NEW ORLEANS SAINTS VS. WASHINGTON REDSKINS
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2012 ● MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS QUOTES
SAINTS OFFENSIVE LINE/RUNNING GAME COACH AARON KROMER
"Today was a day that was frustrating because our fans deserve more than what we gave them today. When it's all said it done, they deserve more. They deserve better play by the New Orleans Saints. Now let's credit the Redskins. Let's be honest, this team came in and played well. They ran the ball well. RG3 scrambles a few times and made some nice plays. Their defense did a nice job. They did the things that we expected; that's the hard part to take. It's the things we practiced and expected. We didn't play well enough to win. We were close, but it would have been a sloppy win if we did. We need to play better this week."
(on what can be improved for Week 2) "We have been in this situation before. We are going to pull together because we have a lot of character on this team. We have a tight knit team. We have guys that feel for each other and will work together. We need to get all the parts together and get it times up perfectly. There were no indications that this would happen. If you look at the Houston preseason game, there were no indications that this would happen. We were clicking, we were moving the ball, we had timing with our receivers, our defense did a good job against the run, and we just need to go back and look at ourselves. Each one of us, starting with me, needs to go back and look at ourselves and figure out what I can do better, what each individual can do better and how close we can stay."
(on if it was a mistake not to run the ball more early on) "You are not going to run the ball when you get 12 penalties. In the first half, if you go back and look at the drives when we ran the ball once for a first down and ran it again and got a 10 yard holding penalty now you are out of running range. The only reason those plays were chosen is because of the situations we were in."
(on Washington's offense in preseason vs. today) "I think they showed a lot of their offense (and) general scheme (in the regular season). You are always going to change personnel and how you do things, but if you look at the plays in general they are the same kind of plays. You are always anticipating with RG3 that he is going to be running the ball with some kind of read option off the backside defensive end or faking it to the right and bootlegging to the left. These plays are going to come up and you anticipate it. I don't think they did anything that we didn't anticipate."
(on what went wrong on offense) "We got behind the chains, we had penalties. As soon as you do that you get out or rhythm so you have to get a play that can get you halfway back and we weren't able to do that. When you play football you get 11 guys together and they need to be in sync. Early on, we had one guy each play that wasn't with us and we have to overcome that. We have to get that fixed and we will."
(on the 12 men on the field penalty) "Adversity is going to come in a game, things are going to happen and you have to overcome it. I talked the guys last night about character, there is going to be some crisis in the game. There is crisis in life, there is crisis in a game and you have to overcome it. We have the resolve in our locker room to overcome those things they same way we are going to overcome this game"
(on the decision to play Will Smith) "Will Smith practiced all training camp. He missed one week of practice. He was schooled up on the gameplan. He is our best defensive end, a former captain, so it was important that he play."
(on what prevented Saints from overcoming adversity today) "Penalties hurt us. When we have had challenges in the past we were able to chunk away at yardage, and today when we got behind the chains a couple times it killed us in our third down conversions. When you look at it, time of possession was way out of whack. They did a very nice job of keeping the football, and we did not do a good job of keeping the football and that stemmed from penalties."
(on failure to convert on third downs) "Today the difference was penalties. It was second-and-20, so when we got to third down it was third-and-long was too many times. You get in third-and-long situations you are not going to convert. When we were converting on a normal basis, or on a first in the NFL basis as we did last year, we were in manageable situations so the percentages go down obviously the further you are."
(on what was most disturbing besides penalties) "I think that the entire team needs to look themselves in the eye, look in the mirror and say 'what can I do better? How can I prepare better? How can I be a better teammate? How can I win a football game by doing my job?'."
(on a sloppy first game without Sean Payton) "Listen, this team is going to stay together because of their core and the character within it. As we went in that locker room after a tough day as we had could not have gotten any tighter as a group, we said 'we are going to get this fixed.'"
QB #9 DREW BREES
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"We'll regroup like we always have. The first thing is looking at the film and seeing what we all can do better. We lost the first game of the year last year and finished 13-3. We have the mentality and the guys to do it."
"It's disappointing in that it was the home opener. What it comes down to is doing all the things that prevent you from winning football games. It's turnovers, it's penalties that cost you drives and keep your defense out there entirely too long. You add all those things up and you gave them way too many opportunities. We've got to get better on first down, we've got to get better on third down, we've got to score points and we've got to take care of the football."
(on Robert Griffin III) "I thought he was extremely impressive. They sustained a lot of drives and kept our defense out there a long time. They were consistently scoring points. Unfortunately, we weren't able to match what they were doing."
(on the Redskins' defense) "They played their scheme very well. If you look at our third-down percentage – 2-for-11 – that's about as bad as we've ever been."
(on if distractions were a factor?) "Not at all. It's the NFL. You better bring it every week. Not to say we ever would take anybody lightly. We knew what type of team they were. It's hard to believe we had a chance to tie it at the end."
(on having a chance at the end) "We've won plenty of games when we've been down. Despite everything that's happened, we can tie it and extend the game. We've done that plenty of times before. How we got down was the disappointing thing."
"There's a foundation that's been built. We're going to get in tomorrow, we're going to look at that film, we're going to take a critical eye and say 'how can I get better?' It's the way we work, the way we prepare, the way we approach each day. We've got a lot of football left.
"There was a lot of emotion going into the game because of the events of the last few days. At times when the emotions are so high, you get into the game and you can have a lapse. We recognized that from a game last year against the Houston Texans, when Steve Gleason came out and led the 'Who Dat' cheer.
(on four three-and-outs in the first six possessions) "I can't recall the last time we did that. I can't recall the last time we had this many third-and-longs. I can't recall the last time we were this inefficient in the passing game. We're going to be better than that."
(On if they surprised them defensively) "No, I wouldn't say they surprised us. They didn't do anything that we hadn't seen before or weren't anticipating. They played their scheme very well. In the end, our third down percentage was as probably as bad as it has ever been. You can attribute that to all of the third and longs. I couldn't tell you how many times we were third and ten or plus. You are going to sustain drives, if you get third and mediums. You keep their defense on the field, our (offense) on the field and you are going to score points. You are going to wear them down. We just have to find a way to improve that."
WR #15 COURTNEY ROBY
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(on his return of a blocked punt for a touchdown) "I think it was definitely a spark. That's the role of special teams. You're always trying to find a way to set an edge for the offense or defense. That was right before the half. (Martez Wilson) was able to break free and I was able to scoop and score."
"A loss is a loss. We've got to go back to the drawing board.
"Year after year, you try to work hard, try to make a play whenever possible and try to be somebody that's dependable. I'm just doing what I'm coached (to do).
"Anytime you have penalties, it's disappointing. All you can do is overcome it. Some hurt more than others."
S #27 MALCOLM JENKINS
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(on the Redskins offense and Robert Griffin III) "Most of the big plays they got were off bootlegs. That aspect is always tough to defend, and (Griffin) made us pay for it. He took the throws that were open. The play-action passes, he made the good reads. He had a good game."
(on the Redskins game plan) "They had a great game plan for it, especially early in the game. They ran the ball well, which is one of the things we needed to stop. When you get that kind of combination, that's hard to defend."
(on the loss) "You take your lumps as they come. There (are) always things to improve on. Whenever you lose the turnover battle and have ten penalties, that's hard to overcome. If we make the plays we need to make and don't have all the stupid penalties (it could be different)."
"I don't think we go into the game thinking we're going to give up 40. Each game is going to take on a life of its own."
(on facing a quarterback like Griffin in Week 1) "It's easier to gameplan as you get into the season. The first game's always hard to anticipate. I thought we made some adjustments late in the game. That's a tough offense to go up against. It's going to be a good year for (Robert Griffin III)."
(on no takeaways by the defense) "We had a few opportunities that we let slip by, but they did a good job of protecting the ball as well. We've got to get the ball out, though. We have to create those turnovers and give ourselves a chance."
S #41 ROMAN HARPER
(On the game) "We didn't make the plays that we needed to. We let the quarterback get out of the pocket. We had bad penalties. We didn't get off the field. The pass interference on me was what it was. It set them up for a touchdown though. We had a couple of offsides (penalties). We played bad ball. It just wasn't smart. That's the most disappointing part. I like the effort that this team has (given). We have to be smarter though. We didn't help ourselves at all today. You have to give Washington credit because they won the game. We are so much better than what we did today. We have to recognize that and be smart. That's what it comes down to."