NEW ORLEANS SAINTS POSTGAME QUOTES
ASSISTANT HEAD COACH/LINEBACKERS JOE VITT
"I just met with our football team and I certainly share in their disappointment tonight. I told them quite frankly there was probably was too much hype and not enough substance about me coming back last week. I've got to do a better job of preparing our football team. I've got to do a better job of getting our football team ready physically, mentally and emotionally to play in a game like this. To be quite frank with you, there's still stuff that I need to do better. I took a time out, I went for it in the first half on fourth down and are we prepared to take that shot without taking a time out? I should have went for it on fourth down in the third quarter, I didn't do it. I told our team to be prepared for that. At half time, quite frankly, we were where we wanted to be. We were winning the time of possession, we knew we had to do a better job offensively on third down to maintain possessions and we wound up being one-for-12 for the game. We've also got to do a better job stopping the run defensively and we'll continue to make that a premium and work on it. There's a lot of football left to be played. I'm going to work hard to prepare our football team and our football players are going to work hard."
On clarifying his comment about too much hype around his return
"[The hype about] me coming back, which was ridiculous. There's nothing that I can do to put pixie dust on this team to make it play better, to make it play more emotional and there's probably more hype than substance on my part. I've got to do a better job of educating our football team of exactly what we have to do to win, especially in an environment like this against a good football team and on the road. We had some keys to victory that we felt we would try to execute, we knew what we had to do to win, and quite frankly we didn't do it. That's my responsibility, that's my fault."
On if the team struggles with mental lapses during the game
"Well, I don't think it's mental lapses, I think it's missed tackles. It's some missed assignments, things like that. We're going to play the players that give us the best chance to win football games. We're going to be in the business of being accountable for how we put forth and what we do, and we'll have time this week to work hard to get that corrected."
On if there was an injury to CB Patrick Robinson
"Not to my knowledge."
On his decision to move DE Cameron Jordan into the Tackle position
"The game that we play is a game of match-ups and if we can create a mis-match defensively to afford our defense an opportunity to make a play that's what we want to do. We also want to give up some different looks. We said last week that we were not going to fool [Broncos QB] Peyton [Manning] with a lot of different coverage disguises but hopefully we could create some mis-matches and create some confusion in their offensive and get a little pressure on the quarterback, and that was good early."
On the cause of poor run defense
"I think poor run defense comes from not staying in their gap and not tackling."
On the Broncos showing something they didn't expect
"They're going to make their adjustments. We started the game doing exactly what we wanted to do. We knew that Peyton was going to get his completions. We knew that this offense was going to move the football. But in order to win a game like this we talked about our second-half performance and what we were going to have to do all week long, but we didn't get it done. I didn't get it done. So when you play a game like this you've got to come early and you've got to stay late. You've got to play your best football in the second half and we just didn't do it."
On offensive performance tonight
"I think the stats speak for themselves. When you finish the game one-for-12 on third down and time of possession is a premium, offensively we're going to have to get better at that. The good news is that we have a lot of men on our offense that are intelligent and want to be fed the proper information – what they have to do to get better. That was a disappointing stat, our offense knows that, we'll improve on that."
On the receivers dropping more passes this year being indicative of a lack of leadership
"No, our leadership is strong. We have real good leadership on this football team. This football team has been through a lot, it's been put through a lot. It's not an excuse for the way we played tonight. It's not an excuse for dropped balls, for missed tackles. We're going to be held accountable, and we're all in an evaluation process right now, me included. We need to get better. We need to catch more balls and we need better runs after the catch. We need to defend the pass better, we need to defend the run better. We need to go back to work."
On the Saints not being ready for the Broncos defensive looks
"No we were well prepared we felt going into the game. But you have to win individual battles in this game to have a chance. You can get paralysis through analysis."
On CBs Johnny Patrick and Corey White getting a lot of snaps tonight
"That's the plan because of the personnel they're going to run. If they're going to run three wide receivers then we're going to run their second tight end as a slot receiver, so, anytime we play defense against Peyton Manning you're going to play more that nickel package to defend against the pass."
On DT Akiem Hicks
"I think he's still playing at a high pad level. I don't think he's working his feet the way you need to work it. But this is a big, strong, young encouraging athlete. We're going to continue to play him and we're going to take a few lumps along the way, but we're in the business of trying to develop players and get players better. At this time of the year there's really no such thing as a rookie anymore. The learning process and all that stuff is kind of over and quite frankly, these players are going to be good enough to learn if we good enough to teach them."
QUARTERBACK DREW BREES
On third down percentage
"That was a very poor performance on our part on third down. We were not able to sustain drives – we kept our defense out there for entirely too long. I felt like we were in third and manageable situations, but it really was just the lack of execution. I felt like you have to give their defense credit – they played well and made some plays, but overall I believe there were things that we did to ourselves in a lot of cases that prevented us from converting those."
On the offense struggling the entire game to get in a rhythm
"Just the second and third quarter and really, I guess, into the fourth up until that last drive, and even then I don't know if we converted any third downs – we converted a couple fourth downs. No, that was just very stale – never felt like we could ever really get anything going."
On the team rebounding
"I don't know what 2-5 means, other than we just have to win a lot of games down the stretch – but one at a time. We're going back home to face Philadelphia on Monday night and this has got to be our time to bounce back."
On the team's inconsistency this season
"What was disappointing about tonight was the last three weeks previous to this, I felt like we were playing some of our best football – we played very well at times – in all the statistics that matter, most importantly winning. Offensively, as I look at us, our third down percentage has been off the charts, our red zone efficiency has been off the charts -- taking care of the football. We've been doing all the right things – things that you would say is winning football – scoring points. But today, we were obviously not able to take a step forward and the situation we're in requires us each in every week to do that. We're not pressing, we're not overreacting, but the situation is what it is and we do understand the importance of each and every week – the fact that we need to play much better than we did."
On assistant head coach Joe Vitt's return impacting the team
"That's what you love about Coach Vitt, he's going to try to take blame and be accountable, but listen, all of us need to be accountable. We all have things that we wish we would have done differently tonight, or done better. I think Coach Vitt did a phenomenal job this week, unfortunately we just didn't come out and play the way I felt like our effort and preparation was throughout the week. That's the disappointing thing because we felt like we were ready for this game, we were ready to take a step forward and we didn't."
On mistakes on third down
"A lot of cases I tell myself I need to throw it better and they tell me they need to catch it. Listen, we've all been together long enough – we understand some of those things are a part of the game and they're going to happen every now and then, but it seemed like it happened a lot to us tonight, just in so many different ways. Listen, 1-of-12 on third is just pitiful."
On tight end Jimmy Graham's inconsistency
"I don't think immaturity is the word. I think for him, you know he missed last week – he's coming off an injury. He's a guy, any young player, just needs a lot of time on tasks throughout the week to get in a flow, get in a rhythm, gain confidence – all those things. Coming off the injury, he was limited in reps. I felt like he looked for go, but I know that, for him – for all of us – we just didn't execute like we can."
On the pressure the Broncos' offense put on Saints' offense
"Coming into this game, we really were not trying to make it about who is on the other side of the ball other than we knew the value of each and every possession for us was that much more critical. But obviously, it's our execution against their defense. Just listen, the more we can possess the ball, the more that we can convert third downs – score points – we're keeping them off the field, as well as being productive ourselves. We left our defense out there entirely too long today. We gave the Broncos a lot more possessions than we should have and I think we're to blame for that, offensively. We need to play better -- we need to do things that can help our defense."
On improving next week
"You just think about getting a little bit better each week and I felt like we had really done that for six straight weeks and then all of a sudden we took a step back today. The good thing is we get to go play next week – we get to play on Monday Night Football at home. There's no better way to get back on track than to beat the Eagles on Monday night. We know we have a big mountain to climb – we knew that four weeks ago. We're undeterred, we're not going to be frustrated – we've got great locker room leadership, great character and we're going to continue to grind and move forward."
WIDE RECEIVER MARQUES COLSTON
"We just have to continue to get better. We have a big game coming up Monday night so we've just got to continue to improve throughout the week."
On Broncos defense
"We played a good defense tonight and they got the best of us."
On whether the Broncos defense did anything unexpected
"No. We felt pretty good coming into the game about our game plan. It just didn't go the way we envisioned it."
On whether this is the lowest point for this team
"No. We know exactly what we have in this locker room and we need to continue to work to reach that."
On whether a 2-5 start is too big of a hole to climb out of
"We are getting ready for Philadelphia. That is for you guys to discuss. We are worried about getting better next week and playing Philly."
On what he means by "getting better"
"We just have to continue to improve, there is no specifics. If each man can continue to get better we'll obviously be better as an offense and as a team."
SAFETY ROMAN HARPER
"We have to be able to execute, we have to be able to tackle better. I know we are facing a formidable offense and we get that, but at the end of the day we get paid to make plays defensively and we aren't making enough. We got a turnover early but we have to hold teams to field goals in the red zone and just overall have a better effort."
On whether this is the lowest point for the team
"No. I've seen way worse actually. I think the Colts in '07 was pretty bad, too. I don't want to say the effort was poor I just think the execution wasn't good enough to help us win the game. Defensively, we need another turnover. We have to hold teams to field goals and offensively, maintain drives and things like that. It just wasn't complementary ball on both sides."
On whether the defense took a step back tonight
"I'm not going to say a step back. At the end of the day we have to be able to get off the field and be able to make some plays defensively. We didn't make enough plays tonight. I don't know enough, I haven't seen the tape, I don't know enough to make more comments."
CENTER BRIAN DE LA PUENTE
On what the difference is between this year in comparison to last season
"I don't know. It is frustrating at times but what you can do is go back and look at how you're playing, how I'm playing, how we're playing as an o-line. We just have to get better."
On what happened with the offensive line
"We'll have to go back and watch the tape but it is on all of us. We have to keep [QB] Drew [Brees] clean. We have to get the run game going so it is on us."
On if playoffs are still a realistic goal for this team
"We really just have to focus on one game at a time; stick together one game at a time and don't look too far down the road."
DEFENSIVE END WILL SMITH
On if it's too late in the season to have that many mistakes
"We know they were coming off of a bye week and they were fresh. [We knew] they were probably coming out with a pretty good game plan against us. We are all professionals here. We knew it was a tough team going in and they beat us."
On how this ranks amongst their five losses this season
"A loss is a loss. We didn't finish as tough as we usually do, so that's a little disappointing, but at the end of the day it's still a loss."
On what they have to do to bounce back against Philadelphia
"We've just got to keep preparing, we need to stay positive. We had a good opportunity to get back to .500 and go home. We knew it would be a challenge and they came out and played better than us. We just have to keep preparing and get ready for Philadelphia."
On his reaction to the loss.
"It's very disappointing. I think it's safe to say we struggled across the board. We weren't able to get points offensively and defensively we weren't able to get the stops we needed."
On having another week before his ruling
"I'm not worried about that. I was worried about the Broncos today and I'll be worried about Philadelphia now that this game is over."