Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints ● Sunday, October 3, 2010
NEW ORLEANS HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON
(Opening Statement) “It was a hard fought win. First, we need to give credit to Carolina. Obviously, those guys played hard and these always go down to the fourth quarter. We made just enough plays to get the win and that is what is most important. We got a stop there at the end. I though Usama’s (Young) play on the run play for minus yardage was significant and backed them out of field goal range. The drive at the end coming off the five yard line was significant. Although it wasn’t always perfect, it was a good win.”
(On being 3-1, but still not having breakout offensive performance) “We are just trying to win each week. If you look back on the back end of last season you will see a lot of hard fought games also. The first thing would be a couple of turnovers in the game and when you have those you are probably not going to have your best scoring output. One of the turnovers came at the one yard line, the other came at the fringe as we are getting into the red zone so those are things that can prevent you from scoring a lot more points in the game. Fortunately, it was the first time in awhile that we lost the turnover battle and still won the game.”
(On decision to kick Carney) “He practiced well and he kicked well in his workout. We felt comfortable with the week he had, those are the main things.”
(On if the plan was to run the ball heavily today) “We knew they do a good job defensively out of the seven, seven and a half man front and so we felt like we needed to establish a running game and I was pleased we were able to do that. It was one of our more consistent outings in that way and I thought that was important. I thought it helped us pertaining to our third down conversions. There were a few third and longs, but there were not many.”
(On switching to
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS PLAYERS
(on knee) “I came out okay. It was much better than I thought. I was able to move around pretty well.”
(on offense) “We definitely still have a killer instinct. We’re just making stupid mistakes. We’re getting that stuff corrected, slowly but surely. Obviously, you look at us, and I can speak for the offense, we haven’t scored like we’re used to scoring and we’re 3-1 and a field goal away from being 4-0. That’s a good thing. Every game we’ve played this year, it’s come down to the fourth quarter and/or overtime.
“I look at today and today should have been a 30-point day. We scored 16 points. We had a chance to score a touchdown at the end; that’s four more points. We had a fumble at the 1-yard line; that’s seven points. We had a fumble going into the red zone; that’s a minimum of another three points.
(on continuing to wear a knee brace) “I notice there’s quite a few guys that do, on that plant leg. That’s the leg that’s exposed. It’s a thought. Putting one on, it restricts you a little bit. I don’t want to get timed in the 40-yard dash with it.
(on Saints defense) “I think that when they’ve had to come up with a play, they’ve come up with it. I’m sure they would sit here and tell you they played great, with the exception of two big plays. We want to make big plays; defensively, they want to take away big plays.
(on Ladell Betts) “He was the MVP of the offense today, in my opinion. He was only here for part of training camp. This is a pretty extensive offense. For him to be here in training camp just for a few weeks and not on the team until last week, and then to come here … catch passes out of the backfield, do a good job in protection, he’s tough, smart. Those are the kind of guys we like.”
(on big plays) “We dialed up quite a few of them today; they just happened to defend them pretty well. The first half, we did a good job of marching (it) down. We were rolling; we were shooting ourselves in the foot with the turnovers and such."
(on 2:00 drill in first half) “We didn’t have a lot of time. We had one time out we were going to try to save. They play so soft, you just try to take the completions. We just had a little bit of a protection breakdown (on the sack). If we complete that ball, we call time out and kick a field goal.
RB #46 Ladell Betts
(On his performance) “I just tried to play hard. My main focus was to know what I was doing on each play. I made a few mistakes here and there, but I just tried to play hard and help[ the team win.”
(On having fun on the field) “It was fun. This is what I love to do. I’ve done this for a really long time. I enjoy playing. It was good to go out there and get a win.”
(On the sequence at the end of the game) “It was huge. Usama (Young) made the big play to get them out of field goal range by getting the sack. Jabari (Greer) made a great play to knock the ball down especially in the situation that we were in.”
(On the run defense) “Every time we play Carolina we know that we are going to have to stop the run. They have great running backs. They do a good job rushing the ball. I think we did a nice job today stopping the run and making them pick it up in certain situations. It really showed during that last drive when we made the plays necessary to win the game.”
(On the third down defense) “That was something that we had to focus on. We needed to give our offense good field position. Fortunately, we were able to do that today. I think it became a difference maker in our game.”
(On the sequence of events at the end of the game) “They converted that one third down to keep the chains moving. They actually had some momentum coming into field goal position. Usama (Young) was able to make a sack for a loss to get them out of field goal position and put the pressure on us as defense backs. We knew they were going to try to get to the sticks on fourth down and try to put themselves in field goal position. Fortunately for us a couple of guys made some big plays and we were able to get off the field.”
RB #29 Chris Ivory
(On being a part of the offense) “I think I did a pretty good job today except for the fumble. I need to make corrections and get better in certain areas. I thought I played pretty good overall though.”
(On picking up the offense in the second half) “We just executed what we practiced all week. Everybody has a job. We just went out and focused on the job at hand. We did that.”
(On his performance the last couple of weeks) “I do what I always do. I continue to work hard every week in practice. I try to get work in with Drew (Brees) before and after practice. It’s just a matter of time before your number is called. That’s been my case recently. Hopefully, I’ll keep stepping up and making plays.”
(On if the game should have been this close) “I’d like to say no, but turnovers and kicking field goals instead of touchdowns doesn’t help. Next time we need to make sure we get the ball in the end zone instead of kicking field goals as well as holding on to the ball.”
(On his performance) “I felt like I could get a pretty good pass rush on them up the middle. I watched a lot of film on the offensive line and I saw some things that I thought I could exploit earlier in the game. I think I did a pretty good job of taking advantage of those things. As the game goes on, they are going to change a few things if they are getting gassed.”
K Johnm Carney
"I’m glad to be a part of this team in any form or fashion. It was an exciting day for all of us”
(On how he kept in shape and his feeling in waiting for a call from a team) “I had a lot of faith and a lot of hope. I have a pretty good routine out in San Diego. Steve Weatherford, who was with us here and punts for the Jets, we trained together in the offseason. He comes out early in the offseason and right before training camp, as well a group of guys from college and guys I get together with from time to time. You have to have faith you may get a call and may get an opportunity.”
(on the scenario of joining the team this week and getting the game-winning field goal) “You try not to imagine too much. You try to be prepared.
(on if he was worried he might not get picked up) “You keep your fingers crossed. You keep your eyes on what is going on around the league. There are a couple teams I had my eye on that I had a thought there might something in personnel. Those teams haven’t called anybody yet. There’s always the possibility of an injury as well where a team has an immediate need. You have to stay sharp.”
(on how challenging it was to come in and kick today in his first week with the team) “It would have been tougher if it wasn’t with this team. I know the personnel very well. I worked with everybody that I worked with today last year, coaches and players. In that respect it was very comfortable. Going to a new team dead cold and not knowing anybody is quite an adjustment. So your first two guys that you want to know real well are the snapper and the holder.”
CAROLINA PANTHERS HEAD COACH JOHN FOX
(On the defense trying to not allow a big offensive play by the Saints) “That was part of the design. We’ve played them quite a few times over the last eight years. They’re a very, very talented group. They’ve been the number one offense in the league, I think, for the last three seasons. They’re very explosive. That was the game plan (to not allow a deep pass).”
(On trying to get into field goal range) “Unfortunately, we went backwards. That wasn’t by design. In one case, it was a player trying to make a play. In the other case, it was good pressure (by the defense).”
(On where he thought the team needed to reach for John Kasay to attempt a field goal) “John Kasay is a guy that has been very, very dependable over his time. Typically, it’s the 35 yard line (that is where we try to reach). It’s not automatic, but that gives you a feasible chance. That’s still a 50-something yard field goal. Where we ended up, there weren’t a whole lot of options on fourth and fourteen.”
(On the overall play of Jimmy Clausen) “I think he’s going to be a good player. He’s young. He’s learning. This (the Superdome) isn’t a real admirable place to be in your second start, but I thought he fought real well. It was a great play that he made scrambling and throwing down on their sideline to give us a chance to kick a long field goal.”
(On the solid play of the Carolina defense today) “Our defense has given us a chance in three out of these four games. Unfortunately, they don’t get to reap the benefits of that … just like today. We just came up a little short. I thought our effort was outstanding.”
(On if today is the best the team has played all year) “Yeah, I thought our effort was outstanding.”
(On what happened to Steve Smith) “I’m not sure. It was across the field from me. I couldn’t really see what happened. It looked like, maybe, his ankle got rolled. To be honest, I’m just guessing. They said it was an ankle (injury). So, I’m assuming that’s what happened. I didn’t see the end of the play.”
(On the difficulty of communicating to Jimmy Clausen after his headset went out) “I thought Matt Moore did an outstanding job of signaling it out there. I thought there was good communication considering that. The hard part is not so much getting the call (in), but it’s communicating to everyone else.”
CAROLINA PANTHERS PLAYERS
QB #2 JIMMY CLAUSEN
(on final drive) “Yeah, it was real loud out there. We were driving down trying to get in a position to kick a field goal and win it, but we just came up short. It’s a real tough loss.”
“I thought our offense did a good job. We moved the ball down the field. Today we were going up against the world champs and their great defense. It’s just hard for us to get that close and have it end the way it did.”
(on final sack): “I was just trying to make a play. They were blitzing and I just couldn’t get it out quick enough. I can’t take a sack in that situation.”
“Early on in the game we were having some problems with the earpiece. It really wasn’t working and we tried to get the signals in with our hands. We tried to call the plays at the beginning as best as we could. This place and Penn State are definitely the two loudest places I’ve played. It gets real loud here and with the dome, it kind of keeps the sound inside and makes it even louder.”
WR #89 STEVE SMITH
“I mean we scored more than seven points today, so that’s an improvement from the other games. I think as a team we are making progress.”
“We always play them tough and each game is a nail biter. But I think we are playing better as a team; Jimmy, the entire team. I wasn’t out there at the end so I don’t know what happened so I can’t really tell you what happened at the end of the game because I was watching it on TV.”
(on his leg injury) “It hurts. I’m just going to try to walk to the plane without too much pain and see how it feels in the morning.”
T #69 JORDAN GROSS
“This place (Superdome) has to be the loudest place I’ve ever played in. It was really tough to get the plays into the huddle. For Clausen to make that fourth down play late in the game, that speaks volumes for what I think is inside of him. That’s as clutch as it gets. You can take a lot of positives from this game. I think it’s the best game we played this season. If we had played as well in the other three games so far this season we probably would have had a few wins under our belts.”
DT #99 ED JOHNSON
“This was the kind of game we expected from ourselves. It was a hard fought, down to the wire game. And the game was on the line in the fourth quarter. We look at is as if the Saints don’t score in the fourth quarter then we win the game, bottom line. Even though I’m new here, a lot of my teammates told me coming in that we always play them tough and we did today. It’s a divisional game and I think all of the future games against them will be real close.”