win the game, lead my guys, (and) instill confidence in them. That’s my job.”
Talk about the Philadelphia defense?
“Statistically you look at some of the things they’ve done putting pressure on the quarterback and forcing turnovers, they’ve done a great job with some of those things. They’ve really played a lot of teams really, really tough and I know that they’ve been put in a lot of tough positions with some turnovers from the other side of the ball, so some of those statistics are even inflated against them, when maybe it’s not deservedly so. They have some very talented players and I would say that certainly their expectation level just like ours is much higher than maybe our records show at this point. We know how talented they are. We know the type of effort we’re going to get out of that team.”
Last week was the first of Todd Bowles being defensive coordinator. Do you expect them to make addition adjustments this week?
“Yes, I’m sure just like every team, when you have a new defensive play-caller, there are things that you evolve to as the season progresses. You find out what you’re good at. You find out what your sweet spot is and that type of thing. A lot of what you do is study film and see how you study scheme and personnel and you study tendencies and all those things. Yes, I’m sure that will evolve.”
What’s your feeling about the Presidential election last week and do you think that with your position and popularity that you can have influence on how people vote or an outcome?
“Honestly, I stay out of the political realm in that regard as far as showing support for different candidates or what have you. Honestly, because of what we do with our foundation, I feel like we have so many supporters on both sides of the table and we never want to do anything to offend anyone. Certainly our motivations as a foundation are to impact in a positive way. We never want that to be negatively affected by a stance you took one way or the other. I really stay out of it, I really think it’s their own business and own personal opinions.”
Has it been interesting to follow Michael Vick through the years, especially where rumors had that his status for this game could have been in doubt?
“I started out in the same draft class as Michael Vick.. We might be the only two guys left at this point from that ’01 draft class of quarterbacks, so I spent a lot of time with him prior to that. I feel like I’ve known him a long time. He’s obviously had a lot of success in this league both in Atlanta and in Philly and I’m not sure of his situation personally or for them offensively. I haven’t seen them at all on film offensively this year. We haven’t played similar opponents in that regard. I don’t know the situation besides what I guess I’ve heard in the media. He’s a great player.”