New Orleans Saints Fullback Zach Line
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Monday, September 30, 2019
We've been talking a lot with Sean Payton and Teddy Bridgewater after the game about how wins don't have to get pretty and you don't even need touchdowns apparently to win a game. Do you think though some of that stems from, that's what these two games called for? At Seattle with the crowd noise and possible weather and versus Dallas with their physical defense and that's not just all this offense can be with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback?
"Yes, for sure. Teddy is doing a great job there. And we knew going into these games we had to take care of the football on offense. I think we did a good job of that. There are a lot of stats that we look at when we're going to these games. A certain amount of turnovers, a certain amount of possession, equals a victory. Through history, we have those statisticians upstairs that look into that stuff. This was one of those games we knew that we had to run the football, we had to control the time of possession, and honestly having our defense play the way they did helps out a ton. I thought Teddy did a great job yesterday just controlling the huddle. It's awesome to see him continue to do what he was doing in Minnesota when I was with him and he's just a leader."
What do you like about the way he's a leader and commands that position?
"I think a lot of it for me stems from, it comes from the injury he had. I was literally five feet from where that happened and just to see the change in him as a person really from that happening, you're never promised the next step. You can say that, preach that, but until you got through that, it doesn't really mean anything. When he preaches that in the huddle and just be you, it's never promised, things like that that he says, just don't take it for granted anymore. I've seen where he came from and it was a bad, bad injury and for him to be back to where he is, I'm super proud of him as a person and as an athlete for where he's come now. It's just special for me to see him back there doing what he does and doing what he does really well. You can't not respect him as a person for how far he's come. Most people would have called it quits and moved on, but he's still a high level quarterback and doing what he loves."
Have you seen a change in his demeanor just because he came so close to not being able to play?
"I think inevitably there's going to be a change in how you are in life after something like that happens. He's our franchise quarterback in Minnesota and this happened and it's like now what's the next plan? He's put in a position where am I going to ever play quarterback again? Then he gets great opportunity with the Saints. He's fortunate, you never know when your number is going to get called. You see it in the facility and at practice, he's preparing like he's the starter so when things do happen, unfortunately, he's ready to roll."
I know Coach Payton had last year's Dallas game playing in the locker room all week last week and the clear message from him was to be the more physical team in this one. How much appreciation did you take in being able to help deliver on that directive?
"I was pretty sick of watching that game in the locker room, I'm not going to lie to you. That was a big win for us obviously. We did not have the showing we wanted to have last year. To go out there and move the football the way we did, to me, it is always fun when we run the ball the way we do. When we are clicking in the run game It is kind of a flex by the offense. It gets the sideline going when we bust a big run and AK (Alvin Kamara) stumbles and bumbles the way that he does. Yesterday was stumbling and bumbling. Normally he's slippery, but yesterday he was running like a powerful back. That kind of stuff gets me juiced up."
Just on the penalties yesterday, how difficult does that make it when you've got your number two quarterback in and you're kind of forced to play behind the sticks a little bit with him?
"The penalties definitely don't help. I felt like we left a lot of points on the field honestly with those penalties. That's something that we're going to have to clean up moving forward because you get in first and 20 or whatever it is, long yardage situations, we've been in those too many times now to where you're running all your play calls in those situations. Obviously, that's something you got to clean up and you would like to obviously, if you're going to get to third down, make it third down and manageable, but when you back yourself up to first and 20, it makes it difficult. I thought we did a good job after those penalties of converting and moving the sticks."