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Saints-Vikings Quotes

Posted Sep 9, 2010

Read what the coaches and players had to say

 

 

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS COACH SEAN PAYTON

“Big win. Real good win for our team. Obviously, we played a very good team tonight. I was proud of the way we came through and made enough plays to start the season 1-0. We’ve got a lot of things we’ll be able to work on and clean up when we get to the video. I’m real pleased and proud of the way they started and finished that game especially against that team.”

(on defensive game plan) “Just trying to do a good job of keeping the ball in front of us. We felt like we had a pretty good plan and support. I thought defensively we did a very good job of holding against the run and still taking some of the downfield throws away. I thought our players tackled really well.”

(On the second half play) “One thing we tried to do early on was just create a rhythm against this front, its one of the better fronts we are going to see. As we got into the second half we wanted to establish some of these runs that helped us with some play action and that ended up being important. It certainly was important in the four minute drive to put the game away.”

(On importance of scoring on first possession in the second half) “Its tough when you settle for a field goal and don’t come up with the points. I was pleased, especially late (in the game), for us to finish that game off. The points in the second half were critical, just as they were in the first drive of the first half. I told the team a few minutes ago, it was a great team win against a good team. We are excited about it, we will get on to the next one and yet we understand the significance of each one of these.”

(on winning by scoring 14 points) “We don’t really worry about it. We just worry about the wins at the end. It’s a good defense and credit them. I’ve been saying all week that this is a different game by two different teams. We can’t draw comparisons, although we’d like to, to that type of game a year ago. So regardless of how you win them, we are at a spot right now where I think our players expect to win and that’s what is most important.”

 

 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS PLAYERS

 

QB #9 DREW BREES

(on first half play) “We talked about coming out and being aggressive, throwing the ball a lot. They’re a zone team and we were able to get some big plays early on. We had some chances to make some other big plays, but we weren’t able to make them.”

 

(on balance) “We feel like we’re a very balanced offense, that we can be very successful both running and passing. I felt like we really established (the run) in the third quarter, and obviously we were able to finish the game with that.

 

(on early emotion) “Anytime you’re in a game like that where there’s festivities and everything beforehand, you’ve got to remain calm. Even after that first drive, we felt like we could come right back out.

 

(on 14 points) “We’re not used to 14-9 victories, but we’re used to winning.

 

(on comparisons to last year’s game) “We talked about all week long. I think obviously, preparing for this game was extremely exciting. You’re going to hear so much of the talk about last year’s game – a lot of the same personnel, same coaching staff. Our defense took it personal. We gave up a lot of yards, but we got some turnovers. Coming into this game, we knew we would have to play better. Obviously, the defense played very, very well.”

 

RB #23 PIERRE THOMAS

(on running game) “In the beginning, we wanted to come out and attack their secondary. That was their weakness. We knew they had a strong front four and solid linebackers. We didn’t run the ball a lot in the first half. I told our position coach we needed to be a little more balanced. I just told myself, ‘let’s establish this run game.’

 

(on game-clinching run) “I knew my team was counting on me to punch it in. I was counting on my offensive line and the rest of my teammates to block.”

 

(on scoring 14 and winning) “It don’t matter what it takes, as long as we get the victory. (Minnesota’s) defense is a tough defense. Everybody thought the Vikings would come out here and try to give it to us. We had to bring it to them first. We started pounding in the second half more.

 

K #5 GARRETT HARTLEY

(On his mindset) “My mindset was great. I was hitting the ball real well in pre-season, practice and warm ups. I went 0 for 2, but I was fortunate the way the offense and defense played. The offense puts some points up and the defense shut the Vikings out.”

 

(On the missed kicks) “Both of them were completely on me. The snap and the hold were great. Things like that are inexcusable at this level. I just need to go back to my techniques and understand what I did wrong. I need to come out next Monday night against the 49ers and put some points on the board.”

 

S #41 ROMAN HARPER

(On keeping all of the plays in front of them) “We didn’t want to give up any big plays, but that’s something we want to do every week. We wanted to make them earn everything. We had a couple of penalties on that long drive that they had, so we have to get them off the field. I don’t know what our third down percentage was, but it seemed like it was up and down. We had a couple of three and outs that helped us.”

 

S #27 MALCOLM JENKINS

(On holding them to a field goal on the 16-play drive) “They have a good offense. They are going to make plays. We have to do our best to get them off the field.”

 

(On the defense stepping up the defense) “This is a good team win. The offense got points when we needed them to.”

 

(On flustering Brett Favre) “We didn’t fluster him. They were a little conservative in their play calling. They had a lot of second and long and third and long situations. That’s where we thrive.”

 

#88 JEREMY SHOCKEY

(On the offensive performance) “We did a couple things that we normally don’t do. Penalties and things of that nature hurt drives. We probably should have scored a lot more points, but a win is a win.”

 

(On the relief of starting 1-0) “It’s good. It’s just one game. I know the fans have been waiting for this since Miami. I’m glad that we got the win. The crowd was great and really helped us out. They made them jump offsides a few times. I really can’t thank the fans enough.”

 

 

DE WILL SMITH

 

On not having the same personality as last year

“I think we have the same personality as last year. We want to be relentless, fly around and make plays. I think the difference is we tried to eliminate a lot of mistakes we made last year. It was a tight game and we knew that we needed the advantage because our offense was not playing the way they normally do and our special teams was playing good. We knew it was going to come down to the wire and we knew it was going to be a tough one.”

 

Can you talk about the evolution of the defense from last year

“The guys learned the system. Everybody is comfortable in it. This is the second year that everybody’s been in the system and we have a couple new guys in the secondary. But, everybody pretty much played similar and came out and played well.”

 

On how the Vikings said in the off season that they lost the game

“Last year we heard a lot about how they lost the game and defensively we kind of took that a little personal. We wanted to come out and make a statement. I think we came out and played the way we wanted to play and held them to nine points. We made a statement. We won the game last year and we won the game today.”

 

On Brett Favre

“He looked a little uncomfortable in the pocket. He kept fading back when he threw the ball. A couple plays he was way off target. So we knew that in the first half that he was a little skittish and we wanted to keep attacking, attacking, attacking.”

 

On the Saints missed opportunities, but still coming away with a win

“We know we can’t rely on one group. We can’t rely on special teams, we can’t rely on offense and we can’t rely on defense. Somebody’s going to make a play when we need to make a play to win the game. I don’t think we turned that corner and anybody doubted that we were not going to lose that game.”

 

WR ROBERT MEACHEM

 

This team is proving that you can win games in different ways

“A win is a win. We are going to go back to the drawing board and work, and work and work.”

 

Was the game plan to have such an unbalanced attack

“We knew they only had three corners and we have an elite receiving corps so we tried to do our best with our four guys on the field. In the first quarter it worked for a little bit and the team adjusted. We started running the ball more and getting more balance in the third and fourth quarters.”

 

Why was it seemingly so easy to score on the first drive and then struggle the rest of the game

“We caught them off guard. We had four wide receivers and then put Reggie (Bush) and they did not know to put a corner or a linebacker on him. It started out well and this is the NFL and teams adjust. They went back to a zone coverage.”   

 

  

 

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS PLAYERS

 

QB #9 DREW BREES

(on first half play) “We talked about coming out and being aggressive, throwing the ball a lot. They’re a zone team and we were able to get some big plays early on. We had some chances to make some other big plays, but we weren’t able to make them.”

 

(on balance) “We feel like we’re a very balanced offense, that we can be very successful both running and passing. I felt like we really established (the run) in the third quarter, and obviously we were able to finish the game with that.

 

(on early emotion) “Anytime you’re in a game like that where there’s festivities and everything beforehand, you’ve got to remain calm. Even after that first drive, we felt like we could come right back out.

 

(on 14 points) “We’re not used to 14-9 victories, but we’re used to winning.

 

(on comparisons to last year’s game) “We talked about all week long. I think obviously, preparing for this game was extremely exciting. You’re going to hear so much of the talk about last year’s game – a lot of the same personnel, same coaching staff. Our defense took it personal. We gave up a lot of yards, but we got some turnovers. Coming into this game, we knew we would have to play better. Obviously, the defense played very, very well.”

 

RB #23 PIERRE THOMAS

(on running game) “In the beginning, we wanted to come out and attack their secondary. That was their weakness. We knew they had a strong front four and solid linebackers. We didn’t run the ball a lot in the first half. I told our position coach we needed to be a little more balanced. I just told myself, ‘let’s establish this run game.’

 

(on game-clinching run) “I knew my team was counting on me to punch it in. I was counting on my offensive line and the rest of my teammates to block.”

 

(on scoring 14 and winning) “It don’t matter what it takes, as long as we get the victory. (Minnesota’s) defense is a tough defense. Everybody thought the Vikings would come out here and try to give it to us. We had to bring it to them first. We started pounding in the second half more.

 

K #5 GARRETT HARTLEY

(On his mindset) “My mindset was great. I was hitting the ball real well in pre-season, practice and warm ups. I went 0 for 2, but I was fortunate the way the offense and defense played. The offense puts some points up and the defense shut the Vikings out.”

 

(On the missed kicks) “Both of them were completely on me. The snap and the hold were great. Things like that are inexcusable at this level. I just need to go back to my techniques and understand what I did wrong. I need to come out next Monday night against the 49ers and put some points on the board.”

 

S #41 ROMAN HARPER

(On keeping all of the plays in front of them) “We didn’t want to give up any big plays, but that’s something we want to do every week. We wanted to make them earn everything. We had a couple of penalties on that long drive that they had, so we have to get them off the field. I don’t know what our third down percentage was, but it seemed like it was up and down. We had a couple of three and outs that helped us.”

 

S #27 MALCOLM JENKINS

(On holding them to a field goal on the 16-play drive) “They have a good offense. They are going to make plays. We have to do our best to get them off the field.”

 

(On the defense stepping up the defense) “This is a good team win. The offense got points when we needed them to.”

 

(On flustering Brett Favre) “We didn’t fluster him. They were a little conservative in their play calling. They had a lot of second and long and third and long situations. That’s where we thrive.”

 

#88 JEREMY SHOCKEY

(On the offensive performance) “We did a couple things that we normally don’t do. Penalties and things of that nature hurt drives. We probably should have scored a lot more points, but a win is a win.”

 

(On the relief of starting 1-0) “It’s good. It’s just one game. I know the fans have been waiting for this since Miami. I’m glad that we got the win. The crowd was great and really helped us out. They made them jump offsides a few times. I really can’t thank the fans enough.”

 

 

DE WILL SMITH

 

On not having the same personality as last year

“I think we have the same personality as last year. We want to be relentless, fly around and make plays. I think the difference is we tried to eliminate a lot of mistakes we made last year. It was a tight game and we knew that we needed the advantage because our offense was not playing the way they normally do and our special teams was playing good. We knew it was going to come down to the wire and we knew it was going to be a tough one.”

 

Can you talk about the evolution of the defense from last year

“The guys learned the system. Everybody is comfortable in it. This is the second year that everybody’s been in the system and we have a couple new guys in the secondary. But, everybody pretty much played similar and came out and played well.”

 

On how the Vikings said in the off season that they lost the game

“Last year we heard a lot about how they lost the game and defensively we kind of took that a little personal. We wanted to come out and make a statement. I think we came out and played the way we wanted to play and held them to nine points. We made a statement. We won the game last year and we won the game today.”

 

On Brett Favre

“He looked a little uncomfortable in the pocket. He kept fading back when he threw the ball. A couple plays he was way off target. So we knew that in the first half that he was a little skittish and we wanted to keep attacking, attacking, attacking.”

 

On the Saints missed opportunities, but still coming away with a win

“We know we can’t rely on one group. We can’t rely on special teams, we can’t rely on offense and we can’t rely on defense. Somebody’s going to make a play when we need to make a play to win the game. I don’t think we turned that corner and anybody doubted that we were not going to lose that game.”

 

WR ROBERT MEACHEM

 

This team is proving that you can win games in different ways

“A win is a win. We are going to go back to the drawing board and work, and work and work.”

 

Was the game plan to have such an unbalanced attack

“We knew they only had three corners and we have an elite receiving corps so we tried to do our best with our four guys on the field. In the first quarter it worked for a little bit and the team adjusted. We started running the ball more and getting more balance in the third and fourth quarters.”

 

Why was it seemingly so easy to score on the first drive and then struggle the rest of the game

“We caught them off guard. We had four wide receivers and then put Reggie (Bush) and they did not know to put a corner or a linebacker on him. It started out well and this is the NFL and teams adjust. They went back to a zone coverage.”   

 

MINNESOTA VIKINGS COACH BRAD CHILDRESS

 

(on the loss) “Tough loss. They’re all tough. I thought it was really a battle of two halves. I thought, defensively, we settled down after the scripted series they had in the beginning of the game. Hats off to the defense.

 

“Obviously, it turned out to be a defensive struggle. I don’t think that anybody would’ve seen that this way. They had four explosive plays in the first quarter. We kind of held them down after that. We were right where we wanted to be at halftime. Unfortunately, we were three and out far too many times. Hats off to New Orleans. They did a nice job defensively…and we didn’t have a lot of answers for that.

 

“Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to see them later in the season. Regardless of whether we won this one or lost this one, we’ve got a good Miami Dolphins team coming to see us next week.”

 

(on keeping Saints offense controlled most of the game) “I thought we did a great job, not withstanding that first drive…I thought they did a nice job of adjusting. I thought they did a nice job all the way out to the secondary.”

 

(on Favre not looking in sync with the wide receivers) “I wouldn’t say so. There was not a lot of timing throws out there because of how they rushed things. There were not a lot of throws to be made far down the field…We need to be a little more patient and we have to be able to run the football. I thought we had a pretty good pulse going at halftime.”

 

(on Favre’s ankle holding up well tonight) “I didn’t see any ill affects really back there … When you rush three and drop eight (like the Saints did), there’s not a whole lot of timing throws that are to be had out there.”

 

 

MINNESOTA VIKINGS PLAYERS

 

G #76 STEVE HUTCHINSON

“Of course this was a big game and a big deal. I mean it was the first game of the season. But whenever you lose, regardless of when it is in the season, it hurts. But like Coach (Childress) says, this was just one game and its one game of 16. So now we have to concentrate on the 15 other games to find out what we are made of.”

 

DE #69 JARED ALLEN

“I am really proud of the way our defense played tonight. Other than their first drive, I thought we stopped them a lot on third downs and made plays. And when I think about it, last year we held them in check for the most part; but last year turnovers for us played a much bigger role than this game.”

 

“The one thing we (defense) could have done is give our offense another chance to win the game. With five or four minutes remaining they converted on a couple of first downs and we weren’t in a position to let our offense return. “

 

TE #81 VISANTHE SHIANCOE

“We definitely left some plays out there on the field. Tomorrow will be a very interesting film session. The one good thing we can take out of this game is that we protected the quarterback real well. There’s a lot of things we can take from this game and learn from. It’s only the first game. This loss is not going to derail our goal, which is to win the Super Bowl.”

 

(on touchdown) “You know, Brett made a terrific pass. He put it up there and I grabbed it.”

 

(was he bumped on Vilma INT?) “Yes, obviously I think he did. You know a lot of things were not called. “

 

RB #28 ADRIAN PETERSON

“I am ready to carry the ball more. I am ready for that. I was close a lot of times out there to breaking tackles to make big gains. But they (saints) have great players on defense who make plays and they held us in check.”

 

“Of course we have a lot of work to do but we are close. You saw in the second half we had a lot of first downs and we did move the ball well. There is no need for panic, there is no need to get down about anything. It’s week one and there are 15 more. We have a great opportunity to learn from this and to put it behind us and get ready for Miami. “

 

“It’s very disappointing anytime you lose; I mean we came down here to win. Even though we moved the ball our offense could have been a lot more productive, especially in the second half, to give our defense a chance to get off the field. But like I said we have to put this one behind us and get ready for Miami next week.”

 

 

Vikings QB #4 Brett Favre

 

Did you feel like there were problems getting on the same page with your receivers? Do you credit that to their defense or was the timing off? I think the timing was a little bit off. I’ll give credit to the Saints like I did last year; they are a good football team. They create confusion in their defense. I thought, for the most part, we handled that well. We didn’t have the points that we had last year, and neither did they. Their style of defense is a confusion style of defense. I think, maybe two or three plays, they played zero blitz where they don’t have any help over the top. I think, for the most part, they give you pressure packages but they don’t give you much over the top. I hit (Visanthe) Shiancoe a couple times down the middle in their two deep pressure package. They rolled to Bernard (Berrian) for the most part. They rolled to Percy (Harvin). Without looking at the film, off the top of my head, there were three or four throws that I just missed. I have no excuse other than just missing them. I threw one behind Greg Lewis. I had a couple of reads that I should have made differently. If I do that, I think it is a different ballgame with everything else that happened. The turnover didn’t cost us any points. It was one of their blitz packages that they got. That was my mistake. Overall, I just missed on some throws that I should have made.

 

Do you think that your ankle held up well? It did ok. We protected a lot better. I don’t move around like I used to, but I feel like it did ok.

 

Do you feel rusty? No. I feel fine. I missed on some of these throws, but everything felt fine. I was throwing a little bit behind. Some of the reads that I made, or didn’t make, you can say that in a couple weeks, that will come back. This is the first game. That means a lot. You have got to be ready the first game. I came in as prepared as I can be. I knew what they were going to do. When they were going to do it and what set they are going to do it out of, that’s a little bit tricky. I thought we handled the noise and the protections well. You are going to miss some. Guys are going to drop some. You are not going to block every guy every time. I know, for me, those opportunities, those are throws I should have made.

 

Do you feel like there was a “redemption” aspect to this game? How does it feel adding this loss to the one in January? They beat us fair and square last year. They did the same thing tonight. I am sure everyone who watched this ball game would say that it wasn’t the fireworks they thought it was going to be for either team. For us, it’s obvious that we can get a lot better. It’s obvious. I think last year, when we played here in the playoffs, we played about as good as we can play. We turned the ball over too many times, and that was the determining factor in us winning and losing. We can’t turn the ball over and win. We didn’t score as many points tonight, but there is a lot of potential there. We ran the ball pretty good. Adrian (Peterson) is one of those guys you’ve got to keep hammering it to. I am not concerned who we played, redemption, revenge, or any of those things. If we get better on the mistakes that we made tonight, and I’m talking about myself first, I think we can be pretty good again. We can’t put our defense on the field when we scored nine points against an explosive team. I think our defense did a good job. The first drive, they wish they had back. That has nothing to do with last year. We may see this football team again. We have to get better. We will. We did some good things but there are a lot of opportunities that we left out there today.

 

Without Sidney Rice, do you feel like the offense has the personnel to stretch the field? I think we do. If people are going to make a deal with Sidney not being here, it is different without Sidney. Sidney had a handful of catches here last year, none down the field. I hit him on a slant, on the touchdown on a little zone play. Bernard has one hundred plus yards. Their style of defense last year was the same as it was tonight. They are not going to give up an outside big play. You are going to have to catch it underneath and run. You have to handle their blitz packages. Do we have guys that can go up and make the plays that Sidney made last year, not just in this game but in general? Only time will tell. I like the guys that we have. It has nothing to do with the misses that I had with those guys. I threw a little in front of Greg Camarillo on one; I threw one behind Greg Lewis. That had nothing to do with Sidney Rice. I just missed. I make those two completions, we still have the ball. I like our guys.

 

Was it hard to deal with the crowd noise? It isn’t easy. It’s hard to communicate. Off the top of my head, that’s two years in a row we didn’t have a false start. We had a few penalties.