Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Did you have a long night trying to leave Seattle on Monday?
“Yeah it was. It was definitely something unexpected, but that’s the NFL. Always expect the unexpected and be able to adapt to it. We stayed overnight, as you know, and got back here about 3:30 yesterday afternoon.”
How does that change your preparation for the game on Sunday night?
“It doesn’t really change. A lot of what we can do now is digital. We can watch film on the plane on our iPads and we can do all of those things that we would be doing here anyway while we’re away. It’s just a wrinkle in the schedule, but again it’s something that everybody deals with from time to time and you have to be prepared for it. A lot of guys are coming in today to get some film work and the coaches I believe have probably been meeting since yesterday, formulating the game plan.”
When you have a game like that, do you write it off or is it something that you learn from?
“Well you definitely don’t write it off or flush it because there’s things that you can learn from losses like that – huge losses as well as close losses and huge victories. There’s always some things that you can look back and you can do better preparing or actually while you’re playing the game things you can do better. We’re going to learn from it. At the same time, we do have to move on, and that’s why whenever we play there’s always the mentality that you enjoy the wins for a day or so and you endure the losses for a day or so because there’s another team coming that you have to play.”
You face another tough defense in a few days. How much time have you had to study Carolina’s defense and what have you seen out of them?
“Fortunately we’ve had a chance to watch Carolina a little bit just since we’ve had our schedule (where) we haven’t been playing on Sunday during the day and they’ve been playing at night as well so we’ve been able to watch them a little bit on TV. But they’re definitely a team that’s riding an eight-game win streak. They’ve got a lot of leadership in Cam Newton and the defense is playing tremendous football right now, holding teams to 13 points per game and a couple of hundred yards per game. It’s kind of like we’re going to be facing a tough defense just like we just faced two nights ago in Seattle.”
New Orleans Saints Safety
Conference Call with Local Media
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Have you recovered a little bit from the long ride home?
“Yeah, we had yesterday off, well about half of it. We got in today a little bit ago and got some recovery done. We have a short week so we can’t rest for too long.”
What did you guys exactly do, go back to the hotel? How did that throw you guys off if at all?
“I don’t think it necessarily threw us off. I think it was just a little inconvenient, especially after a loss like that you just want to get home as fast as possible. Some of us went to the hotel and spent the night there and got some sleep. In the morning, (we) ate a little breakfast and then got on the plane. I think we were debating on doing that anyway, but we decided to try and leave right after the game. I think we were somewhat prepared to deal with the situation that presented itself.”
So basically it was the cherry on top to a really long, bad day?
“Yeah, pretty much. It kind of just went right along with the rest of the day. Like you said, it was the cherry on top.”
How would you evaluate where this defense is at in terms of dealing with a challenge like Cam Newton?
“I think we just had a bad outing and we will learn a lot from this game. It wasn’t just the mobile quarterback that killed us, it was the big plays down field in the secondary that hurt us and then when we did get some stops, the quarterback would scramble, get a crucial first down and extend the play and the drive. There were a lot of things that we can learn from and obviously help us out going forward. We have to see where our weaknesses are and what we can do better and how to adjust in a new game situation. But if I had to evaluate our defense I think I am still happy with the way we’ve played thus far. This is probably our worst outing, but we can always get better and go back to the drawing board and move on.”
Are there and differences between Cam Newton and Russell Wilson?
“Like you said, they are similar and if you just write down on paper what it is that they do well, they are very similar. They can extend plays with their legs, they have a big arm and can throw downfield. They run the ball well as a team and they are very patient. That is what we just faced and that is what we are going to face this week. They run the ball all day and then they hit these big, explosive plays down field. Or if something is not there, you have Cam Newton extending the play by getting out of the pocket, running, or someone getting open late in the play and he makes the throw. We still have to stop this running game, not a lot of to do, but win the time of possession with that and when we do get in these situations where we are covering guys, we have to keep Cam in the pocket and eliminate the big plays down the field.”
Do you take any solace in the fact that you shut them down in the second half?
“No. We don’t take moral victories. The only reason we shut them down was because they were trying to run the ball up to try and end the game. I don’t think anyone was happy about any part of that game.”
No adjustments were made at the half?
“I mean I think we were down by what, 20 points at that point, if not more. Once they scored in the second drive of the half, I think their team changed their mentality and all their focus came on running the clock. They were in a bunch of 21, 22 personnel big heavy sets and they were just running the ball. I think we played well against the run. We did a good job against (Marshawn) Lynch. We dug ourselves too big of a hole to climb out.”
Was there too much focus on (Marshawn) Lynch?
“No I don’t think so. We’ve been in other games this year where we devoted a lot more to the run than we did this past week. I think there were a couple mistakes on our part on plays where we let a guy go free in the secondary, confusion on whatever coverage it is and give up a first down, we miss opportunities for turnovers and then we let the quarterback scramble a couple of times. That’s what beat us and none of that was because we were too focused on the run. It was a lack of communication or just mistakes from the backend.”
You know how big of a game this is and not just because it is the next one right?
“Umm…I don’t know what you are trying to lead to. It is the Carolina Panthers. They are a hot team right now. They have won eight straight games. It is in the division and we are pretty much in a dead heat as far as trying to win the division. Yeah it is a big game. You don’t really have to add much sugar to this one to know the importance of it.”
Does it seem fitting that both teams last year were 7-9 and now you are both 9-3?
“Yes, I think the two biggest things, if you look at their team, (and) our team but their team as well, I think both teams ended up playing a lot better than they did (last season). I think they had a pretty good defense last year. They started out hot this year. Even in the preseason, in four games, they had 16 turnovers created and they kind of carried that over into the season. They get turnovers. They get stops and that is just helping Cam (Newton) and their offense and taking a lot of pressure off of them. The same with the way we started this year, our defense got a lot of turnovers, our offense was doing what they normally do, so then you have a higher success rate. Like I said, last year both teams flashed the talent that they had and then this year, they are starting to put it together and play complimentary football as a team. That is what is helping them win.”