NEW ORLEANS SAINTS VS. CAROLINA PANTHERSSUNDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2012 ● MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME
SAINTS POSTGAME QUOTES
Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Joe Vitt
"It was totally unacceptable what happened today. We talk about keys to victory and what we have to do to win. We are outrushed by almost 200 yards and they converted almost twice as much as we did on third down, and as catastrophic as that is, you still have a chance, potentially, to get back in the game with two onside kicks, even though they recovered them. But you have two penalties at the end that put them in field goal range, it's not acceptable and we are going to get it fixed. It's not what this team is about. Very disappointing, very disappointing. There is no way to sugarcoat this. Very disappointing."
(worse because it's the last game?) "A loss is a loss. I don't care when you play one. You play sixteen of these and to lose this the way we lost this, I don't care if this is the opener, it's not good."
(what explanation did you get on the review?) "Yeah, the referee didn't get the same angle as we did on the Jumbotron in his review and couldn't see it so it is what it is. Every call is not going to go your way. When it comes to third-and-17, you can't get beat over the top of your head on third-and-17. It's unacceptable, but it is what it is."
(did the life get drained after that call?) "It's not an excuse. Well, if it did, it's our fault. If it did, it's our fault. You have to play the game out. Every call is not going to go your way. It's not a perfect game played by perfect people. It's not a perfect game officiated by perfect officials. It didn't go our way, either you rebound or you don't, and we didn't."
(did you think that Johnny Patrick's foot was in bounds?) "It doesn't matter what I think. It matters what the call was made. It doesn't matter what I think. The fact of the matter is the call didn't go our way and the game is going to go on. We either overcome that or you don't and we didn't. It is what it is."
(can inconsistency be corrected pretty easily in the offseason?) "I don't think anything is easy in the offseason. I think what happens and what you do in the offseason is going to dictate what you do during the season. So you can do as hard as you can to work as hard as you can to get the right group of players that are going to work hard and play together and be accountable to one another, put them in a position to make plays, then you go from there. That is what we are going to start doing tomorrow."
(on allowing more than 7,000 yards) "Listen, I haven't digested that yet. I don't have a comment on it. It is what it is and we have to get it fixed."
#9 QB Drew Brees
(On the momentum in today's game) "I would say there were momentum shifts in this game. Early on, they had the momentum. I thought the touchdown to Marques (Colston) down 10-0 after we went for it on fourth down and got it was a huge momentum swing for us. We basically went on a 24-3 run. We got the interception for a touchdown from (Jonathan) Vilma on the very next series. We had the opportunity to kick a long field goal in the two-minute drive. Then, we scored on the first possession of the second half. There we were down 10-0 and all of a sudden its 24-13 and we are rolling. Then, we get them backed up on third and long. They hit the big pass play after the fumble that wasn't given to us. From that point (on), they took the momentum. They get that touchdown, then a turnover and another touchdown. They get the big kick return in the fourth quarter. It just seemed like something over and over again. They just kept a drive alive or were getting great field position. For us offensively, we felt like we needed something to take us back. We weren't able to complete some third down conversions late in the third quarter, which allowed things to get out of hand. I look at that as we have to do our part to sustain drives to keep their defense on the field for a while and score some points and to continue to narrow the gap a bit."
(On what it will mean to get Sean Payton back) "He's our head coach. I will say this. I think our coaches this year did a phenomenal job. I think Sean would have been so proud of the role that a lot of guys took on that might have been a little bit different than they would have otherwise had to in his absence. They had us ready to play every week. Offensively, the game plan had us extremely confident going into every game. Down the stretch we put together some solid performances. At times, they were not good enough to win, but our coaches did a phenomenal job."
#51 LB Jonathan Vilma
"It was very disappointing to lose the way we lost today. I'm disappointed in my team, the way we lost composure in the end. That's uncharacteristic of us. That starts with the leadership, that starts with the captains. I should have found a way to get my team under control. Unfortunately, that cost us. That cost us big."
(on inconsistency on defense) "Exactly how you said it – (we played) inconsistent. Some games we play lights out. Other games, we'll give up 44 points, (and) who knows how many yards. You can't win like in that in the league and it shows."
(on allowing most yards in NFL history) "You get what you deserve. You don't play good defense, that's what's going to happen. Be a man and suck it up."
(on if defense impacted by off-field issues?) "Personally, of course. It's draining, but it's not an excuse. You've got a job to do on Sundays and we have to prepare during the week. Speaking for myself, that's not an excuse. It was draining, having to fly right after a game just to go up to (Washington) D.C. and sit in for hours on hearings and things like that. As far as the rest of the defense, I would hope that it didn't affect the rest of the guys. I really tried to make it a point not to make it their issue. It was my issue, mine and Will (Smith)'s, so I really hope it didn't affect them on Sundays."
(on Sean Payton's return and starting the offseason fresh) "I think it's great. I'm not a part of the management side, but I think it's great that we have a foundation now to start with the offseason. We don't know where everyone else is going to end up, but we know that Sean's going to be here. I assume the rest of the (coaching) staff will be here; that depends on what Sean does when he gets back. We have some continuity now going into the offseason."
(on looking forward to a normal season) "Yes, very much so. I can't wait to finally take my mind off everything and get back to our winning ways."
(on the issues that required him to be in court and at hearings) "The major issue was getting back on the field. I'm on the field, that's over and done with. The rest of that stuff, I'm not going to worry myself over it. I have a day job to do. I'm not going to worry about what happens with that. Whatever the judge decides, she decides. If we move forward, we move forward. Outside of that, I have no control, so it doesn't bother me at all."
(on his future with the Saints) "It's going to be whatever Mickey (Loomis) and Sean (Payton) decide. That's management stuff. I don't get into that. I never look at it. My job is football on Sundays. Hopefully I did a good enough job. Hopefully I'll be here next year. If not, hopefully I'll be somewhere. I don't know how it's going to work out. I never work about the management business side of it. For me, I just worry about Sundays."
#91 DE Will Smith
(on today's performance after playing well in previous weeks) "It's tough. We played well. We were able not to shoot ourselves in the foot the past few weeks. Today, we started out well. We knew they had a big play offense and had to go the distance down the field to have a chance at winning. We gave them too many big plays. They had two or three big runs and two or three good pass plays."
(on if the non-fumble call took a lot out of the defense) "No, not really. Guys were still fighting. We tried to make a run late, but we had some penalties. We just keep making the same mistakes week after week."
#32 CB Johnny Patrick
(on how deflating the failed coaches challenge play he was involved in to the team) "It was devastating. Even on the field, some of the players didn't know what the referee said. We didn't know until we came to the sidelines. They have great players over there. They made some great plays. We should have stepped up and stopped them."