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Brian de la Puente discusses win over the Panthers

Quotes from Brian de la Puente's conference call with New Orleans media on Monday, December 9, 2013

New Orleans Saints Center Brian de la Puente
Conference Call with Local Media
Monday, December 9, 2013

With the next two games being on the road and communication being so important, are there some things you guys want to nail down these next two weeks?

"The communication stuff is always important and around here we do a good job of trying to assimilate crowd noise and putting ourselves in uncomfortable situations each week so come game day we are prepared for it and feel like our communication is there.  I'm sure that will be an emphasis this week going to St. Louis.  They have an electric crowd and (I) have played there before, it does get loud.  I am sure we will be ready for it."

Was communication a problem in Seattle?

"No I don't think it was.  I think we did a decent job of communication considering how loud it was up there.  We can always get better.  We did have a couple in Seattle that we would like to have back communication wise.  The ultimate goal is to have none of those.  We definitely can get better and this week will be a good challenge to get better."

Were those signs on the sidelines meant for the skill position, the offensive line, or for everyone?

"I think they were for the skill positions."

When you look at 7-0 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome versus 3-3 away, is that something that is hard to explain?

"I think that we like to be able to take our show on the road.  But definitely playing in the Dome is an advantage and we know that, teams know that coming in here.  It is a difficult place to play.  There are unique things that present themselves when you are on the road and that is part of it and you just have to go out there and put your best foot forward."

There were a lot of things done to make this game bigger, do you embrace these big games?

"I think that when the whole world is watching you want to put your best foot in front of you.  I think everybody gets fired up for those primetime games, but what is so great about this team is, I do feel that we've had such great focus that regardless if it is primetime or a noon game, whatever the time is, that is the only game we can play this week.  I think the team as a whole has done a great job this year of doing that of separating and trying to remove yourself from the big picture and trying to worry about the task at hand.  This week we have St. Louis and the big picture of all that kind of stuff doesn't really matter you just take care of what you can do and what you can control and good things can happen."

How do you change focus emotionally?

"You can put that on it but I really think that as you get later in the season each game becomes significantly more important.  At this time of the year we know that we control our own destiny and to finish has been a motto for us.  We are in the fourth quarter of the season and we've done a good job in the fourth quarters of the games and closing out games so I think that we want to close out this regular season and have a good postseason."

Was there a moment yesterday where you could tell that the Panthers were done and weren't going to be able to fight?

"When you get opportunities when the defense is playing well and you get the ball back in two minute situations to get some points you definitely want to do that.  Like I said, our preparation throughout the week we put ourselves in those situations expecting to be in them so when the opportunity does come we are ready for them.  Last night we capitalized it and we know that.  It was going to be about scoring points.  That is ultimately what this game is about and any opportunity that you have to do that you want to capitalize."

Can you describe why the first first down is so important?

"It is a rhythm game and when you get that first first down the jive kind of gets going. You get in a rhythm.  You kind of get things rolling.  We want to stay on the field so those first downs are key to keep our defense on the field and to keep us on the field as long as possible and get those long drives together.  Getting them started is as important as finishing them."

What do you make of the contrast of the last two games?

"The Seattle game is in the past and we did not put good stuff on tape.  We want to flush it, move on and we've done a good job of that.  All you can really do is look forward.  That is what we are doing.  We have St. Louis and they are a good defense.  We have our hands full with them.  Seattle was Seattle and we've moved on.  We are looking into the future."

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