<span> <span style="">Q: You know the challenge you guys are going against this week to knock off one of the unbeatens and stay in the playoff race. What are your thoughts on this upcoming game?</span>
A: It's an important game. It's obviously a challenge. The exciting thing is that we have an opportunity once in a while to be part of a great challenge. I think that it's going to be very enjoyable to take part in this football game.
Q: Is too much being made of the Cowboys and their December struggles?
A: I think it's part of when you're losing, you come up with different statistics. We just have to pick up steam. That's what happens when you lose a couple games in a row. There needs to be reason, accountability and different things of that nature. That's part of the game itself.
Q: Would a win Saturday bury that stat we talk about a little bit?
A: For one week it will, but I think it's just part of trying to reach your goals. You have to go through all this stuff, ups and downs during the regular season. I think even from the perspective of the Saints, they're undefeated, but I'm sure there are plenty of weeks that you still have gotten things locally about what they're not doing right or something they're not doing that could haunt them or something like that. That's part of playing the game and having to deal with all that stuff is part of the internal stuff you have to get over week to week and just continue to maintain and grind it out and get better and improve.
Q: Beyond statistics, do you feel you guys are closer than ever to getting over the hump and winning a playoff game?
A: We don't think about any of that. All we can do is take care of our effort today. We have to go out and have a great practice today and get ready for a good football team that is going to challenge us. You have to be prepared. Otherwise you're not going to be able to go out and play your best on Sunday. That's all we can think about right now.
Q: You spent a few years with Sean Payton before you got on the field. What do you marvel at in terms of the offense that has evolved here in New Orleans and the opportunities that it presents for Drew Brees and the receivers?
A: Sean's a very bright guy. He understands people. He understands football. He's got a good mind for things. He just knows how to continually look at improving and getting better for year to year and week to week and I think it just shows that obviously the season's been great for them. They had some bumpy roads along the way (last season). But they stayed the course, continued to improve and get better and try to continue with what they did this year. That's just part of the process. Sean understands the bigger picture and he keeps going forward.
Q: Do you ever stop and ponder about what if, if Sean had acquired you?
A: No, not really. I'm lucky to be in a great situation with a great staff here too, so I feel very comfortable with where I am. I'm friends with Sean and his family and they're great people and I enjoy their company, but it will be really fun to go out and compete this weekend.
Q: Did you see this kind of success coming from him in New Orleans?
A: Yes. I always knew he'd be a good head coach. He has the mental makeup and he has the understanding of continuing to get better. I think that's what makes great players and great coaches is understanding and improvement always being there and continually striving for that. Sean's a guy like that. He's committed to what he's doing and his execution and approach. He's been doing it for a lot longer than 2006. He was doing that with the Eagles, Giants. He's been at different places before he came here. He's always had a good mind for football.
Q: How much more imagination is there in the Saints offense than there is with what you guys are running?
A: I haven't sat down and studied the Saints offense, so I could tell you a lot more about their defense. We're doing some good things here. We just have to execute a little bit better.
Q: Sean called you the second best quarterback from Eastern Illinois. Is that a backhanded compliment?
A: We have fun when we get together. He's definitely a guy with a vibrant, outgoing personality. He's a good guy.
Q: When you say Sean knows people, can you talk about how that pertains to football?
A: I think he understands what makes people tick and how they go about the process of what needs to be said and what time, certain things to help motivate individuals.
Q: Based on the Saints' points per game and scoring differential numbers and atmosphere of the Superdome, can you talk about what you think you're up against this week?
A: It's a great challenge. They're a very, very, very good football team obviously, but they're even better at home. That really goes for a lot of teams, but this team really plays at a different level at home. You look at their point production at home, what they give up, they average almost a 14 point victory at home, which is really outstanding and I think part of it is the fans, part of it is their comfort level there, the their ability to move the ball. We'll try and counter that a little bit. I think it will be a very, tough, challenging game for us. I promise you our team, we have blinders on as far as going out there. We're committed to our approach this week. We're working hard and coming out with a game plan that we feel will give us a great opportunity to play our best game on Sunday and we feel as though if we're playing really well, we have a great chance to be there.
Q: Does New Orleans' ability to score put more of a premium on every possession?
A: I'd say that's a good description. You have to put points on the board against a team like this. Once again, you have to believe in your teammates. You can't put it all on yourself as a unit or as an individual. It's a team game. I still think our defense is going to play one heck of a game this weekend. Obviously they have a great challenge ahead of them, but you have to believe in them to get stops. If I'm thinking in the back of my mind that the Saints are going to score seven points every time they touch the ball, you're probably not going to play your best game. You take what the defense gives you, things of that nature.