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Quotes from Tim Hightower and Nate Stupar's Monday Conference Calls

Audio and quotes from RB Tim Hightower and LB Nate Stupar's Monday conference calls with local media

New Orleans Saints Running Back Tim Hightower
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Monday, October 31, 2016

Can you think of anything you have drawn on to turn around the season?
"I honestly don't draw on football, I draw on life experiences. I keep going back to those three years away from football. It literally took everything in me every single day, but there was a light at the end of the tunnel, sometimes it seemed so far away, but the more and more you just work the process you start to see a little bit of progress and I think even with this season we had high hopes and aspirations to start the season. We didn't start off (strong) so we kind of got on a roll, then got knocked back down. When you go through tough times you draw on the tough times in your life personally and use some of those parallels."

Do you think you will get more carries going forward?
"I'm going to prepare for it, I will prepare for whatever they need me to do. I'm not anticipating anything. The thing about it and I said this yesterday, my mindset doesn't change. When I didn't get any carries my mindset was I have to come every single day and prepare as if this team is going to count on me in the fourth quarter, as if every single time I get the ball it's going to be the biggest play of the game. I'm not really counting carries or counting reps, to me it's more about what do I need to do watching the film. There are a lot of things that I left out on that field and make sure my body's ready to go this week for whatever they ask me to do and make sure I can build on what we started last week."

How do you stay ready physically considering the shared reps or lower reps in practice than carrying it 26 times on Sunday?
"First and foremost, you always mentally have to put yourself in that position, as far as if I was a quote unquote starter in on this play what would be going through my mind? What would I be doing and really try and watch Mark (Ingram) and learn from his success and his mistakes and every single time he's in there really trying to shadow him and if he's in put myself about three or four yards deeper, but watch what how he sees it. It's almost like getting mental reps, you see where the lines going and what he's seeing and you're talking to him and communicating what are you seeing, what are you feeling and that's really the most you do is try and get those mental reps even when you don't get those physical reps and kind of go through it mentally and talk to him and try and learn from his success and his mistakes."

How much energy is there in the locker room knowing that the team may be getting (Sheldon) Rankins and (Delvin) Breaux back on the defense?
"Those guys would be tremendous assets. I do not know if they add any energy as far as right now. Right now, we've got to go with who is here. The guys who have been here have been doing a tremendous job. Obviously, those guys are (both) hell of players and they are going to be tremendous assets to our team. I do not think right now the focus is on who is not here. It is on making sure that everybody who is here is ready to go and doing their job. Those guys are sick of where they left off (being injured) and I'm sure they are ready to go. They'll jump in as soon as they are ready to go."

You guys have won three out of four and you won three out of four at the end of last year; is the feeling somewhat the same or is it totally different this year because it is a new team or new year?

"It is definitely a new team and a new year. I think we tried to draw on some of those lessons and what we went through last year at the end of the year, and how do we have this or why – it's playing team football, playing complementary football, eliminating the mistakes, staying together and coming to practice and not getting down, not getting too high and thinking that we are on top. Just staying focused and really coming to work every single day. I think that is what we did at the end of last year. Trying to get back to that this year and really, truly learning from our mistakes, but as well as our success. It is a new year but yet the lessons that are really learned in this game and in life always carry over from year to year."

New Orleans Saints Linebacker Nate Stupar
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Monday, October 31, 2016

How important was it to stop the Seahawks at the end of the game?
"All I can tell you is the Seahawks offense is a very good offense. Russell Wilson has a lot of playmakers on that offense (and to) be able to stop them and not let them score and stuff like that, I felt really good, I felt like our defense took a big step forward yesterday. I thought we played well defensively in the run game and the pass game. They had some shots on us and I mean they are an NFL team and they get paid just like us. We kept our composure when the line was on the defense, but at the end of the game we stood up and made the plays we had too and got the victory."

What kind of boost will Sheldon Rankins provide once he's back?
"I just know in training camp he was an impact player during camp, you could really tell his skillset just watching film and I can tell you that we're all excited about getting him back and he can't come back soon enough and we are excited to have him back to have him contribute and yes, (we) can't wait to have him back."

What was your reaction that the Saints would be playing in London in 2017?
"It is always fun to go to London. It is a great city and there are a lot of things to do and I have been there twice already and stayed at both places and it is very unique and something fun to do, a little bonding time trip with the guys, with the team and it just changes things up and keeps you on your toes and I'm excited to go back. Maybe my wife will go she always wants to go over there and see everything. (I) Might make a trip out of it with her, yeah (I'm) excited for it."

What are some of the benefits of finding you are going to London now?
"I'm not really sure, I don't think it affects anything at all, you just know now than later I guess."

Where do you think the defense has improved the most?
"I think playing the run game. I think we struggled with that a little bit at first. I think we have really grown together with the front seven or eight and really playing good football up front. Sometimes they get some long runs, but it's all about getting past that play and getting to the next. We just watched film today and I thought our defensive line up front did a great job of hitting their blocks and getting off blocks and making plays and that makes it a lot easier for us as linebackers and as a defense when the line up front is just dominating, just proud of the way our defense played and (how we) ran to the ball and swarmed the ball down."

How do you think you've played this season?
"I'm just filling a role and trying to do my best and trying not to mess up to much and try and make the plays that come to me and try and make the team better I guess and I just do what I'm told and just go out there and be myself and have fun because if you're not having fun there is no reason why you should be playing this game. It's a fun game and very emotional game and I'm just doing my job out there and just trying to do my best."

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