NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT OAKLAND RAIDERSSUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2012 ● O.co COLISEUMNEW ORLEANS SAINTS POSTGAME QUOTES
QB Drew Brees
ON THE SEASON: "We're on our way. I think had you told us or anybody that after 0-4 we would be looking at 5-5 at some point, winning five of six with that schedule that we had in front of us, a lot of people might have looked at that and said that's pretty unrealistic. But here we are. We stayed the course; we didn't overreact. I think a lot of what was happening outside the building was the talk about just kind of waiting for the crisis. But the fact is we've got good players, good people, great character, great leadership, and we just knew that things were going to turn for us. If we just continued to do things the right way, good things were going to happen. And we did that, that's exactly what we did. And we've had some great team wins here during this run, five of six. Both sides of the ball really stepping up and making plays when called upon."
ON THE GAME: "Again today, great all around team victory; very balanced on offense, defensively coming up with a big turnover resulting in points, another one that took points away from them. Just playing good football; special teams coming up with the big return to start the second half. So as I look at our team and just the way that we're building and the way that we're winning, we're doing it the right way."
ON EFFICIENCY: "I'm all about efficiency; the yards don't matter, the number of completions doesn't matter. I want to be efficient. I want to be a good decision-maker. I want to just make the plays when I'm called upon to do that and take care of the football, just do all of those little things."
ON OFFENSE: "I think early on, that first drive, just tempo, getting in and out of the huddle, getting plays dialed up, whether it was the run game or the pass game; I think the balance of being able to run it effectively and throw it effectively and convert some third downs. We were 55% on third down, that's definitely winning football. Got the benefit of a big return there to start the third quarter and some turnovers. It felt like first half, we only had four possessions, like we were backed up quite a bit and still came away with 14 points offensively and our defense got one, but just kept plugging away with our plan and stuck with it."
S Roman Harper
On defensive performance: "I feel better than where we were and we're making plays now. We're making turnovers and big plays, and not allowing big plays. I hate that we gave up that last touchdown on the two minute drive. But overall, I liked our effort today. We got to eliminate these long drives that we have been giving up, and we are playing faster. We got to tackle better than what we did overall, we allowed some leaky yardage, but overall, I really liked our effort today."
On the season: "It's been a long grind, especially starting 0-4, but we never pointed fingers. We stuck together as a locker room and as a team, and we knew that we could achieve great things if we just stuck together, continue this grind and long season together. We are right back where we need to be, at .500, and we got to continue to grind and we will be in the playoff race."
LB Jonathan Vilma
On key element of the defensive performance: "I think it was just really execution. Guys really just executing. We have always had the effort. We have the right guys here and we strongly believe that. I think now we are executing better, focusing on the little things that we didn't get done and were doing those things now."
On the improvement throughout the season: "I continue to say the same thing. We go out now, we practice the right way, we prepare the right way, we watch film. We do all the little things that we need to do to find ways to win games. I think we are doing a good job of that now."
LT Jermon Bushrod
On improvement over last three games: "We've just got to continue to do all of that. It's not going to be easy. In the next six games we're playing some really good teams. We've just got to continue to pay attention to detail, to put the work in on the field and in the classroom. Then we've got to come in on Sunday and play as a team. We've got to make sure we know everything that we're supposed to do going into the game and make sure we're on top of our studying. We've got to make sure that when it comes to the game it just clicks that much faster."
On upcoming games: "It's never a let-down. We just got back to .500. Nobody thought we were going to get back to .500. Nothing's going to change. We're going to go into each week with the same mentality. We've got to get better, we've got to try to find a way to win more. Honestly, I wouldn't want to be any other place than with these guys here, sitting at 5-5."
TE Jimmy Graham
On bouncing back from early-season struggles: "Early in the season it was, literally every different play, one guy was missing a block, or one guy was doing the wrong thing and his guy would go make the tackle. Lately, we've kind of had the mentality of 'No Excuses'. We've got to go in and do our jobs. We need all 11 guys, even the receivers blocking down the field to make those blocks. That's really what has happened. Also, getting Chris Ivory in the mix has been a big help."
On getting the run game going, and how it helps the offense: "It opens the play-action up. It really lets linebackers and safeties have to respect the run, so they have to jump on the play-action. It makes them play with a safety in the box, which gives you man-to-man coverage, man-to-man me versus the linebacker or the safety. Those are the kind of matchups that you look for. When we have the running game going, guys can't just sit back in coverage and wait for the ball."
On the journey to get to 5-5 on the season: "It's been a journey. It's been an uphill battle to be .500. I never thought I'd be so happy to be .500 in my entire career. We're excited because things are moving the right way for us. Our leaders, Drew [Brees], and [Jonathan] Vilma, they've all done a great job of keeping us focused and making us work for a common goal."
On why the Saints had success today: "Our running game did well again. For us to be successful, for us to have good nights and win games, we're going to have to have our running game play like that every week."
RB Mark Ingram
ON THE RUN GAME: "I feel good. The running game's getting going, drawing up a lot of different looks for the running game so it's just a team effort. The line's doing a great job, coach is doing a great job calling the runs. Getting a few carries to get into a rhythm so it's been good these past few weeks. You look at the film, you see what other teams have success running the ball and you see what we do well and how we can attack certain weaknesses of the defense. We're just doing a great job of practicing the schemes, line's doing a great job of blocking, creating seams for us to run through and we're running hard making some big plays so it's good to have the run game going."
ON FAST START: "It's always good to get off to a good start. Whether it's me getting a good run or it's a big pass, anything. Just to get some momentum early in the game and the offense to get some energy going, that's always a good thing."
ON BACKFIELD: "You just have to stay in the game. We have a lot of great runners in our room and there's only one football. So you just have to stay in the game, stay focused in the game, and when your number is called, just go in there and do whatever you can to have success for the team, help the team have a successful play. That's my mindset going in; do whatever I can when my number is called to help this team win games. And you just have to stay focused; whether you don't know if you're going to get the ball this many times or what, you have to stay in the game, stay focused, stay ready, stay loose, and when your number is called, take advantage of it."