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Saints players talk about the Cardinals game

Transcript of postgame interviews with Saints players

Saints K Zach Hocker

On not missing a kick in his first NFL start:

"It felt great to finally get on the field as one of the 53. Having a good performance does nothing but give me momentum heading into the rest of the season. Luke (McCown), Justin (Drescher) and myself were in a great routine pregame and we felt good going into the first kick. Of course you have a little bit of nerves running through you on that first one, but once that first one was in I just felt confident the rest of the night. Our snapper and holder are two of the best in the game so that definitely helps a lot."

On the preseason competition between him and Dustin Hopkins:

"Dustin, even more so than being a great kicker, is a great friend. A person who pushed me on and off the field. Dustin is a great kicker, but he is also a great guy who encouraged me when I was doing bad. When I was doing well he was still there for me and it was a vice-versa relationship like that. I didn't take it for granted and it definitely built my confidence throughout the preseason and throughout the competition."

On the importance of making his first kick:

"No doubt. That is what I was saying earlier. Even on a 37-yard field goal, a kick that should be automatic every time, you still have that knot in your stomach that you have to get rid of. When I saw it go through, I knew I had a clean hit with a great snap and great hold. It was a good feeling. Going into the rest of the kicks, I had a different sense of confidence and luckily enough everything went in."

Saints T Zach Strief

On how the offense performed:

"At the end of the day, we didn't make plays when we needed to make plays. We were in a situation where we could have tied the game up and came away with a field goal. Then we got pinned real deep, that's tough. We didn't score touchdowns in the red zone and they did. I thought the defense did a really good job. They caused two turnovers with a lot of young guys playing and I thought they fought real hard. We just weren't able to make plays at the end to get a win."

On the decision to punt late in the game:

"I think it makes sense. I mean we are on the 6 or 7, and at the end of the day, with the timeouts we had if we get a three and out, we have a minute left and maybe we don't have the ball at the 5. I think that is the right play. I think everyone understood it. Sometimes that's not the popular choice, but it is probably the smart one. Again, we weren't able to make plays there at the end to make that strategy work out."

On how much say the offensive line has in those decisions:

"Maybe Drew (Brees) does, but I certainly do not. I think all of us trust Coach (Sean) Payton's decisions at the end of games. I don't think anybody was lobbying one way or another for it. That's his decision and we trust his decisions in those situations."

Saints CB Damian Swann

On whether he got picked on the big play to the tight end:

"I did. That's one of those things where we just have to play different levels. When we are locked up like that we have to play different levels. We have got to fight through those things. We are DBs and we can't get picked. That was on me and I take full responsibility for that. We are going to watch it on film and get it corrected and we will be ready to play next week."

On the performance of the defense:

"It is never as good as you think it is and it is never as bad as you think it is. We just have to watch the tape and get ready to play football. We have Tampa coming in to our building next week so we have to get at it and look at the tape. We have to move on from it, get things corrected, and get ready for next Sunday."

On whether the team calmed down in the second half:

"I don't think it was the second half; I think it was pretty much the second quarter. Once they got off their script and starting their stuff we felt more comfortable with what we were doing. We have been watching it all week, so once they started running their stuff we were able to get some stops and get off the field."

Saints WR Brandon Coleman

On scoring a touchdown:

"I was just trying to find the end zone and was happy they didn't reverse the call."

On what the Cardinals were doing defensively that made it difficult to work down the field:

"They just didn't want us to get behind them so we have to look at the film and see how we can do a better job of moving it this week."

On the frustration of settling for field goals and not getting more touchdowns:

"Yeah, we want to score touchdowns when getting into the red zone and we weren't able to do that."

On what Sean Payton said about being more conservative:

"I have no idea. I just go out there and do what I am asked to do."

On not being as aggressive as the Saints usually are:

"That is his play-calling and we just got to do what he tells us to do."

Saints WR Marques Colston

On moving the ball well towards scoring opportunities:

"We were able to find our ways at times and other drives we weren't able to finish it with points. We just have to try to continue to do the good and correct the bad and keep it going."

On how the game changes when getting closer to the end zone:

"I think the drive in the third quarter. I believe it was the turnover. It was huge. It was a time when momentum was starting to shift and we had a chance to take the lead with that drive.

On the drop:

"Next question man."

On not being able to score more touchdowns and settling for field goals:

"They do some unique things on defense, but we have to be able to get six on some of our drives."

On if not scoring touchdowns was what cost the Saints the game:

"Yeah, you always look to convert touchdowns in the end zone and it didn't work in our favor today."

On the Cardinals defense taking away the vertical passing game:

"Yeah, they did a good job of doing that and they are great at that with their secondary and front seven."

Saints CB Delvin Breaux

On his thoughts about the game:

"It was a tough start. We started off real well. We just have to finish and make plays and finish ballgames, that's it."

On the penalties being part of the learning process:

"The referee's just make calls and we have to just move on to the next play."

On the pass breakup play at the end:

"I was just playing my coverage and I saw the ball and knew I had to make a play to get the ball back to our offense. When I turned my head the ball was coming, so I just stuck my hand out and made a play."

On the biggest thing he learned today:

"Just moving on to the next play. They make calls, we don't execute and it's all about moving on to the next play."

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