<span style="">NFC Championship, Sunday, January 24, 2009
Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints
Saints Coach Sean Payton
"It's hard to come up here and talk about the significance of that group of guys in the locker room and the significance of this win. I'm proud of them. I'm proud of our fans. I'm proud of the hard work it took to get us to this spot. It's a pretty special feeling. Any Questions?"
(on defense) "There was a lot of momentum shifts in that game. Just after the game ended I had a chance to visit with (Brett) Favre for about five minutes, and I've never seen two quarterbacks compete and two defenses hang in there, and the offensive lines play the way these did today. I tip my hat to Minnesota. You had two teams that played their hearts out. I'm glad we were able to win and I'm proud of just having a chance to coach these guys in a game like this. Garrett (Hartley) hit a big kick obviously, for us and we just kept fighting. The momentum shifted back and forth and we just kept battling and it was a heck of a game."
(on what he told Hartley) "I just told him there's a little fleur de lis up there right between both uprights, and I said why don't you see if you can hit this fleur de lis dead center. We belong, you are here for a reason and you are going to hit it through. He has just been real consistent for us and obviously it was a big kick."
(on the significance to this organization) "It's hard (to explain). Four years ago, there were holes in this roof. The fans in this city and this region deserve it. Like I said before, I'm just proud to be a part of it, to be part of something that is so special for this city and well deserved."
(on comparing now to when he first came to New Orleans) "There are a handful of coaches and players that were on that first team, and I would say to those players and coaches that aren't here now, they're just as much a part of this. They know who they are. I can't go through every one of the names, but there are a lot of people who came when no one else wanted to come. There a lot of coaches and a lot of players that aren't with us now, and I appreciate them."
(on fourth down call in OT) "I'm trying to think of the call, did we go for it? We weren't close enough for a field goal. We called everyone over and said, 'hey, look we've come this far.' Pierre (Thomas) ran behind those two guys and did a great job of getting the yard and a half we needed. It was significant."
(on the takeaways) "I know this; we came up with the turnover margin pretty significantly. I think five-to-one, so credit Minnesota at five-to-one and we win by a field goal. That's unusual."
(on Pierre Thomas) "He played hard. He battled. The screen play early in the game to answer their touchdown was significant when they went up seven-nothing it was kind of like last week. He made a bunch of big plays. He's been a big part of what we've done so I'm happy with the way he played."
(on playing the Colts and Peyton Manning in the Superbowl) "He's a special player. We had a chance to watch some of his game today and then we turned it off. The four best teams played today, and the first half of that game, the little bit that we got to watch, we saw two AFC teams playing their hearts out. It's a credit to Indianapolis and Peyton (Manning). Its been a while since the number one seeds met and we are excited to be in this game and look forward to the challenge."
Vikings Coach Brad Childress
"I'm proud of the way our guys (played tonight). They fought themselves back into it. When you play a team of this stature and turn the ball over five times (it makes it hard). To be able to get it back to where we got it back to is a testament to these guys. I'm sorry that we weren't able to follow through. It's disappointing. I'm proud of our guys…I don't think anyone gave them a chance to come down here and be able to play that way."
(on his strategy on the last game series at the end of regulation) "It was all in line with the number of timeouts that they had left. We just had a fullback in there and we broke the huddle with 12 (men). You can't call back to back timeouts. We had just come out of a timeout."
(on turnovers) "We've had no three turnover games this year. So to have five against a good football team, it's very difficult to overcome. I thought our guys did a great job in this environment here. I don't think there was a false start penalty. I don't think there was a procedural penalty. I thought we took care of this setting here extremely well."
(would he have gone for the field goal if there wasn't the penalty for 12 men in huddle) "I believe that we would have, yes."
(on Brett Favre) "I thought it was a gutty, gutty performance. I thought that he grinded it out. He found a bunch of different receivers….I just thought that he did a nice job of competing. He would be the first to tell you that he wishes he had a couple of those (throws) back."
(on the crowd) "They tend to be pretty riled up here. You'll have to check the decibel meter to tell me if anything was more excessive than it usually is down here. It's a great environment."
(on if he sensed that this was a classic game) "I just knew that we were just trying to find that one more point than everybody else. Classics are usually relegated by somebody else. I was asked that question by our local TV. (I was asked) What is it that makes something a classic? Who defines a book a classic of a game as a classic? You guys do (in the media)."
(on if he knows if Favre will return) "I don't know. I just talked to him. I'm sure that he's going to go home for a while. I told him to go home and lick your wounds. I'll do the same and we'll catch up down the road. Nobody wants to be rash about any decision making right now."
(on Favre injury in the middle of the game) "I didn't speak to him. I spoke to the trainer. They taped it up pretty tightly. He wanted to go back in. At the time, I'm not sure if we had a turnover or a punt. He was going back in the game. That wasn't in question."
(on what made the difference in the game) "You can spread it all the way around. It's hard to win games when you turn the ball over like that, particularly around the five yard line and the seven yard line when you think you're going to have a chance for a minimum of three points."
(on if the season was a success) "I just prefer to look at all of the positives. It was a great season for our team and for the state of Minnesota to be able to look at a team like that compete. Among other things, but to look at No. 4 (Favre) compete in purple (was special). I just prefer to look at the positives."
RB Adrian Peterson
"This was a real tough one. I felt they didn't win the game, but rather we lost it. You can't turn the ball over like that and expect to win."
"This is a great group of guys. We fought and fought and we have nothing to hang our heads about."
T Bryant McKinnie
"I didn't think the crowd noise was all that much of a factor. But you can't turn the ball over like we did tonight. But our guys fought hard and that's something you can be proud of.
(on Brett Favre) "You have to hand it to him that he fought hardest of all of us out there. He wanted to win real bad. I hope he comes back next year and leads us here again."
RB Chester Taylor
"You know, even with all of those turnovers and fumbles we still had a real good chance to win. We beat ourselves on offense. Everybody's feeling bad right now and it will hurt even more tomorrow. We feel like it just slipped through our hands."
DT Kevin Williams
"You have to hand it to them (Saints). They fought just as hard as we did and both teams left it all on the field. But they fought harder and they got the last punch in."
WR Bernard Berrian
"We kept battling back, even when we were down because we know what kind of offense we have. This season was a success. It's not the success we all wanted. But I have to tell you, this loss hurts; especially when we knew we should have won. It's hard to put the feeling I have right now into words. I felt we beat ourselves more than they (Saints) beat us.
"I didn't feel the ball was slick or anything. I really can't explain why the ball was on the ground out there a lot. They (Saints) just did a real good job of attacking the ball. "
TE Visanthe Shiancoe
"We lost the game ourselves. It's as simple as that. With all of the fumbles and turnovers, you can't win a game like that by doing that. "
(on INT and 12-men in the huddle situation) "I noticed the call but I didn't think we had 12 people in the huddle. Like I said we need to be more on point with stuff like that. We have to be a real more precise."
"Hey, we all fought out there. We played as a team and we left it all on the field. Because of a lot of things that happened, we are not going to the Super Bowl. The Saints are a great team. They played well and we played well. But they came up with the final play to win and take it from us."