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Thomas, Hawthorne talk about Sunday's win over the Bucs and playoffs

Linebacker David Hawthorne and running back Pierre Thomas spoke with the media via conference call on Monday, December 30, 2013

New Orleans Saints Inside Linebacker David Hawthorne
Conference Call with Local Media
Monday, December 30, 2013
Have you played in Philadelphia?
"I think I've played them like three or four times."
Is it a pretty unique place in the sense of how hostile it is?
"It is. It's one of those places that kind of really gets behind their football team. They have crazy fans when they're winning and in ballgames and stuff. It's definitely a football atmosphere."
Does that add to it or does it need to be, with what's on the line?
"Yeah I don't think anything needs to be added to the situation that we're in right now. It's win or go home and if you can't get motivated for that, then you're in the wrong business."
How much are you guys looking forward to getting into this game and maybe getting rid of some of those questions about your team on the road?
"It just comes down to we've got to go out there and win and do what it takes to win and operate on all cylinders and stuff like that. A couple of times we have started slower than we are accustomed to starting or didn't hold up like we need to hold up then it's hard to get behind and stuff like that. We have never really focused on being a home or an away team. We just (try) to put together a complete game."
What have you seen out of the Eagles offense that has stood out thus far?
"It's the the tempo. Chip Kelly came in from Oregon and brought that fast-tempo style of offense. They run a play and then their back on the line in like sixteen seconds or something like that. He's really introduced that style of play into the NFL, and it's working for him."
What's tough about playing against an offense like Philadelphia who makes it hard to sub out personnel and stuff like that?
"I just think you definitely have to prepare in practice at that tempo. You don't want to be surprised by it when you get to gametime. We'll probably keep a couple of packages in longer than they'll usually be in. If they sub, then obviously we get an opportunity to sub, but if they're just tempoing us, we're going to have to try and keep it rolling."

New Orleans Saints Running Back Pierre Thomas
Conference Call with Local Media
Monday, December 30, 2013
Talk about the challenge of winning a road playoff game, something this franchise has never done.
"We're going to be prepared. We know what's at stake. We know we're going up there to Philly, we're going to go up against a great team. We've just got to make sure we have everything on our end sealed up and perfected. We've got to study hard on this team in a short period of time, but I know our team is capable of doing that (and) I know these guys are capable of doing that. The coaches are going to give us a great game plan to prepare ourselves for this."
Did any of your teammates get together to watch the end of the Cowboys/Eagles game?
"I've seen a few highlights of the game. I haven't really gotten to watch the whole game. When I found out Philly won, I've seen what type of defense they had and what type they were playing against Dallas. They were playing a lot of man coverage. Who knows if they are going to do the same thing against our offense, but we're going to be prepared for whatever they throw at us. Like I said, we've got to just watch film and really study these guys and get ready for a tough, physical game because we already know when it comes to playoff time all the games are going to be tough (and) all the games are going to be physical. We're going to have our hands full with these guys coming after us and we're definitely going to be coming after them."
Can you talk about LeSean McCoy and what you see in his game?
"He's a strong runner. He's a quick, fast, agile guy. (He is) hard to take down. He can make you miss. He can do a lot. That's a dangerous guy and that's something we've got to really watch for during the game on the defensive side. I know the defensive players notice that. They know what type of player he is, what type of runner he is. On the defensive side we've got to really get after these guys and stop their run game. If we stop the run game, we feel like we have the upper hand on this team."
Do you think that being a six seed accurately represents the amount of playoff experience that you have with this team and the elite level which a lot of those guys have played over the past five years?
"Being the six seed, I don't see the experience being anything different from what we've really been going through. I feel that everybody is going to approach this game as a very important game. I feel like we're comfortable with the situation that we're in. It's going to show what type of team we really are. We've really got to come out here and put everything on the line just like we did against Tampa. I said it earlier after the game that Tampa was our first playoff game, and if we play the way we did and stay focused and hit on all cylinders, we're going to be a tough outfit to stop. We're going to come after this game the same way, with the same attitude and same drive and the same focus. But we've got to take it one step at a time, no matter what opponent is in front of us. I know one thing: as a group, we can't put ourselves in holes in this situation because there's really no room for mistakes, especially in the playoffs. There's no room for mistakes. We have to really buckle down and get rid of some of these penalties that we have. Penalties will put you in a hole and put you back. As long as we take care of that, I think we're going to be good."
The temperature is supposed to be in the twenties for the game. Does that affect you as a back at all?
"I'm not worried about the cold…I'm from Chicago. I've been in colder situations than that, than the twenty degrees. I've played in more games way under zero."
You actually prefer the cold based on your history, don't you?
"Oh yeah. I prefer the cold. I play pretty good in the cold weather. That doesn't bother me at all. Actually out there playing, I'm sweating so much my body's overheating, I kind of need that cool air to cool me down."
Generally a six seed is an underdog, but you guys don't see yourselves as the underdog, do you?
"No. We don't view (ourselves) as an underdog. If we were a six seed, if we were the first seed, we're going to come at these playoffs the same way. We're going to take it one step at a time. We're not going to look over or above ourselves or anything else or put ourselves down. We're a team and we're going to go out here and do what we have to do. We're going to get the job done. We're going to stay focused and we know that everything is on the line at this point. We're going to have to take this game seriously, which we will, and go out there and play our game. Like I said, we just can't put ourselves in a hole."

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