NEW ORLEANS SAINTS COACH SEAN PAYTON
“Just a few notes on injuries:
“It was a good win. It wasn’t always perfect, but it was a good team we played. We are pleased to get the win and now we get ready for another tough opponent.”
(on St. Louis having chances to get back in the game, but the Saints able to hold them out) “It was good. The turnover by Malcolm (Jenkins) was a big play. When we turn the ball over on a kick return, there is a swing there potentially 14, 10 points or if they are going to get a field goal or a touchdown. I think it began with that play.”
(on what was not pretty) “There are still some things that you want to work on. I thought we had some early momentum and all of the sudden there are a couple of turnovers and halftime may be a lot closer if it weren’t for the interception. We’ll just keep working on those aspects of the game. That is a good team we played. They are a lot better than the team we saw a year ago. Those guys have done a good job so I was pleased with us being able to get that win. That was an important game.”
(on running backs) “We didn’t have Chris (Ivory) so it ended up being just Pierre (Thomas) and Reggie (Bush). Those two guys did a good job, both of them. In Pierre’s first game back you don’t know how many carries you want to give him. He handled what he got real well, both in the run and the passing game. With Chris’ absence shortly after the first quarter it changed the dynamic. Fortunately, we are getting healthy at a good time. Each week we just have to pay attention to the plan and who we are playing and how we want to utilize not only the running backs, but the other players that are healthy. It’s the first time in awhile we had almost a full, healthy inactive list. We had guys that were able to play but were just inactive and normally that is not the case.”
(on Brees’ INTs) “One came on third and long and it ended up being a lot like a punt. I think the interception that would frustrate Drew (Brees) I’m sure was the first one where they rotated in coverage and he was working to (Marques) Colston. He is playing at a high level right now and operating very efficiently, not only in third down. I thought we had some aggressive shot plays and he located the ball well. We’ll pay attention to it and look at it and really try to look at it no different than a potential holding call on Jahri (Evans) and really look at it for what it is. He (Brees) has really played well here this stretch with us running the ball better and playing well on defense.”
(on Sam Bradford) “When you watch him play he doesn’t play like a first-year player. They have done a real good job; Sam (Bradford) has done a real good job. He is playing within their scheme and he is a guy that throws on rhythm. We thought the pass for us was going to be significant in regards to a battle for both teams. This is a team that is number four or five in the league defensively in sacks. We felt like that number was going to be a number much like the turnover number that we needed to emphasize. In other words, us being able to pressure him and get hits on the quarterback, and then us being able to protect (Drew) Brees. I thought we did a pretty good job with that. I thought that was a number that had a lot to do with the third down conversions. He (Sam Bradford) is having a very good season as a young player. He shows you all the things you would want and hope for as an organization with your first round pick.”
St. Louis Rams vs. New Orleans Saints
Saints Player Quotes
(On his first touchdown reception) “It was just a great play call for the coverage that they were running. Drew (Brees) put the ball up where it needed to be and I was able to come down with it.”
(On the ball finding him lately) “I had two touchdown catches today, but from the second quarter on I felt like I didn’t really play good football. I’ve just been working with Drew and keep doing what I do day in and day out. I think preparation is the one thing that makes us successful.”
(On his second touchdown reception) “Once I saw the safety move back, I had a pretty good feeling the ball was going to be put up high. Drew put it up in a great spot for me and I was able to go get it.”
(On his interceptions) “On the first one, they tried to do a double move on the corner. We were in cover two. I got a good break on it. He didn’t put much velocity on it and I was able to go get it. There was nobody on the outside, so I was able to score. On the second one, I was supposed to be covering (Danny) Amendola and he was trying to do the Jerry Rice route where they motion come back and try to swing back and come to the flat, but (Darren) Sharper and I just kind of stayed back. Once he came into coverage (Sam Bradford) tried to squeeze the ball in and I was there to catch the ball.”
(On the amount of point scoring lately) “We’d like to keep that going. It was a matter of getting into a rhythm lately. We had those injuries early on. We’re just trying to get guys in and for everybody to find their role. When you look at our tight end group and our four wide receivers and our stable of running backs, we can just do a lot with our personnel groupings.”
(on the difference between this year and last in terms of having to chase a team this year) “Obviously we’re in a different situation now than last year. Last year we were the one seed and everybody was kind of chasing us, whereas, there is the top and a couple of other teams that stand in our way for getting a high seed for the playoffs and obviously when you look at our division with Tampa and Atlanta sitting right there, still to play them the last two games of the season, obviously they mean a lot. We play it one game at a time. Anytime you can go out and win that makes you feel good about your team.”
(on if the interceptions put a damper on his day) “I’m very frustrated when you feel like you have a real good day and it’s marred by the interceptions, regardless of how they happened. The Seattle game was won like that. This game was won like that. It’s been uncharacteristic of me and I guess that’s the frustrating part. I’m not worried about it, but I’m worried about it. I’m not going to go in a shell, but it’s something that needs to be fixed. There are two plays a game, where you look back and wish you had that back, whether it’s a poor throw or something else. You never give yourself an excuse.”
(on what gave you guys a chance to get your bearings for the series where Malcolm Jenkins had the interception return for the touchdown) “First of all, we wanted to make sure Courtney was all right. They tried to run it early. We got into a cover two. Malcolm made a great play, jumped it and took it to the house. The timing was more important than the play itself. It was important to get a turnover right behind it and get the score.”
(on getting caught by the quarterback on his fumble return that was overturned) “He never caught me because he didn’t touch me. I went out of bounds. Next question.”
(on having such a big day on his birthday weekend) “It was a great one today. I’m going to celebrate my birthday tonight with some family in town.”
“I was surprised to get as many touches as I did. I felt ready. I’m just getting back into the groove and everything. I still have a lot of work ahead of me. I’m not there yet.
(On what he missed) “Just being in. A lot of people were looking forward to the screens. We did a good job on our screen game. I have to set it up a lot more. I just felt great and blessed and happy to be out there with my team again.
“Chris Ivory did an excellent job. That’s why he’s here and made the roster.
(On conditioning) “I still have a lot more work to do, a couple more running drills. I felt myself getting a little winded one time. I wasn’t going to quit, give up.
New Orleans Saints vs. St. Louis Rams
St. Louis Rams Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo
On the loss: “I didn’t really think that we played well. That’s kind of obvious. The message to the team was that if you don’t protect the football and you don’t tackle well on defense, it’s hard to beat any team, let alone one of the best teams in the league.”
On Steven Jackson reaching 1,000 yards today: “I know that it’s not going to mean much to Steve right now, but I would like to publicly congratulate Steve on reaching 1,000 yards today. The O-line, the fullbacks (deserve credit, too).”
On injuries: “David Nixon has got a hand (injury). We’ll get it x-rayed. It might be broken. We’ll find out.”
On Malcolm Jenkins’ interception return for a touchdown late in the first half and if the hurry caused it: “I didn’t see that part of it. It was a hitch and go and it was open for a minute there. 27, the safety made a big play. I don’t know if the ball was out there for too long. I’ll have to see it on the tape. Needless to say, that was a game-changer or at least a half-changer.”
On the second red zone interception: “The play was designed for Danny (Amendola). I think the coverage was pretty good. I think Sam was looking for another guy.”
On what he tells Bradford after a couple throws like that: “You correct what he did on that particular play and say forget about it and move on. He’ll realize the mistake if there was one.”
On the pass rush by the Saints: “They did a good job of that. It was a lot of things. Again, we’re not looking at the tape, but when they get that kind of pressure, it’s not just up front. It’s receivers getting open, or a back chipping. There are a lot of things that go on with that.”
On the efficiency of Drew Brees and New Orleans’ offensive start: “We knew they up-tempo. We knew that would be a challenge. If we had held them to the field goal on the second one, we’d be in the game 10-0. They do that. They’re up-tempo and they keep you off-balance and somewhere in there you need to find a way to make a play. I think on that first drive we let them off (the hook) on third down three times. They were manageable third downs for them.”
While the loss today was disappointing, can you talk about how everything is still in front of you because of Seattle’s loss: “I didn’t think about that. To be honest with you maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up and look at it. I’m very proud of this football team in what they’re doing. I just don’t think that’s us. We all have a little bit of pride in playing a very good football team. You certainly want to match that.”
Was it a little shocking when Steven Jackson fumbles: “Yes, he’s always been secure.”
Did your injury situation in the secondary make it hard to put pressure on Drew Brees: “We did that a couple times where we only rushed two. To their credit, they did a quick snap and got it out of there.”
Did the crowd noise affect your team: “We expected it so it wasn’t like we came out and were shocked by it. They have great fans, it’s a great city and they do a good job. We have to handle the noise anyway.”
Was it a situation where you couldn’t use your blitz package much: “More the situations and then they did a little bit more shifting. We got settled in and handled it as we got going in the game. That’s their MO going into the game.”
When Sam came to the sideline after his mistakes what was his demeanor: “He never really flinches. It probably makes him more determined. He doesn’t put his head down. He doesn’t make that mistake. He probably feels more than anyone that he let everybody down.”
St. Louis Rams vs. New Orleans Saints ● Sunday, December 12, 2010
ST. LOUIS RAMS PLAYERS
QB #8 Sam Bradford
(On turnovers) “Turnovers killed us today. Turnovers hurt you everywhere, but when you get in to the red zone and turn the ball over, it just gives the other team all of the momentum in the world. I’ve got to be better when we’re down there and I have got to be smarter with the football. I just can’t make those mistakes.
(Did Malcolm Jenkins bait you on INT for TD?) “No. To be honest, I thought I had it. I just wasn’t able to put enough on the ball to get it there in time. He made a nice play. Nice pick. He ran it all the way back.
(Amount of pressure surprising?) “No. We were expecting to see a lot of blitzes today. There really wasn’t anything that we hadn’t seen on tape. We will have to go in, look at the film, see where we can be better on protections, where I can be better getting the ball out, and move on from there.
RB #39 Steven Jackson
“When you are on the road, the last thing you want to do is turn the ball over. It was uncharacteristic for us today to not take care of the football. They did a good job on both sides of the ball. They did a good job of executing on offense, they moved the ball pretty good. On defense, they created turnovers and created a lot of pressure for us. It made it hard for us to get in to a rhythm.
(On 3rd down inefficiency) “They have a complicated blitz package. They continued to mix it up, show us different things. Communication was pretty hard. The Dome is really loud. When it boils down to it, you don’t want to turn the ball over and you don’t want penalties and that’s what killed us today.
(On 15-point halftime deficit) “When you fall behind, in a game like this, early, you want your team to chip away. We had opportunities to do that. Chip away at the lead. It’s hard. It’s hard to play catch up when you have a high powered team like that offense.
S #21 Oshiomogho Atogwe
(On play in second half where Saints got up sidelines) “That was just miscommunication. It was another way where we hurt ourselves. We just need to communicate better on that play and there is a better chance to be in position to stop that.”
(Better than what the score showed today?) “Not today. If we were to meet them again, then we would have to wait and see until that day. Today, they were a better team.
(On atmosphere in Superdome) “It was enjoyable. It was a good atmosphere."