Friday, November 22, 2013
Can you talk about getting through the last 12 days and now having a longer week to prepare for Seattle?
“Yeah it was tough. As a player, the main thing is to try and stay healthy and recover from these games. There was a lot of emphasis on rest and Sean (Payton) backed up meetings an hour to get us a little bit more sleep. We focused more on meeting time than on the field. It’s just kind of one of those things you have to deal with, but I thought we handled it well. We got some wins that we needed to and now we have a little bit of an extended week to get rested up.”
How different of a player is
“Last year he was one of those guys for us that kind of jumped off the table when you watch him (on film). His effort is phenomenal and that is the biggest thing that we saw last year, his effort to the ball every play. He is one of those d-linemen that can play literally every down of the game and not be tired. Last year we saw that come out and this year now with everybody else kind of getting at it to the pass rush,
Tell me what you saw in Seattle during the playoffs with crowd noise.
“I have never played in Seattle. That playoff game I was actually at home. I was injured. I was sitting on my couch (with a knee injury), so I haven’t been out to Seattle, but I am looking forward to it. You obviously see it every time you turn on the tape. That place is loud and it affects the offense as far as communication and things like that. It is definitely a real factor and it is something that we will have to deal with.
Is it a blessing in disguise that you did play a Thursday night game and now you have some extra time to prepare?
“Yes we have an extended week so we will have a little headstart as far as film study. They (the Seahawks) have a bye week as well so they will have the same, if not a little bit more time than we do to break things down and get ready. I think after playing a Sunday night game and then bouncing back for a Thursday night, it gives us a little extra rest. A few days (off) with the weekend now, we will be rested up, rejuvenated and really get ready for a tough road game.”
How much fun is it watching your guys get sacks?
“Our d-line is playing phenomenal and it feels good. The DBs, when we are playing man coverage, and after about two and a half seconds you see the quarterback go down, it makes our life a lot easier on the back end. It allows us to do a lot more as well. This defense goes as far as the defensive line takes us because if they do well, when they play well against the run we make teams one dimensional. Then they get to do what they want to do and that is pass rush. They can always get to the quarterback and you can see that because they are all getting pressure.”
What did you think about
“One thing we’ve had this year kind of is the next man up mentality where somebody gets injured or somebody is out, whoever we put on the field makes plays. To see him come in and make a play wasn’t necessarily surprising because we have seen him play well on special teams and when guys do that and work hard and fight and work hard on special teams, Rob Ryan likes to put them in specific packages just so they can get their chance to contribute. He contributed one of the big plays of the game that we really needed at that point as far as change of momentum and not giving up a score. It kind of ended up being the turning point of the game.”
Does it concern you at all that Matt Ryan completed a lot of passes?
“I think the best thing was we don’t worry about him completing a lot of passes as long as they are not those deep balls over our heads for a touchdown. I think the long one they had might have been the pass interference call they had on
Can you critique the play of
“Yeah that is one of those last play things so if they throw it in the end zone we have somebody that can go up with anybody. I didn’t get to see the play. I don’t know if he ran around and made a tackle or not, but I’m pretty sure he did what he was supposed to do down there in the end zone.”
He was close to the ball at the end.
“If you go back to Jimmy’s (Graham) rookie year to some of those preseason games and watch him play special teams, probably one of the most awkward plays ever. I want to see Jimmy make a tackle one day.”
But now he can play defense huh?
New Orleans Saints Running Back
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Friday, November 22, 2013
You have been much better running the football in the last three games. Can you talk about where you are now and where you have been?
“We were struggling a lot in the beginning of the season with trying to being balanced. The offense wasn’t exploding right away like we want it to. It takes a while, (but) we always come back explosive in the second half, which we need. We want to finish strong, but we want to have a strong start. We just started watching film and really trying to correct the little things that were holding us back, and enough was enough. We had to start making a change, especially in the run game. We said we had to change it. We really wanted to get our run game going and be a more balanced team, instead of a team that is considered always passing the ball.”
How good did it feel to fly home and know that the running game did its part?
“It felt great to have the running game doing very well. We seem like we are in a great spot right now. Our offense can really do it all: go out there, run the ball, execute, pick up first downs on the ground and also in the air. We just feel like we’re in a great position now and just (need to) stay focused. We’ve got to keep doing the same things we’ve been doing, but we keep improving each and every day.”
How difficult was it to come off of a physical game against San Francisco and have to play on a Thursday night? Does just being able to find a way to win trump anything that might have gone wrong in the game?
“Going into this game, we had a lot of bumps and bruises. A lot of guys were hurt, and it’s a short week. It’s a quick turnaround. Coach (Payton) took care of us during the week; it wasn’t more physical, it was more mental of a practice during the week. It was a short week getting off of a physical game against San Francisco, and we knew going up against Atlanta would be the same thing. They’re our rivals, and you know every time we play them they always put their A game at the table and we would have to step up to that same challenge. We knew no matter what it was a short week; they were on a short week too. They’ve got bumps and bruises; we’ve got bumps and bruises. It’s the team who’s really going to dig down deep and just fight and try to get that victory.”
Does it show the maturity of this team where Sean trusts you to do that? Backing off of the gas pedal in practice this week.
“Definitely. He trusts us. He wanted us to get better. He wanted us to make sure that our bodies were taken care of. He knows we played a tough, physical game (and that) guys were going to be bruised up and it’s a short week and we got to go right back at it. He knew how to take care of us and he did a good job of taking care of us this past week.”
How much do you look forward to big games? You seem to come through more in those types of situations.
“I try to take every game the same. I try to approach every game the same. I try to go in there and give it my all. I don’t know if you want to say big games I always step up to the challenge, but hey, when they’re there, you need somebody to step up and I try to step up every time I’m in the game. No matter what game it is – big game or not big game – I’m going to go in there and do my job. I’m going to do the best job I can. I always think positive, so I’m always going to have that positive mindset that I’m going to go out here and I’m going to get this amount of yards or these amount of touchdowns. I’m trying to stay positive and see myself doing that. If it doesn’t fall through and through, I’ll feel comfortable with myself saying I played a great game. If I went out there and fought, then I think I did a good job with my chance.”
Have you taken part in the Turkey Giveaway at the Dryades YMCA and what has it meant to you and your teammates who have participated?
“Yes I have. It means a lot, especially to the community - the people here in New Orleans - giving back. They help support us during the season whether we are up or down. Especially last year when we were without our head coach, our fans never doubted us and never counted us out. They were always behind us and always pulling for us. You want to help out with your community and your fans as much as possible. Giving back like that, knowing you can do that, it means a lot. IT touched you in your heart and says, ‘Hey man, I just did a good deed. I did a good job.’ You feel good about yourself when you can help somebody who’s in need.”