<span style="">DETROIT LIONS at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
September 13, 2009
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON:
"I have a couple items pertaining to injuries. (Jermon) Bushrod was able to come back in, he just had a knee bruise, and the same thing with Tracy Porter. They have similar injuries and we will see how they are doing tomorrow. Jeremy (Shockey) got dehydrated a little and started cramping in the second half. I told the players afterwards, there are a lot of things we did in this game to get you beat and we are going to have clean that up. We have to clean up the kicking game. I didn't think we covered very well and I didn't think we returned well so we lost field position battles today in that aspect, clearly. We turned the ball over. We turned it over at running back for a touchdown, we turned it over on a punt and really put our defense in a short field a number of times and that will get you beat. We had some critical penalties that bring back big plays. So, there were enough sloppy things that really force us to look closely at cleaning those things up. That is really what I told them (the team). I was excited for the win, and yet there are a number of things that we have to do better and handle better and we will start on that Wednesday."
On the defensive play as a whole…
"I thought they played well. I just told the team that I don't know how many times we gave Detroit the ball inside the 20. I thought we rallied well and we held them to some field goals. We had a stretch of some tough snaps where we had a few penalties called, but I thought the defense played well. The turnovers we came up with were crucial and I thought they did a good job, very good."
On the sloppy play from special teams…
"We'll see. We will take a look at the film. I don't know if we can point to one thing but that is something we have to get better at or it will end up costing us. We will look closely at the return game, as well as the coverage aspect of it because I thought we were poor. We were outplayed in those areas, clearly."
On Mike Bell's play today…
"I thought he ran the ball well. He had the one fumble that resulted in a touchdown, which is discouraging. I thought he ran hard. I thought the guys up front by-and-large did a good job coming off the football. I thought the balance was kind of where we wanted it. There is a little bit of a flow to that game. I thought Drew (Brees) had a real good command of what we were doing, our third downs were good and our conversions were good. There are some plusses with him running and there are some things he has to work on."
On Jeremy Shockey's play…
"He is a threat inside. He is healthy now and he is doing a good job. I was pleased to see him make some plays for us when it counted. He is moving around well, he had a good training camp and if you study him closely you will see that."
On getting the win despite the number of mistakes made…
"Fortunately for us we had some turnovers ourselves. In other words, we had some interceptions and got our hands on some balls and I think came up with some big plays. If you look at it, Brees had six touchdown passes, but I do think the point you bring up is a good one. Its no different in what I just got finished telling our team in regards to the things that can take you down; the turnovers, yourself, the poor coverage, those aspects can undo you pretty quickly."
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees
Sunday, September 13, 2009 – Post-Game vs. Detroit
Can you talk about your first half?
"We did get off to a fast start. I thought starting off the season fast, and obviously this game, was big and we were able to do that. It was good to jump out to a 14-0 lead but unfortunately we kind of let them back in it. The next two series were three and out – which is not what we want – but we rallied before the end of the half and spread the ball around a lot, had a lot of guys involved, which was good."
Can you talk about tying the Saints team record for touchdown passes?
"I wasn't keeping tracking. It's kind of funny how that adds up if you just take it one play at a time. We had a lot of opportunities out there and there were a lot of guys who made some big plays in this game. Unfortunately we always think about the ones that got away – there were probably one or two more that we left out there. That's what keeps you coming back."
Is it almost scary that you left some out there and still scored 45 points?
"We scored 45 and you look at it and we turned the ball over three times, we got a field goal blocked – there were a lot more opportunities out there to be had. That's a good thing, but then you realize that it only gets tougher as we go along. We have a huge challenge next week at Philadelphia – they won today at Carolina so we know we have our work cut out for us and we're going to have to be better next week."
How satisfying was it to get Jeremy Shockey his first touchdown with this team?
"I told him after he caught the one in the first preseason game against Cincinnati that it just broke the seal and hopefully we'll just start overflowing now. We started with two – not too shabby. I think the sky is the limit for him and what he can do within this offense as a pass-catcher and a blocker. He has overcome a lot going back to last year coming off that broken leg and then he had the groin and the hernia and the ankle midseason and it was kind of an up and down time for him and something that I don't think he had ever experienced before. It was something he had to cope with but we had a great offseason. We spent a lot of time and had a lot of reps and I feel very confident with him and very comfortable with him and he's going to have a great year."
What did you see on the touchdown throw to Devery Henderson?
"It was man coverage across the board. I liked the match-up with Devery and it was just a matter of moving that safety a little bit and get him out of the picture. We were able to do that, I had to step up in the pocket in a little bit and there was Devery just smoking it down the field. He did a great job of getting open and creating separation and that's the way you draw it up."
Can you talk about your ability to move around in the pocket and make plays?
"That's part of playing the quarterback position, just understanding if you're able to step up or get out of the pocket when things break down, it's an opportunity to make big plays. All of a sudden it becomes a little bit of backyard ball where guys are working the back of the end zone and finding windows in the defense and I just try to find them for a first down or a touchdown. We had a few of those today where I would slide one way and hit Marques in the back of the end zone and hit Jeremy in the back of the end zone and then the throw to Devery – you have opportunities to make big plays when that happens."
What was the best throw of the six touchdowns?
"The ones I'm thinking of are the ones I didn't get; the one or two more – obviously the flea-flicker to Devery that got intercepted and then one right at the end of the half that I tried to thread in to Devery. I always worry about what I can get better at and not which ones were the best."
What did it mean to have Mike Bell moving the chains and you guys were able to run the football?
"It's awesome. We haven't had that in a while, so that's big. We ran a lot of plays and we had a lot of possession. Mike did a great job of stepping in and fulfilling that role. He was a work horse today, especially at the end of the game when it was just play after play of him pounding it up in there. That showed a lot of courage and obviously we're going to need him as the season goes on to continue to do that, continue to get better. I like the guys that we have offensively, especially at the running back position."
Of the six touchdowns, how many did not go as they were drawn up?
"I guess there were three of them. On three of them I kind of had to slide and create something. The timing wasn't the way you draw it up where you take a step in the pocket and deliver it. The one to Marques was kind of stepping up and flushed a little bit; the one to Shockey was flushed left and get it to him, and even Devery's was kind of an interesting timing or launch point for me because I had to step here and then step here and find him, so probably half of those – three out of the six. And even Meachem's – that's not the way you draw that one up – it just felt like Meachem was in a position to adjust it so I kind of threw it away from their guy and to our guy."
What are your thoughts on how the defense played?
"I thought the defense played great. You can't look at 27 points and say anything about the defense. We put them in some really bad positions a couple times and we had the fumble returned for a touchdown – that's not their problem. They did a great job but obviously it only gets tougher."
New Orleans Saints vs. Detroit Lions
Sunday, September 13, 2009
#58LB Scott Shanle
On the defense's play today
"I think we did good. I think a lot of people around the league will see the score and the amount of points that we gave up. I think we rose to the occasion because a lot of times we had our back against the wall on a short field. We had a couple of penalties on the one series down there. I think we rose up the occasion when we were called upon."
#42 S Darren Sharper
On his two interceptions today
"We knew with our offense that and the way that they put up point that we were going to have a chance. We knew that (Matthew Stafford) was going to be force to throw up the football and that was going to give us a lot of opportunities in the secondary. I showed today that I can catch the ball and that is what I have been doing in my career. Hopefully, I can continue to bring that to the team."
On the defensive performance today
"We did OK. We have a lot of things that we can improve on. We tried not to allow big plays. It is tough because they had big play receivers and they were going to get theirs sometimes. We created some turnovers today, but we know that we can get more. We just have to try to improve."
#44 FB Pierre Thomas/Heath Evans.aspx">Heath Evans
On the offensive play today
"We got a win and we scored a lot of points, but we should have scored a lot more. I think it is a double edge sword. You have one side that wants to enjoy it and you have a whole other side that opportunity after opportunity continued to put our defense in a bad spot. We have got to find a way to get better."
On every on the offense contributing
"That is Drew Brees's specialty. It's probably going to be that way a lot with the way our offensive line plays and the crispness of Sean Payton's play calling."
#55 LB Scott Fujita
On cleaning up the mistakes in today's game
"This is the first game, so we need to get back to the drawing board and see where the mistakes were made. On defense, we want to make more turnovers and on offense we want to prevent the turnovers. We just have to keep working away."
On getting turnovers today
"We made some huge plays, especially Darren Shaper who is the ball hawk. I've been watching him my whole career and I am glad that he's on my side now. He made some huge plays. There are going to be days where the offense turns the ball over and we have to cover their back a little bit and there are going to be days when they have to pick up the slack when we aren't playing so hot. It is a team thing and we have to get better every week."
#21 RB Mike Bell
On if he expected to get this much work today
"I really wasn't expecting that much work, but I prepare for it every week. I am ready to go for whatever the coaches want me to do."
On he assessed his performance
"There are a lot of things that I felt like I did well in the game, but the negative stuff has got to be dropped if I want to be successful and play. I've got to be consistent. They have got to be able to rely on me. I can't fumble. I can't get tired in the game. They want me to be able to run the ball consistently back-to-back. I have got to get in better shape. The offensive line did a great job. You have got to put the team first and I have got to get in better shape. I am putting that on my shoulders."
#88 TE Jeremy Shockey
On his two touchdown performance
"It felt good. Drew (Brees) made two great passes. It was satisfying. Last year I didn't catch any touchdowns. I'm happy to get two and happy to get the win and what better place to do it than the dome. The fans were great today. They definitely helped us out. Hopefully, we will get a lot more wins this year and have a lot of fun doing it."
On where this day ranks up in his career highlights after having to overcome so much
"I think just being around the guys and a guy like Drew (Brees) makes it easy out there. He works so hard during the week. If I get there at 6:10am, then he gets there at 6:05am. I'll definitely remember scoring my first Saints touchdown wide open. I made the next one look hard. It was a great pass and I bobbled it. I am grateful for those two."
#51 LB Jonathan Vilma
"We had some situations out there where we could have crumbled and instead we tried to rise to the occasion. I thought we had to do a little bit better job of tackling. I thought we did a good job, but not a great job. We can always improve on it, getting more sacks and getting more turnovers."
On the forced turnovers
"I think that we've been practicing (forcing turnovers) and preaching it all the time. We're not excited to get the turnovers, because we're expecting them now. It's not a situation where we get a turnover and we're happy. We want to get, two, three and four turnovers."
DETROIT LIONS HEAD COACH JIM SCHWARTZ
On the loss: "Obviously, this is not the way that we wanted to start. All of the things that we set out to do, New Orleans did a good job of not letting us do. We wanted to run the ball. We wanted to control the clock. We wanted to convert third downs. On defense, we wanted to stop drives. We had our hands full on defense against this offense. They were No. 1 in the NFL for a reason last year. (They were) No. 1 in points, No. 1 in yards. One of our game breakdowns (in preparation) was watching them hang (51) points on Green Bay last year. So we knew we had that (to deal with) and we needed to help them with the other units. We needed to help them with special teams, particularly our cover units. We did a poor job there. Defensively, we were never able to stop them from driving. They made six touchdown passes, the points, they all speak for themselves. Offensively, when you're trying to control the game, you've got to efficiently run the ball. We didn't get that done in this game."
On if he was surprised how erratic Matthew Stafford played: "Not with the way that the rest of the game was going. You get behind 14 in the game, not being able to run the football, not being in convertible third downs that we set out to. It doesn't surprise me at all when those things happen."
On struggling on offense: "We had way too many times we had great chances to make plays down the field and try to get them out of eight man fronts. We were never able to do that. We misfired on the pass, whether it was a dropped ball, whether it was a tipped ball, a pressure, one of those things. When teams are able to sit there and play in the box and you don't make them pay, you're going to have a hard time running the football."
On why Matt Stafford struggled to make accurate passes: "I'll have to look at the tape. I think he was getting hit on, but not all of them. It's on him to make accurate passes. Probably the most disappointing was an underthrow and we had one on one coverage on Calvin (Johnson) who had a step on the guy down our sideline. Let's just not put blame on one person. There is a lot to go around in this game."
On key penalties: "Ernie's (Sims) penalty is being aggressive. There is a fine line on that sideline. That guy tightropes down the sideline, it's hard to pull off sometimes. I'll take that. The play in the end zone (on Jeremy Shockey's touchdown) was dumb football. It was dumb football. That's something that we can't allow to happen. Did it hurt us? No. They move the ball and kick the ball through the goalposts and we started on the 20. Those are situations that can't happen. We (also) ran into an official coming on the field. The guys were getting ready to come on the field and they ran over one of the officials. Making contact with an official is a penalty."
New Orleans Saints vs. Detroit Lions
Sunday, September 13, 2009
DETROIT LIONS PLAYER QUOTES
QB MATTHEW STAFFORD
"Looking back, I thought I did a pretty decent job out there. I know the statistics will show I had three interceptions and it looked like I missed a lot of throws, but I felt prepared and didn't feel nervous at all. The areas we need to improve on is me hitting the wide receiver when they go deep – at least two times I missed Calvin (Johnson) long. The other thing is that we did drive into the red zone a few times and came up with field goals instead of touchdowns. That's unacceptable & I take responsibility for that."
On the interceptions: "On the first, I just threw on the wrong side of the receiver. The second one, I tried to stop the throw but it squirted out and looked like a bad throw. And the third one, I was just trying to throw it down the field and make a play. You know we were losing big late in the game and I just tried to make anything happen."
On the loss: "Believe me, you never like to lose. But what I take away from this first game is a learning experience. I was not nervous at all. I felt prepared. I just have to stop making mistakes and put our team in a better position to win."
LB ERNIE SIMS
"To me, I felt our defense has not improved any from last season. They (Saints) ran up & down the field and we know they scored a lot of points. We have a lot of work to do before we get a win. Losing is never fun."
WR CALVIN JOHNSON
"I thought Matthew did a decent job for his first start. That's a lot of pressure, you know, to try to lead us to a win. I have a lot of confidence in our quarterback and I am sure we will be all right."
S LOUIS DELMAS
On fumble return for TD: "I was making sure the running back (Bell) was down and the next thing I knew the ball popped out. I just scooped it up and that was it."
"I felt we were in the game the entire time. It was just in the fourth quarter when they pulled away. I feel we are improving as a team in general and on defense in particular. We will get a win sooner rather than later."