NEW ORLEANS SAINTS COACH SEAN PAYTON
“Let me hit on something first, most importantly, it’s my understanding that the information back on Tracy has been good news. I’ll update you more tomorrow, but certainly our prayers are with him. It’s good to get in here after the game and find out that he is doing pretty well.”
“Obviously, it was a big game; it was a big win for us. We did a lot of things well. It wasn’t perfect, but I thought we were physical. I thought we played with the energy we look for; the individual battles really began to establish third down, red zone, rushing yardage, time of possession; all of things it takes to win a game in our division in November. I’m proud of our players. It was a good week of preparation. That was a good football team we played and we’ll go from there.”
“Anytime there is a player down for a long period of time it really changes the momentum, whether it is one of our players or someone else’s, or potentially a coach, but I thought we really responded well in this game. I thought, coming in, we were really ready to play this game. We talked about this game being a physical game and we made it a ‘bat game,’ which is something we’ve never done with a division opponent. There’s a process involved when you do something like that and I thought that aspect of being the physical team really helped us today. In an important game both teams are battling to rush the football, control the time of possession. Both teams are trying to do those things that statistically really have meant the difference in this rivalry. You’ve got a team that I think is very good at rushing the passer with some of their young players, and we wanted to make sure that it wasn’t a one-dimensional game, that it was balanced. I thought we had that today between the rushing yard and the passing yards. I thought defensively we stopped the run and forced someone to become one-dimensional instead of us.”
(On success of running game today )“I thought we did some different things, you saw Darren (Sproles) have a few big runs, you saw
(On last week’s loss) “We’re past that, we’re not scratching any heads and we are on to the next opponent. It’s disappointing, don’t get me wrong, but we understand and we are not going to allow that game to lead to another tough game. There are some tough lessons, there always seems to be in our season with the length of the schedule and I think that carries over to every team, but it’s how you respond to it, that’s what I think is critical today.”
(On the crowd) “Certainly that is an aspect of it. It was hard for me to tell how loud we were. You get worried about a Noon game following a huge win for LSU the night before; you have the element of a lot of people tired and groggy. But certainly when you play at home and you are dealing with an opponent that is working with the silent snap count, with the head turn you begin to gain that little bit of an edge on the pass rush. You get sacks. I thought we had pretty good pressure in his face, we had tipped balls. If everyone watched the game and you said ‘who got pressure more?’ you would say their quarterback. Three weeks ago, if I asked that question you would say Drew (Brees). Now does that coincide with being at home, you’d like to think so, but if you look at the series it’s actually been flipped till this year. But, certainly they are a key component to us playing well at home. When you have a sold out fan base with 50,000 people on a waiting list for season tickets, that’s pretty strong. And when its inside and you know you are going to force a team to come in here and play under those circumstances that is a big advantage.”
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS PLAYERS
QB #9 DREW BREES
“I think coming off of last week, we zeroed in on these two divisional opponents before the bye. This is a pretty critical time for us. November is the time when a lot of teams separate themselves from the pack. We want to be one of those teams. We want to be on a roll. Hopefully this was the start of that.
(on bounce-back) “Call it what you want, obviously a disappointing loss last week, but we wanted to right the wrongs from last week.
(on running game) “When you look at our productivity when we’re running the ball effectively, it’s through the roof. Both (run and pass) are complementary to one another. I felt like we did a great job of finding our balance today.
(on Darren Sproles) “He did a great job today, as he always does. He’s such a versatile player who can do so many things. The best way to describe him is, he’s a ballplayer. Whatever you need him to do, he can do it. I’m just glad he’s on our team.
(more on Sproles) “I can’t say I’m surprised, because I know the person, I know the player. We had that one year together in ’05. Watching him over the last five years, I said, ‘We’ve got to get that guy somehow.’”
(on “bat game”) “The whole philosophy behind a ‘bat game’ is it’s going to be a physical, physical game. If you outhit the opponent, you’re going to win the game. We save this for special occasions; we typically don’t do it with a divisional opponent, because they’re all going to be physical games.
(on defense’s fourth-down stop in 1st quarter) “You always look to those moments in the game as to momentum shift and what do you do with it. That was a big moment in the game.
“Last week, that’s not the team we are. We feel like we’re the team that started off the game today and finished off the way we did, the team against the Colts that scored just about every time we had the ball. I think we can continue to get better. Penalties put us in some tough spots. Turnovers, I’m No. 1 in that category in the guy who touches the ball every day. We’ll continue to improve upon those things.
LB #56 JO-LONN DUNBAR
(on the defensive hard hitting) “We definitely wanted to establish that. They are a very physical team. We wanted to be physical, hit somebody and bring the wood. That was our mentality coming into this game. That’s what we wanted to do and that’s what we accomplished.
(on why the defense plays better at home) “We love our fans. We just feed off them. They are loud. Sometimes we can’t even get a call in. We just feed off of them and get after it. We just need to learn how to play more consistent on the road.”
WR #16 LANCE MOORE
(on grabbing the tempo early) “Early on we didn’t do a few things that we wanted to do. Once we got on a roll our tempo picked up a little bit. We were hitting them with different personnel groupings. That’s when we were successful and scoring touchdowns.
(on his touchdown reception) “It was just a routine catch to me. It really wasn’t anything major. We knew they like to play man-to-man even in that situation. (Marques) Colston went in motion and everyone knew that I was going to be getting the ball. Drew (Brees) made a nice throw.”
DT #98 SEDRICK ELLIS
(on defensive line getting push up the middle) “The whole defense was going after them. We had the mindset going in that we wanted to be physical. We did a great job of that today on both sides of the ball. Our offensive line was knocking them off the ball and getting the running game started. We did a pretty good job against their run. It all starts there.
(on fourth-down stop in the first quarter) “That was huge. I think getting them off the field in that spot with no points was big. It gave us some momentum and the offense was able to go down and score a touchdown.”