San Diego Chargers vs. New Orleans Saints ● Friday, August 27, 2010 Postgame Quotes
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS COACH SEAN PAYTON
"It's good to win, even though it's the preseason. I thought we played with good energy and effort. There are still a lot of little things we've got to work on, and fortunately we are going to have that time and we'll take a peek at this tape. I think this tape is going to be essential because we spent a lot of time with our starters. I thought our coverage units did better and played with good energy to the ball. We had 11 penalties. A couple of those we certainly can clean up, but there's some hidden yardage lost in the return game because of two big penalties. Overall, there will be a lot of good things when we see the tape and then enough that we can get cleaned up. Nothing on the injuries right now; we'll know more as these guys come in tomorrow."
(on tonight answering more roster questions) "We got a lot of snaps; we got a chance to see a lot of different people. The kicking game is going to be important in that evaluation with these battles we are talking about; how they performed and the coverage units and the return units are going to be critical. I think they understand that. We've got a lot of film to cover as coaches and review and grade and they are going to be important. This is certainly an important tape to study, as will next week. It will be a little shorter week as we go to Nashville on Wednesday, but we'll see as we continue to watch and look at these guys."
(on Chris Ivory) "In each game, there are some things he needs to work on and clean up with his landmarks. He has a lot of potential. He's a work in progress. He made a heck of a play on the catch for the touchdown. In each game there are some things we've seen that we really feel positive about, and yet in each game there are some things you see that you recognize that he is young and there are some basic mistakes that we have to get cleaned up. Overall, he ran with energy and protected the football so that was a positive."
"He's got size and speed. Those are two things when you really begin to grade the free agents. When you get into that Sunday evening and signing free agents, each year, you see it with different players. With him, he's been able to take those assets and transition them. We saw it early in practice, if you were watching and paying attention you would have seen it. He just consistently has been able to get positive yards, but there's some things we've got to clean up and get corrected but that's expected."
(on Reggie Bush) "He's in good shape, he's healthy, there is nothing really holding him back… But certainly mentally and physically, he's in as good a shape as he's been since he joined us. He and Pierre (Thomas) both had solid reps tonight and got a lot of work and we were able to get some of those other runners involved as the game progressed, which was the plan."
(on illegal snaps) "I think all of a sudden we get into this, and I hate that tempo can be taken away from a Drew Brees. It came up last night in the Colts game. I don't know mechanically if we were ready for all this. The quarterback is looking down at a play clock, he's looking at the safeties, he's looking at the center, and now he's got to look at the side judge to get the thumbs-up. Already we've switched who he has to look at – that quickly got changed."
QB Drew Brees
How is it different playing against a 3-4 defense?There are definitely differences in a 3-4 and a 4-3. Its just a mindset going in to it knowing that in your base personnel you are going to see 3-4. There are some different fronts you can play out of a 3-4. Its just being able to recognize. It's the recognition aspect of it so everybody knows who they are blocking in pass protection and then in the run game.
Is it harder to make in game adjustments in a 3-4 rather than a 4-3?I wouldn't necessarily say its harder. There is definitely more preparation that goes in to it during the week when you talk about playing against a 3-4 as opposed to a 4-3. We all grew up going against a 4-3 forever. Except for a few teams in college, its not until you get to the NFL that you see a lot of the 4-3.
*What are your impressions of Chris Ivory? *We knew he was going to have the opportunity to carry the ball extensively tonight. He took great advantage of his opportunities. Obviously, his biggest play came in the pass game with that little screen. We actually busted an assignment on it. We were supposed to have a guy out there blocking for him and he ends up making that guy miss, running over another guy, cutting back and stiff arming a guy halfway down the field, looked like (Jeremy) Shockey, and then finds his way into the endzone. He was impressive tonight in a lot of ways. For a young guy, a young back, you just continue to watch him develop. There is no doubt that he is a very talented runner, its just a matter of putting the whole package together. Being a running back in the NFL, you have to know how to pass protect, who to block, catch the ball out of the backfield, advance it as well as being able to gain the tough yards in short yardage and goal line situations. All of those things.
Even though it has been a while since you have been in their shoes, how do you think Chase (Daniel) and Patrick (Ramsey) feel about competing for the back-up quarterback position and not knowing what their future is going to be?Patrick has been around a while. This will be his ninth season. He has been around a lot of football, played for a lot of teams. He knows the deal. A guy like Chase, he is a young guy, is just trying to establish himself and get an opportunity. You watch both of them, and the way they approach it, and the good thing is that we have great dynamics between all of us. While we all know it is a competition, constantly, every day, everybody gets along and everybody is willing to help. You watch those guys work and they both deserve an opportunity because they are both putting in the time. They are both doing everything they can to make sure they know what they are doing out there, master this offense, and study the defense. However it plays out, it plays out. I think they have both made a pretty strong case.
How do you feel about moving the position of the umpire?We got hit with a couple of penalties tonight on that. Its pretty common stuff we are doing as far as hurry-up. Not that exotic. It is stuff we have done plenty of times in the past, but now, all of a sudden, we are getting penalized for it. I know there were some issues last night's game, the Colts and the Packers. The Colts got called for it a few times, and you could see Payton's (Manning) frustration. I guess it is what it is. If a rule is changed, you have do your best to make sure it doesn't affect you in a negative way. It's going to take some getting used to and it definitely affects the game.
Are you pleased with where the offense is at this stage?I am pleased but not totally satisfied. I would never be satisfied, even if we scored on every possession. There are always things that you can do just a little bit better. Obviously you understand that once you get to the regular season there is a very small margin and we want to continue to look sharp and eliminate penalties and mental errors. There were too many penalties tonight. Too many mental errors. **
What do you think went well tonight?With a lot of our possessions, we started inside our own 10 yard line. I don't know how many possessions the first offense had. We might have had seven. It felt like we were inside our own ten at least five of those times whether it was due to a penalty on special teams or because they have a really good punter who just punted us down in there a few times. I felt like we sustained some pretty long drives in order to get some points. With the two minute drive, getting down there, unfortunately we had the 15 yard penalty, otherwise we would have had a better chance at a touchdown. I would say just fighting back from the field position. Other than that, on third downs, I wish we would have been better. There were a couple issues with some of their pressures. For the most part, I thought we handled things pretty well.
Can you talk about the overall performance of the offense and the passing game?If you look at the numbers, we threw for 400 yards tonight. I don't care what level you are playing at, that isn't easy. We put up a lot of yards. We moved the ball well. We had some big plays. When you come out of a game, the first thing I look at is third down conversions. We were 44% tonight. We should have been better. We had a couple of instances on third down, whether it was a dropped ball, a miscommunication, or a bad throw that we very easily could have been 60 or 70 percent. Then the big plays. Big plays give you an opportunity to get a lot of points, a lot of yards, and to create great tempo. I just felt like we were in a lot of bad positions tonight whether it was a first and fifteen or a second and long and you are trying to fight your way out of that. That's tough sometimes.
What are your thoughts on the proposed two preseason game and 18 regular season game schedule?There is going to be a lot of discussion about that. The only thing I am going to say about that is do you know the toll that is going to take on guy's bodies. The season, being 16 games, is already very long. As you look at it, its not just a matter of adding two more games, adding two more paychecks, but you need to look at salary, how does it affect medical benefits post-career, and how does it affect offseason and preseason. When you talk about adding games, you have to talk about what kind of benefit are the players getting. I can tell you this, I already know a lot of guys feel this way, if you ask these lineman and everybody else how there body is feeling at the end of a season, they are beat up. It takes them months to get back healthy again. You talk about adding two more meaningful games,that takes years off guy's careers and probably takes years off of their lives too.
Was Marques' (Colston) penalty uncharacteristic of him?There was some extra stuff going on on the field. Marques kept getting pushed to the ground on that play. There side of the ball easily could have gotten flagged for stuff but they never were. All Marques did was spin the ball. I see him do that a lot. Its not a big deal. He doesn't mean anything by it. It is what it is. I think there were times where Marques was getting held tonight and stuff wasn't getting called. I think he was a little frustrated at times because of that.
RB #48 Chris Ivory
Can you talk about your run and your performance in three very productive preseason games?My mindset was to work hard and open some eyes. Just prove that I want to be here. I am trying to go hard on every play.
When was the last time you scored a touchdown that long?
I am not even sure.
LB #58 SCOTT SHANLE
"I think the third preseason game you're trying to get a dress rehearsal for the regular season as much as you can. You can't ask for a better team to get prepared for because they're a really good team, one of the better teams in the AFC. There's still things we need to fix. We've got a week and a half to fix those things.
(on two preseason games vs. four) "If you ask a veteran player, they're going to tend to lean on the side of shortening the preseason and training camp. But when you're a young player, those reps are invaluable; you need that much time to get ready for a season. You're always going to have two different points of view.
(on injury to Jonathan Vilma) "Marvin Mitchell has been around for a few years; he knows exactly what we're doing, the checks we need to make. He's the obvious choice there. When we lost a guy like Jonathan Vilma, you're going to simplify some things on defense. We put a lot of stuff in that guy's hands as far as making checks. There's a reason why he's been the captain of our team the last couple of years.
QB #11 PATRICK RAMSEY
(how you would grade yourself?) "I'm not really into grading myself. I did some things well, and things I can improve on. That's been the process for me since I got here and what I'll continue to do.
(comparing performance to Chase Daniel last week) "That's for coaches and other people to decide. Really, the way I look at it is I've got to go out and play as well as I can and let the rest take care of itself from there. That's what I'm trying to focus on."
(on comfort in system) "I'm getting more comfortable. There's a tremendous amount of studying in it. I'm trying to familiarize myself with the way we do it. I'm constantly quizzing Drew. I'm doing as much as I can to get up to speed."
(ever have an easier 76-yard TD pass?) "I would have to say no. That was a miraculous job (by Chris Ivory). I don't know how he ended up there (in the end zone). I thought we'll be at the 30, then we'll be at the 20, then all of a sudden he's scoring. That was a fun thing to watch.
(who does Ivory remind you of?) "I don't know. I like whoever he is right now. He's a guy who certainly falls forward. He gets yards and he's tough; he's a really good back."
(improvement from tonight?) "Obviously, the turnover. I'm ultimately responsible when the ball leaves my hand. It makes me sick. There are plenty of things. I'll be able to better answer the question after I watch the tape."
LB #51 JONATHAN VILMA
(on San Diego's first team offense sustaining long drives) "They have a good offense and a good quarterback. They understand what we are trying to do defensively. They have a great offense that can put some points on the board, so they are going to have some long drives. At the same time, we have to make some stops."
(on the open receiver touchdown scoring play) "We had a busted coverage. That's why it is the preseason and we have to get that squared away on film."
CB #33 JABARI GREER
(on the state of the defense) "We are progressing. We are where we are. We aren't where we want to be, but we are going to get better."
(on some post-whistle skirmishes) "Things are going to happen out there in a hard hitting game with a lot of emotion. We were able to be on the positive side of that. It's going to happen when you have two teams that like to hit."
G #77 CARL NICKS
(on facing the 3-4) "It's different. They are more like the 4-3 under defense where the 3 is going to be on the weak side. It poses a little difficulty, but we prepare for it. It's not that big of a transition."
(on getting better at that type of defense) "I didn't see anything that really killed us. We will take a look at the film and address things from there."
RB #23 PIERRE THOMAS
(on if he and Reggie Bush feel refreshed this preseason) "Definitely, we feel good this preseason. We have great guys in the backfield. We have great players on this team that we really feel good about. We felt like we needed to start the tempo. Chris Ivory showed that at the end of the game."
(on Chris Ivory) "I know how it feels to be him. He comes to me with questions and I give him the right answers. I tell him what to look at. He is doing a great job."
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS HEAD COACH NORV TURNER
"Going into the game, talking about our preseason schedule, I liked the fact that we played this team. I like the fact that we're playing them on the road. This is a tough place to play. I thought in the first half we played the best we played to this point in the preseason. I thought we play that team it's going to be that type of game. At halftime there was an unusual play where it looked like (Antoine) Cason was going to intercept and it bounced off his hands, which was the difference in the first half. I really liked how the defense got after it, got after the ball carrier. I thought there were a lot of good things in terms of pass defense against what was the number one offense in the league last year. Certainly that was the best drive of the year for us. We had a good mix of run and pass and I thought we did a lot of good things. We have a lot of decisions to make as an organization as far as our younger players. We get to evaluate them off of this game and next week's game. We're getting to know more about them, because we're seeing live action and getting a better feel for some of the younger guys. We'll take a lot out of this game. We'll learn about some of our young guys and get them in a position to see if they're better.
"We look at things we have to get better at. In the first game we had the false starts. We had some things where we didn't finish drives in the first games. I thought we finished drives and eliminated false starts. It's a tough place to play. I like the way our offensive line is playing. They're playing physical in the run. They're doing a good job protecting, keeping the ball moving."
"That was a good test. They were going to blitz. They were not going to let us run the ball. We ran the ball awfully well against Dallas last week and they were not going to let us run the ball. That's why we got the passing game going and mixed some in and Ryan (Mathews) and I keep talking about the speed. He had a chance to show it, but he certainly showed it on the third and one where we threw the pitch to him. The linebacker had the angle. For a second it looked like it was going to be a loss. It ended up being a big gain."
QB #17 PHILIP RIVERS
"We played real well tonight. Coming out on the first drive, it was as good as it gets. I thought we marched down the field and scored easily. Other than that, we didn't capitalize on a lot of drives. But I think we are real close; we were just a hair off. You know, we are playing against a good team out there, at their home. I really think we got what we wanted to get out of it out there.
"This is a real tough place to play. I can just imagine how it is during a regular-season game. We had to go under silent count a lot of times; but I thought we stayed poised throughout."
TE #85 ANTONIO GATES
"We had a lot of success early and drove the ball well. The offense was clicking and I had a lot of catches in the first half. We accomplished exactly what we had to tonight. Now it's upon us to study the film and fix what we can before the regular season starts.
"One thing we have to work on is the penalties and taking care of the ball better. But we executed the game plan and I am real pleased with where we are."
RB #24 RYAN MATHEWS
"Our offensive line did a terrific job opening up holes for me; especially early. Their (Saints) defense is real hard to track - they come out with a lot of schemes and we had to adjust. But I thought we had a lot of success tonight and are ready for the regular season."
FB #22 JACOB HESTER
"It was awesome to come back here. I mean, I grew up a Saints fan. And then to come back here and score the first touchdown, I couldn't be happier.
"This doesn't happen a lot on the road. When the opposing crowd is cheering you on and giving you a standing ovation when you walk off their field. We have a lot of LSU people on our team and it's like LSU West in this locker room."