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Friday Morning Quarterback

Posted Sep 10, 2010

Saints recap Vikings, Payton gives out game balls & Brees has message for fans

The Saints reviewed film, held meetings and weight lifting sessions the day after opening the NFL regular season with a 14-9 victory over the Vikings in the Superdome. The Saints will have the weekend off before returning to the team facility as they prepare for their Monday Night Football contest against the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 20.

LONG BREAK: The Saints will have 10 days between their opener and their next game against the 49ers on Sept. 20. The Saints contest against the Falcons on Sept. 26 will be their first Sunday game after four preseason games and two regular season contests. Payton said it is all a result of the team’s recent success.

“Four years ago, that schedule came out and every game was at 1 p.m. or noon and it was on Sunday, except for the one Monday night re-opening, which was kind of our little gimme,” said Payton. “But everything was at noon or 1p.m. Now when you have success, you play Thursday, Monday, Monday, Sunday, Thanksgiving Day. We adjust to that and I think we’re pretty good with that but that’s where we wanted to be.”

RB Reggie Bush said he wish the break was shorter and was anxious to get back on the gridiron.

“I do wish it was a shorter break,” said Bush. “It is almost too much time off. I wish we didn’t have to wait around so long but that is just the way it is. Hopefully it will give us some time to get guys back healthy.”

MISLEADING SCORE? The Saints’ 14 points was the lowest victory point total during Payton’s time as head coach. Both coach Payton and Brees were asked if the score was misleading with how well the black and gold played.

“As I walked away form the game, I felt like we scored 28 points but we only scored 14,” said Brees. “It was a weird feeling because you felt like you did some good things but then you look at the tape and that is never as good or bad as you think. Certainly, when we get going here, we are going to need to clean up a lot of these mistakes.”

“Certainly you’d like to score more,” said Payton. “It ended up being a game in which it was closer than you would have hoped and yet what is most important that you’re able to finish with a win. When you watch week one’s game tape, maybe it’s a cliché, but it’s a chance to make a lot of progress as we move forward.”

GAME BALLS: Coach Payton announced that the offensive line got the offensive game ball and that DT Sedrick Ellis and S Roman Harper got the game balls on defense. Ellis got the Saints one sack on defense and Harper drilled Vikings QB Brett Favre on LB Jonathan Vilma’s interception.
LT Jermon Bushrod credited the line’s ability to adjust at halftime to their strong finish.

“I think we felt like that since we threw the ball a lot in the first half we got to see a lot of the coverages we wanted to get in certain formations,” said Bushrod. “That opened our run game up a bit. We ran the ball a couple times and answered back at the end of the game and were able to get a couple first downs.”

BREES’ MESSAGE TO FANS: 70,051 fans packed the Superdome last night and the New Orleans police department projected more than 200,000 people came in town to experience the festivities including the NFL Kickoff Concert with Taylor Swift and the Dave Matthews Band.

NBC’s nationally-televised broadcast of the opener registered a 17.7 household rating/28 share overnight rating, the highest rating for a primetime NFL opening game ever. It was the best primetime ratings for an NFL regular season game in 13 years. In 1997, the Denver Broncos faced the San Francisco 49ers and earned a 19.3/30.

Brees said the tremendous support the team received last night helped the team “play at a high level.”

“I thought the best part of last night’s game was the fans support throughout the entire game, especially at the beginning with our chant,” said Brees. “Everybody was in sync, ready to go and pumped up for the first game of the season. That got us excited as a team.”

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