NEW ORLEANS SAINTS VS. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2012 ● MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS POSTGAME QUOTES
ASSISTANT HEAD COACH/LINEBACKERS JOE VITT
"The offense got the running game going. I was proud of our football team to be able to be improve on some things we really worked on and emphasized this week. Make no mistake, we've got a long way to go. We've got to tackle better defensively, and we'll continue to work on that. The red zone defense, the pressure … was very encouraging.
"Spags (Steve Spagnuolo) and our players have worked very, very hard from day one. This is a credit to their work ethics and the way they've stuck together.
"Offensively, we were able to get this running game going. We shuffled our backs in and out. We made plays down the field when we had to. I thought our offensive line, for the most part, protected well against a Philadelphia Eagles defensive line that is known for penetration and pressure."
(on the running game) "I think we had some set plays that we felt good about. We went back to doing some of the things we've always done around here by formation, people and shuffling our backs in and out. I thought the offensive line did a good job with their pad level. We tried to keep them off balance with our cadence. We have a lot of work of do, but certainly it was encouraging."
"We take one game at a time. We had some improvement tonight, which was encouraging. (I'm) happy and proud of the coaching staff and our players for their work habits, commitment and togetherness, but we start all over again tomorrow with our next opponent. We'll see. It's a work in progress. I've said this a million times – every week takes on a life of its own. We've got to worry about matchups, who's healthy and who's dinged and the opponent you're playing. We're going to go back to work tonight – we've got a short week – and get ready for our next opponent, Atlanta."
(on Patrick Robinson's interception) "That was a big play. That was a 14-point swing – the seven we got and the seven they didn't. We've made plays before in the red zone, we work awful hard in the red zone and coaches prepare our players to play well in the red zone. I think our players are really starting to get some confidence in the way Spags wants this defense to be played in the red zone. It was great."
(on pass rush) "I thought we had a good rush plan all week long. Michael (Vick) has taken some big hits this year. I don't know that his escapability, maybe because of some of the hits he took, was as good as it was four or five years ago. We had a good rush plan. We kept our people fresh. We had a good week of practice. When you prepare well, it gives you a chance to compete well."
(on use of timeouts) "I have a long way to go. I've need to get better. We were able to take some time outs in the first half to get the ball back to the offense – I think there was 43 seconds left. We took some shots down the field and it didn't work out, but at least we put the offense in a position to get some points. I think the game kind of dictated there wasn't going to be a lot of critical time management down the stretch. I've got to get better everyday."
(on Chris Ivory) "Chris is a powerful back. He runs with a good pad level. He's one of those unique backs that can make the first guy miss or he can run over him. He's grown as a back. He's more secure in the offense. Obviously, we trust him as a back; we like Chris. It was exciting to see him run well."
(on the report about Sean Payton's contract) "I haven't seen the report or heard the report. I've heard the people, second-hand, tell the report to me. Seventy-five percent of things that are reported aren't true anyway, so I don't want to have any comment. This team loves Sean, and Sean loves this team. This city loves Sean, and Sean loves this city. I think that's a tough combination to beat."
(on allowing 400 total yards) "I don't understand about total yards. Points against, red zone defense, turnovers and pressure on the quarterback (are the statistics that matter most). We were able to get that accomplished. I am fully aware that they had some big plays called back. That's the fun of coaching – to try to improve and get better every week. Total yards - those are stats. When we won the Super Bowl, we were 26th in the league in total defense. We forced turnovers, gave good field position to the offense. Stats are what they are."
(on offensive tempo) "It was something that was an emphasis this week. Our offense works very hard on tempo. We were better this week. Our guys are professionals. When you tell them what a key to victory is, they work hard on it and it carried over into the game. We had good tempo. We were in and out, up and down, on and off. Personnel groupings were on and off the field. The tempo in and out of the huddle, the motions, the shifts, we got better. We got a long way to go."
(on red zone defense) "If you hold them out, the advantage is to the defense. If they score, the advantage is to the offense. We held them out, so I would think that advantage won."
QB #9 DREW BREES
"I thought the tempo was good. I thought the balance was good. I thought we made some plays in both the run and pass game, really sustained drives, great on third down, good when we got in the red zone. Today was very efficient. We really didn't run that many plays, surprisingly. I think it was 52 plays, which is kind of on the low side for us, but that's because their offense was doing a good job of handling the football. Our defense did a phenomenal job of keeping them out of the end zone and getting two key turnovers at critical times."
"I actually believe they'll be back, but I think I know as much about it as you do.
(on offensive line) "I trust those guys with my life, literally. They did a phenomenal job today, both in the run game and the pass game. At times, we had to hold up for a long time to let routes work down the field, and they allowed that to happen. We were able to make a few big plays. A lot of credit goes to the O-line tonight."
"Tonight was fun. When you're moving the ball offensively, when you're scoring points, when you're rallying around your defense when they make a big play – that interception return, almost 100 yards, that's a 14-point swing. That's a huge, huge play in the game, especially at the start of the game, when you're trying to build some confidence and get rolling, that's a great way to do it."
(on running backs) "Those guys did a great job. When given the opportunity, they made the most of it. We've got a stable of backs – a good problem to have. A lot of guys, the ball can only get touched so many times. You try to find ways to balance it out among all the guys we have on offense. In the end, we've got a great group of guys and there's no selfish guys. Everybody knows their opportunities will come. Everybody knows that on any given Sunday, any given game, we're going to feed it to the hot hand. There's times when one of those guys is going to get 15-20 carries a game, other games it might be another guy catching the ball 15 times like (Darren) Sproles did this year. They never know, but they know to be ready."
(on goals) "Let's see if we can win eight straight to finish the season. That'd be a good goal. Obviously, the position we're in right now, it's never more important than one foot in front of the other, one game at a time and just thinking about the next opponent on a short week. Atlanta comes in here undefeated, a very good football team, a divisional rival. This would be a huge victory for us and a great way to continue this run."
(on Pierre Thomas) "He's the most tenured guy in that room as far as being with the Saints. Pierre's been here a long time. Pierre's traveled the hard road, too. Pierre came in as an undrafted free agent, really had no chance of making the team when we came in and yet he'd always show up and we knew what to expect out of him. He grinded it out on special teams and before you know it, he started the last game of that '07 season (at Chicago) and rushed for 100 (yards) and had over 100 receiving as well. He established himself through hard work and perseverance as a mainstay in that backfield. Chris Ivory has a chance to do that. Travaris Cadet has a chance to do that. They're both undrafted free agents as well. Having a model like that, the way Pierre conducts himself as a pro and the road he's traveled."
(on Jimmy Graham) "I don't want to embarrass him, but I love Jimmy and trust him completely. He's the big man, he's the matchup. (There's) never a time where I feel like he's not going to make the play for us, for the team, to keep the drive going, catch a ball in the end zone, make the big play, whatever it is. I love his fire, passion and drive. He's young, so we've got to keep him humble and keep him thinking about getting better each day. I love having him on my team."
(on defensive performance) "That was huge. The most important stat at the end of the day is points. A lot of things happen in between that – there's yards, there's third-down conversions, there's red-zone efficiency, turnovers and all that. In the end, it doesn't matter if they put up 500 yards of offense, if you can take it away twice, you can return one for a touchdown, you can keep them out of the end zone when they're inside the 10-yard line after we fumble a kickoff. The defense came up with some big plays tonight, huge plays. Hold a team to 13 points, we're going to win a lot of games.
(on this team) "We got the right type of guys. We're really a veteran group. Every year, it's about coming together and finding your identity. You need some good things to happen to build confidence. There's these defining moments throughout a season – big plays, big wins, team efforts, individual play, whatever it might be that kind of brings you together and lets you see a vision of what you can be, what you can accomplish. Here we are at the midway point. It's gone by fast. We've played well at times. I feel like it hasn't always been as consistent as we would like, but with the exception of last week in Denver, I truly believe we've gotten a little bit better each week, culminating in this victory tonight. This was a great team win. Offensively, I felt like we were very efficient with the opportunities we were given. Defense came up with some huge plays against a very explosive Eagles offense. This is the type of momentum we want going into the second half of the season."
DE #94 CAMERON JORDAN
(on the play of the defensive line) "We saw earlier in the week on film that they were giving up a lot of sacks and letting Michael Vick get hit a lot. We're glad that the defensive line got together and capitalized on that. It's all about the defensive line getting after it."
(on his sack-forced fumble) "I liked it. We just seized the opportunities that were presented to us."
DE #91 WILL SMITH
(on if the defense played with more intensity tonight) "I think so. The sense of urgency is high. We're climbing up a mountain and we've got to keep fighting. We know we didn't play well last week, so we wanted to come out and have a better performance."
(on the pass rush) "We think we had a good pass rush on the defensive line. The problem is we never got into a situation the last couple of weeks to really rush the passer. We gave up a lot of yards rushing and teams were able to control us. Today, they got a couple of big runs here and there, but we were able to contain them."
RB #23 PIERRE THOMAS
(on the running game) "In the beginning, I told the guys that we needed to set the tone. We knew going into the game that we were going to use Mark (Ingram) and Chris (Ivory) a lot tonight. I told them that it was going to start with them. I told them to set the tone early and the team will rally behind that. I told them to go out there and run hard."
(on tonight's performance giving the running game confidence) "It will give us a lot of confidence. It shows us that we can run the ball no matter what. We can run the ball as a group. We just have to go out there and establish it. The offensive line did a heck of a job of opening up holes. The receivers did a great job of blocking down field. We all came together and worked as a team. Everything out there was smooth."
S #27 MALCOLM JENKINS
(on the red zone defense) "I thought we gave up some big plays, but we played together once we got to the red zone. We played fast. We held them to field goals or no points. It was great from a momentum standpoint. We played well tonight in the red zone and have been playing better there the last couple of weeks."
TE #80 JIMMY GRAHAM
(on his play tonight) "I definitely think tonight was a step forward for me. I've been trying to get off this ankle for three or four weeks now. I finally got push tonight. I've been rehabbing it every day. I'm going to keep taking those steps forward. We've got Atlanta next week on a short week, so I've got to get in the treatment room and get ready for next week."