<span>NEW ORLEANS SAINTS HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON
"A couple of things just in regards to the game; obviously it was an exciting game. It went back and forth with two good teams just kind of punch each other back and forth with momentum swings. And it wasn't always pretty, we had a lot of penalties early on and then fortunately at halftime we seemed to settle down a little bit and I think we only had one penalty in the second half but I know we had six at the half. We have a lot of guys to recognize. The biggest thing I was pleased with was that we played hard. The lead changed back and forth and the guys kept fighting. Defensively I thought we were strong. We gave them that one touchdown early in the game offensively on the pressure. It is a good team. It is a team that represented our division a year ago in the playoffs and I know it is just the first week of the season but that was a hell of a test for us. We have a lot of things to clean up; we have a lot of things to get better. Antwan Lake was the one injury with the groin that did not return to the game. We reported him, but I was proud of the effort. It is a good win. It is a real good win considering everything that went into that game and the preparation. Any questions?"
Q: Did you get what you were looking for from the new guys on defense?
A: I think we are going to see when we look at the film, we are going to see a lot of good things and we are going to see some things we need to clean up. (Tracy) Porter stepped up and made big breakups. Without having to look at the tape, (Jonathan) Vilma was very active. I was pleased with the push we got on (Jeff) Garcia. I thought we did a pretty good job containing him for the most part and keeping him from extending plays. He is a good player and he is hard to contain. I think they played hard so it was good to see some of those new guys step in there. When we had some guys get knicked throughout the course of the game and we had to play some other guys so when that happened those guys were ready."
Q: How important was it for Reggie to come out here and have a great season opener in front of a home crowd and set the tempo for 2008?
A: He has had a great off season. When I hear people critique him and they lump 2006 in there, it tells me a little bit about the person that is critiquing him because he had an outstanding year two years ago. He is looking to get back in stride. I thought he was dynamic today. He changed the game around in a few situations. He was outstanding. He had a great off season. I was happy for him. He was explosive. He seemed faster than everyone else on the field, at least to me he did.
Q: Can you explain the decision to have Deuce McAllister active and not play him?
A: We were going to wait and see how Aaron Stecker was and we decided to active Deuce. That being said, we were going to feature Pierre (Thomas) and Reggie (Bush) more. We are continuing to be patient with him; I'm talking about Deuce now and Mike McKenzie. Both of them are getting there. They were full go last week in regards to their reps. We just need to keep rehabbing them and keep working them and that was our plan going in.
Q: Can you talk about Jeremy Shockey's first game and the long wait to see him on the field and were you pleased with what you saw?
A: He came up with some awful big third down completions. It took us a while to get him touches early in the game. We got him a few, but somewhere in that third quarter he came up with a couple of big third down receptions for us. We have just had to be patient with the injury and it is pretty tough with him because he is not really a patient guy. Drew (Brees) found him on a couple of big plays today.
Q: What do you think about Jeremy Shockey's emotion, it is a little bit different from other guys?
A: I love it. I think it brings an energy to our crowd and to our offense and we welcome that. I think it is positive.
Q: Can you talk about containing Joey Galloway today?
A: I thought our technique was good. We did a good job staying on top of the over routes and we kind of challenged him this week. We heard a lot of talk about this "white tiger" so we kind of challenged our guys on the back end and I thought they responded very well.
Q: Can you talk about the job that Tracy Porter and Randall Gay did?
A: They had a lot of breakups. I was pleased. I thought we contested the throws. Of course, they made some plays. It is a good offense, but it thought by and large we did a good job in our coverage scheme of contesting throws and I thought the pressure we applied really helped. I thought we played well defensively. Again, considering we gave them one offensively I thought we battled them pretty good.
Q: Is it possible to overstate how big this win was?
A: It is the first week of the season and we are 1-0 and it is a division opponent so it is important, but that is what it is. Certainly it is important for the city, and I have said this before, it is the first step in getting back to everyday life and people are right now in the midst of doing that after the last evacuation so it gives them a chance to disappear a little bit and watch us play and we take that seriously. But when we wake up in the morning we are 1-0 and we have a couple tough road games now ahead of us, but starting off with a home win is a lot better than starting off on the road with a loss. I was proud of the way they played. They played with a lot of energy.
Q: The last stop that you got, is it safe to say year ago you may not have been able to make it?
A: It is hard to say. I just know the focus is this year. I am not interested in comparing a year ago or two years ago really. I'm really interested in now, and I thought in '08 we made the stop and that is what is important.
Q: There were some peaks and valleys in performance today, was some of that maybe from going to Indianapolis to prepare this week?
A: I thought our Indy week was outstanding. We gave game balls to James Nagaoka, Dan Simmons, Dave Desposito, all the people who put together our transition to that city. It was smooth. You heard me say that while I was there and it really is true. Everyone from the Colts people there, their ownership and general manager to the owner of the Conrad Hotel, it was fantastic. So, any mental errors we had, botched snaps or penalties, that would be hard pressed for me to blame on Indianapolis. I think it is week one and hopefully we can correct those things, but our week there was as good as you guys have read about and better.
Q: Anything stick out about Drew Brees today?
A: I thought he hung in there and played with poise. The big play to Devery (Henderson) was with him not being primary and he (Brees) does a great job if he feels like the defense jumps a little bit and he has a free play. That is what happened on that play. If you look back they were offsides and he (Brees) got the ball up in a place so Devery (Henderson) could make a play on it, the corner fell down and we got a touchdown. That was magnificent and he knew it was a free play because Tampa Bay was penalized. He does some of those things and gives you a ton of trust in calling plays.
Q: It is only one game but correcting the 0-4 start from last season, what does that mean to this team?
A: One of our goals was to play better early. I thought we played with a lot of energy. It wasn't perfect today. There were some things we are going to have to work on, but I did think we played hard. We were able to get that first home win. One of the things we wanted to do is play better at home. This is a great environment and we need to do a better job of taking advantage of that. We have two tough road games now and that is where our focus is, but certainly it was a big win, a big win for our team and our city.
Q: On the TD to David Patton, was he the primary?
A: Secondary. It is a little high-low with Lance Moore on an underneath option route and it was the corner's coverage and the safety kind of got flat-footed a little bit and Drew (Brees) bought a little time and made a big play. Those are some of the specifics. When we call a play like that, (David) Patton hadn't caught that play in the last month. We haven't thrown him the ball on that play, but Drew (Brees) is good at finding that.
Q: Did you give any game balls to players?
A: Yes, but we will just keep that to the team.
Q: Can you compare this home opener to the Monday Night Football home opener two years ago back in the Dome?
A: I don't know, it is kind of hard to go back to that Monday night. I think we will probably end up going to our death bed trying to find something to match that Monday night atmosphere, but it was exciting today. It is a little bitter hard to get that going at noon in this town than it is at 7 p.m., I think.