NEW ORLEANS SAINTS VS. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERSSUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2012 ● MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOMENEW ORLEANS SAINTS POSTGAME QUOTES
ASSISTANT HEAD COACH/LINEBACKERS JOE VITTWatch Vitt's Press Conference
"One of the things we felt pretty good about going into the game was the pressure package that we had all year long defensively. We had an early injury at offensive tackle, which is tough, so we struggled a little bit protecting Drew Brees. We won the turnover battle if you put the blocked field goal in there. It comes back to I just didn't get the job done."
(on Brodrick Bunkley's ejection) "One of the keys to this game was keeping your poise. We block a field goal, and have a chance to give our team some field position. He's got to keep his emotions under control and do the right thing. He practices hard and wants to win. We have great confidence in the player, but he has to keep his poise."
(on Drew Brees' performance) "I think they're a good defense. They've got a good front seven. They're physical. We've got some injuries on the offensive line that we had to take care of today. Let me tell you something – if I ever go into a game and Drew Brees is my quarterback, I feel good about it. I feel good about Drew Brees. I love him. We will, and he'll be better next week.
(on run defense) "We said going into the game that their running game was very prolific. They're on course right now to have more big plays of 10 yards or more than anybody in the history of the league. The yards we gave up in the running game in the first half was a tribute to their quarterback making plays, breaking containment. We did a better job today. We did a good job of fitting up the run. We certainly improved and that was good to see."
(on if the interception before halftime change the game?) "Absolutely not. It's one play at a time, one series at a time, one quarter at a time, one half at a time. If we let one play affect us the rest of the game, we're unprofessional. We've overcome things like that before, and it's the nature of our game. It's not a perfect game played by perfect people. We had our opportunities, offensively, defensively and special teams-wise. I've got to coach better, and we've got to play better.
(on if there a was turning point?) "I'll review the film. I'm not going to sit here right now and say there was a turning point in the game one way or the other. We're judged on 60 minutes of how we play and our body of work. We didn't get it done today.
(on Colin Kaepernick) "He does a good job. He makes plays on his feet. He extends the down. He's got a pretty good knowledge of the offense. He's got a good tempo. He did a good job. Give him credit."
"This team plays on a Thursday night against Atlanta. The only thing we're looking forward to right now is to have a great practice when we come back, prepare the right way and play a game Thursday night. That's all we can do. We get to play this game. We don't have to. We get to play this game.
(on short week) "It's always a challenge. We've got to give our players the proper amount of time to rest and heal up. It's a challenge for our players and coaches on a short week. We're not the first one to go through this. The last time we did it was against Dallas two years ago on Thanksgiving Day. We handled the schedule well then, and I anticipate our players will do a great job of handling it this week.
(on the running game) "We're going to do what we have to do to win a football game. The second drive in the third quarter, we ran the ball well, and then we gave up a long drive defensively and all of a sudden, the score is a little unbalanced. We worked that balance on offense and we'll continue to do so.
(on the 49ers) "They're a good football team. Since they've been together (Jim Harbaugh's arrival), they're 21-5-1. They're plus-30, 31 in the turnover/takeaway. They've done a good job. They've got good personnel. They're well-coached. We knew what the challenge was going into this game. I didn't get it done.
(on the offensive line) "When you lose your right tackle (Bryce Harris) and you've got to play with a young man who's been here four days, that's a tough challenge. I think we did a good job of adjusting. I know we gave up five sacks, and that's awful hard for everybody to swallow, but we've got a good offensive line, we've got good players and we'll rebound from this."
(more on 49ers) "They're a good defense. They're a good football team. It is what it is. We're going to work hard to get better."
QB #9 DREW BREESWatch Brees' Press Conference
"Offensively, I felt like we moved the ball well at times. Third down wasn't good enough. Obviously, what was glaring was the two turnovers that resulted in touchdowns for them. That can't happen, especially the first one, the one right there at the end of the first half where you're trying to go down and get something for your team. You certainly can't give it to them inside of 30 seconds and let them get a easy one. Obviously, that was a big momentum swing. Despite all that, and them coming out and going on a quick-strike drive and taking the lead and it's 28-14 all of a sudden, we go right down the field and score, we get it back to a one-possession game and then had really what I felt were a lot of opportunities offensively. We did not take advantage of them.
(on Ahmad Brooks interception) "From what I saw, he made a great job. He caught that thing on his fingertips. He dropped out and we were trying to fit it in there to Jimmy. He just made an extremely athletic play.
(on pressure) "I felt like a lot of that pressure started to come in the fourth quarter, when we were in a down-the-field pass mode. I felt like prior to that, our guys really did a great job, balancing it all out with the run game and protection. We were able to get some balls downfield and get some big plays and helped with those scoring drives.
(on making adjustments when Bryce Harris was injured) "It's not a good thing when your third right tackle goes down in the first quarter, but I felt like Will Robinson stepped in and did a great job. I felt like our guys, our protection scheme, Pete Carmichael as a play-caller having to work that into your thought process, Aaron Kromer having to make those adjustments. I felt like we handled that well, all things considered."
(on offensive pass interference call) "I couldn't see it from my vantage point. I just felt like we had a chance at a big play there. I'm not sure about who was grabbing who.
(on chance to move into second Wild Card spot) "We had to win. It's all right there in front of us. I firmly believe that if we take care of our business and worry about ourselves, things will happen in a way in a way we envision and we're going to have a chance at the end to get in (the playoffs). If we get in because we've rattled off a bunch of wins in a row and we're playing like that, look out. We can be a great job. We understand the sense of urgency and the small margin for error at this point.
(on 49ers' 21-point run) "Obviously, that can't happen. Otherwise, you feel like the defense played great and they only gave up 17 points, we got a big turnover that gave us a two-minute opportunity at the end of the first half, special teams got a big turnover for us. A lot of things went the way that winning a big game like this would go, and then all of a sudden you give them two free ones. That's what they thrive on. The first one (was) completely my fault. Within 30 seconds, obviously we're trying to get down and get some points – a field goal, what have you. I tried to squeeze it in there to Jimmy, and the guy makes an unbelievable. The second one, you're throwing into a tight window, there's a tipped ball and unfortunately, sometimes those things happen. You just don't want them to result in an interception and then returned for a touchdown, especially back-to-back situations. All of a sudden, they rattle off 21 points in a short amount of time when we really felt like we had the game under control."
"In spite of everything, we closed the margin to 28-21 and had at least two opportunities to go down there and tie it up. We put together some good drives at times and then we would just stall out with no chance for points. Then all of a sudden, you get in a situation in the fourth quarter where it's a two-possession game. You've got to start taking some chances. That's when protection becomes even tougher and getting the ball down the field becomes tougher. That's what they thrive on as well."
(on physical game) "We knew coming into this how physical of a team the San Francisco 49ers are on both sides of the ball. I felt like we matched that physicality today. Unfortunately, it's the turnovers in the end that did us in."
(on 49ers) "I think they're one of the best that's out there, one of the most complete when you look at all three phases. Certainly, they've got a great formula for winning. I feel like we do too. We just weren't able to put all that together today.
(on Marques Colston's 56th career touchdown) "I'm extremely happy for him, because I've been lucky enough to throw him every one of those. He's a model teammate in the way he prepares, the way he plays and the way he practices. He's a quiet guy, but his actions speak so loudly, you wouldn't be able to hear what he was saying anyway. He's a great example for the young receivers, guys like Joe Morgan, others on our team. For those of us who have been with him going on seven years, he's in big standing, passing Joe Horn and Deuce McAllister and some of the greats that have been here that we have had a chance to play with as well. (It's a) pretty special honor for him."
(on Falcons game) "It's a quick turnaround for us. It's a quick turnaround for them. They're coming off a physical division battle at Tampa today. I know they won. Obviously, we're pretty fresh off playing these guys not too long ago. We've got to get to their place, we've got to get prepared, we've got to put it all together and hopefully every can wake up tomorrow, not feel as sore as maybe they do now. No rest for the weary and we certainly can't feel sorry for ourselves. We've got a huge game on the road against the leader of our division right now in Atlanta. This is how you feel better, go on and get a win like this."
(on managing quick turnaround) "I think they schedule those Thursday night games by design – divisional opponents, a little more familiarity so there's not a loss of preparation time. It's tough on your body for guys to turn around and do it that quick. We're professionals. That's what we've got to do, that's what we'll do. We understand the importance of this game, and we'll be ready to roll."
S #27 MALCOLM JENKINS
(on the difference between Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick) "There is not much difference. They are kind of similar. The one thing I noticed today is that (Colin) Kaepernick might be better at extending the play. Alex Smith can do the same thing, but Kaepernick is a little more elusive and dangerous."
(on today's game) "We lost to a good team. We have a stretch here of good teams that we have to play. We have to find a way to get some wins. It's hard to climb out of a hole when you have two turnovers for scores and don't make them kick field goals on defense. Outside of that, I thought our offense played well, our defense played well and our special teams played well. It's just a tough one to lose."
LT #74 JERMON BUSHROD
(on today's game) "We had our opportunities, but hats off to them on stopping us. It is very disappointing because we put a lot of hard work into this. We put a lot of work on that practice field. It hurts the most when we didn't finish the way that we should have. We are going to continue to take this thing one week at a time. We aren't going to look into the future too much. We have a game in about 96 hours, so we have to get our bodies back. We need to take care of that first and get our game plan together. We need to go out and get a win. That's what we need to do."
S #41 ROMAN HARPER
(on today's game) "Anytime you lose a game it hurts. It's disappointing that we were emotionally and physically ready. For whatever reason, we just didn't come away with a victory. It's back to the drawing board tomorrow. We are going to get these things corrected and get ready for the game on Thursday. It's no better feeling to come back with a win after a loss. We have a tough team that we have to face and it is going to be a great game."
LB #51 JONATHAN VILMA
(on the defensive positives) "I guess you could take some positives. I'll be honest in that I don't take any positives away from a loss. We lost. We aren't one of those teams that go for moral victories."
(on today's game) "We are disappointed. We take a day to either celebrate a victory or mourn a loss. We are not afforded that luxury this time. By this time tomorrow, we'll have already watched a few games of Atlanta and get ready for them."
(On Colin Kaepernick's play) "I thought he did a good job managing the game. He didn't force any balls. He did exactly what they asked him to do."