NEW ORLEANS SAINTS VS. ATLANTA FALCONS
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2012 ● MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME
SAINTS POSTGAME QUOTES
ASSISTANT HEAD COACH / LINEBACKERS JOE VITT
"This was a big win for our football team today. We obviously played a heck of a football team today in Atlanta, coming in undefeated. They have outstanding weapons on offense and they are playing great, solid defense. Their special teams have shown up. It took a great week of preparation by our football team. I cannot say enough about our assistant coaches and the gameplan they have put together. Our run game coordinator, Aaron Kromer, the run game scheme he had was phenomenal. It is a good win for us and now it is on to Oakland. We have a big challenge ahead of us."
(on the fourth quarter goal-line stand) "It was huge. We made plays when we had to make plays defensively. The two last plays of the (drive) they had a chance to go in and win it and everybody kept their poise, they knew the call and they relayed the call on defense. They made plays when we needed them. It was encouraging to see. I think the other thing it was encouraging to see defensively is that our run defense was much better today than it has been all year long. It is something that we talk about all week long, and Spags (Steve Spagnuolo) has done a great job of staying positive with our defense and our defense has done a great job of trying to get better. They have worked hand in hand walking to get it done. They played better today and we had to play better in order to beat a good football team."
(on Chris Ivory's impact and energizing the sideline) "Your eyes are not lying to you. Ivory's run, Jimmy Graham's big catch, energized our sideline. Some of the plays that Drew (Brees) made in the two-minute drill energized out sideline. This is a football team that has been through a lot and stuck together and they are happy for one another when somebody makes a big play and that is just the nature of this football team."
(on 13 straight wins in November) "We work hard to get better every day. This win today is a culmination of these guys sticking together from day one. This football team starts 0-4 and our coaches do a great job, I said this before, Aaron (Kromer) did a great job of keeping our football team together. They come together with a sense of purpose and they work hard to get better every day; that is what they have done. That is the earmark of this football team. We take great pride in trying to construct the right plays and have them buy into what we do. We've got the right guys and we have to get better this week. We have a big week."
(on the defense's confidence) "There are a lot of members of that defense that we won a world championship with. They have played well at the highest level. They work hard every day at practice. They have great camaraderie and accountability. Nobody liked the position that we were in and the only way to get out of that position is to work hard every day, detail your assignment and practice with a sense of purpose not only to prepare for your opponent, but for your development and that is what they've done. It's a credit to our coaches."
(on the kicking game) "We obviously trust Garrett (Hartley), he has made the biggest kicks this franchise has ever had. It was good to see him make that kick today. Thomas (Morstead) did a great job all day long of kicking off; I think he is a Pro Bowl player. Our coverage units have been outstanding. We saw a little bit of a transition in the return game with Darren (Sproles) being hurt, but they (returners) work hard every day and they will work hard again this week."
(on Corey White) "I think he's come a long way. He has had to mature quickly because we've demanded a lot of reps from him early. I think that this game isn't too big for him. He has outstanding athleticism. The play he made on the ball was outstanding. Hopefully, he continues to get better because we're depending on him."
(on Curtis Lofton playing against his old team) "Curtis Lofton is a good football player. Curtis Lofton is the type of professional that does not get caught up with who he is playing and where he is playing. He has tremendous pride to put his 'A' game on the field each week. He has meant a lot to us. We knew he was a good football player and that is why we acquired him. Our pro personnel (department) does an outstanding job with Ryan Pace. We didn't know what kind of person he was, you never know what kind of person they are until they get in the building, but he works his butt off every day. He has the respect of his teammates and he plays this game with great, great passion."
QB #9 DREW BREES
(on Falcons) "They're a really good football team, and have been for the last four years, ever since Mike Smith took over there. That offense and that defense, I know they got a couple of new coordinators this year, but they're playing as well as ever, obviously. It's a divisional game; those are all big games. I think the fans play up the rivalry between the Saints and Falcons a little more than the players, but we know they're a well coached football team, a disciplined football team, and we know we need our best to beat them. I guess over the past few years, we've been able to put that forth."
(on running game) "All of the running backs did a phenomenal job with whatever they were tasked to do. The offensive line, I can't say enough about those guys – their ability to not only open holes in the run game, but pass protection as well. A lot goes into a good running game – the guys up front, the tight ends, the receivers and such. It's the flow of the play calling; Pete Carmichael did a phenomenal job with creating that balance, that flow and that rhythm. Obviously, we felt good about what we were able to put out there today."
(on Saints defense) "They did a great job, especially after the first two series, really after the first series. Atlanta did a nice job of moving down the field and making a big play. (The Falcons) got a touchdown and then a turnover on the first play, the defense goes right out there and stops them. After that, we went on a 28-7 run, and obviously they were creating a lot of good opportunities for us to stay on the field, possess the ball and go down and get points."
(on Chris Ivory) "He's a beast. On more than one occasion, he stiff-armed somebody or (ran) somebody over or cut back on somebody. He's a rare combination of speed and power."
(on Marques Colston) "He's obviously a mainstay around here. He's already become the all-time touchdown leader for receiving touchdowns in Saints history, and I'm sure by the time it's all said and done, he'll be the most decorated Saints receiver of all time. We've got a bunch of other guys that are a part of that group and are just as important, but Marques has been a mainstay here for the last seven years. He continues to impress with the way he plays, his approach, his preparation, his toughness.
(on Tony Gonzalez) "I played against Tony Gonzalez when we were in the AFC West, Chargers-Chiefs, and now I see him twice a year in our division. He's the ageless wonder. (It's) unbelievable what he's been able to do for so long and just continue to do at such a high level. You can see the chemistry between him and Matt Ryan; it's impressive. This past year at the Pro Bowl, Jimmy and Tony were the two tight ends. It was like the older version, younger version. The young basketball player who's now coming up and following in his footsteps. It was funny, the one comment I remember Tony making to Jimmy was, 'I used to be able to dunk over the goalpost too. That used to be my deal. Then one day, I went up there and it just wasn't happening. So there's going to be time when you go to dunk and it just isn't happening. Take advantage of the opportunities you've got until then.' "
(on 29 runs vs. 33 passes) "That's great balance. That's what you're looking for. That's when you know you're really rolling as an offense. When you have that balance, you're being successful, you're sustaining drives and opening up some big-play opportunities in the pass game. We did that today."
(on offensive improvement) "I think it's just kind of finding our own, finding our rhythm. We were in some different circumstances in games at those times as well. That was uncharted territory for all of us, those first four weeks. After that, I really feel we were able to figure it out offensively and find our rhythm.
(on opportunity to get to .500 next week) "Obviously, that's a big deal. When you can start off 0-4 and now we've got the opportunity next week to get to 5-5, to get to .500. That (means) we'll have won five of our last six. That would be extremely impressive. That's something we feel like we're capable of and we envision being able to do that, because we know the type of team we have. We knew that we dug ourselves a hole and had a mountain to climb, yet we also knew we had the right type of people. It was really just about trying to hone in and focus on … getting a little bit better each week. Eventually, the chips were going to fall our way. The first four weeks, everything bad that could happen, happened. We knew as long as we continued to press it and do things the right way and create a sense of urgency this week, good things would happen and good things are starting to happen.
"I feel like our best football is yet to come. We've played some really good games, we've beaten some very good opponents in some big-time situations, but I truly believe like our best is yet to come."
(on opportunity to engage with special members of the Saints fan base) "I think what we do a great job of as an organization … is every Saturday, at walk-through for home games, we'll being in military personnel (or) kids or adults, whether they've been stricken with an illness or disease, maybe it's terminal cancer, maybe it's an accident, and their one lifelong dream is to meet a Saints player or meet the team. We embrace the opportunity to be able to do that, especially for somebody that's going through a hard time. Whether it's a military member coming back home, like we did yesterday, who was going to surprise his family here at the game, we do that stuff all the time because we know how much that means to people. Certainly, we feel that we have so many fans, so many people that believe in us and look to us for strength and inspiration. We just try to be the best role models we can be."
CB #33 JABARI GREER
(on the final play of the goal line stand) "They had run a play that we had seen on film. Fortunately, we were in a coverage to make a play. Earlier in the game, we had give up two big plays. It was great for our team to show resilience. Guys continue to uplift me and we encourage each other. It was great being able to make a play and celebrate with my team. We realize that these games aren't easy. The story here is about the guys having great resilience. We go out there and continue to fight. They never quit."
(on the locker room now compared to earlier in the season) "It's exciting in the locker room when you win. There's nothing really to celebrate after a loss. We beat a quality opponent in a rivalry game. The people of New Orleans circle this date. It's incredible to have this win for them. It's important to give our fans a quality product on the field and something to be proud of."
LB #50 CURTIS LOFTON
(on the key to beating the Falcons) "The key is to make them one dimensional. You have to stop the run, don't let their play action (get) going and don't let the deep ball get over your head. You have to keep grinding because they're going to make plays. They are a great team. They have a lot of weapons. We knew they were going to make plays."
(on if this was vindication for him) "No, not at all. It wasn't me versus them. It feels good to get a win over a divisional opponent."
WR #16 LANCE MOORE
(on having big games against the Falcons) "I'm just one of those guys who waits for his time. We saw some things on film that we thought we could take advantage of. I felt good. Drew (Brees) played like Drew. All we have to do is to get open and catch the ball. That's the easy job. He's worried about people flying around him. These are the types of games that you love playing in."
(on why they have success against the Falcons) "For whatever reason, we show up to play them all of the time. That's not to say we don't show up against other teams. We don't try to make this one game bigger than any of the other ones. It's the next game on our schedule. We did the normal preparation and gameplan to get ready for these guys. We had a great amount of energy. Our defense came up huge for us."
TE #80 JIMMY GRAHAM
(on playing against Tony Gonzalez) "He paved the way for me. It seems like I'm going up against the things he did the last drive. It is definitely something that motivates me. I spent some time with him this past offseason. No tight end plays the game like he does. It's simply amazing that he's done it for this long. I try to learn as much as I can from him."