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Vilma Talks About Facing the Packers

Saints Defensive Captain talks about facing the Packers


New Orleans Saints LB Jonathan Vilma
Monday, September 5, 2011

Can you talk about Green Bay's offense?

They have great receivers, can catch the ball in space and can go the distance to get extra yards. They have a very good quarterback obviously , probably one of top five or top three quarterbacks right now. We need to find a way to be sound fundamentally in the front line, not let him extend the play by scrambling with his legs, tackling well. We have to do the things we've been coached to do.

Can you talk about your emphasis on forcing turnovers?

We were down a little bit in the numbers last year. We want that to be a point of emphasis this year. That's always been our approach. It was our approach last year we just didn't get as many turnovers as we did the year before. We know we're going to come in and that we're going to go after it.

How much emphasis do you guys put on this one game and getting off to a good start?

It would be good to get the victory. At the same time, it's one of 16. We always have to keep things in perspective. Granted it's a great game. It's always a great way to start off 1-0 beating the defending champs, but at the end of the day whether we play well, don't play well, win or lose, there are things to correct and we'll look to get better the next week.

How much of an advantage is it having played in the NFL kickoff game last year?

I think you still have some talented guys out there. Turk McBride is a guy that we have seen in Detroit in the past. Losing a guy like Will Smith does not make your defense better. He is one of the top guys, at his position, in the league. I have played against Gregg Williams before. I know what kind of coach he is. He is an extremely talented coach and he gets him team prepared. I know they will have something special for us and I know it will be a big challenge for us.

How do you deal with things in a game that you haven't seen before from your opponent?

We weren't the away team. The scheduling is the same knowing that we have a shorter week of preparation. We haven't' been through the traveling part of it being away from our friends and family, getting out a day early.

Did you guys ever say to yourselves before last year's game that you didn't want to be the first defending champion to lose this game? Are you now taking motivation that you want to be the first to beat defending champions?

We didn't look at it last year like we could be the first. We looked at it last year like we were playing a very good Minnesota team coming in. We had a great battle in the NFC Championship game. Unfortunately this time around we hadn't played them in about two or three years. We weren't as familiar with them as we were with Minnesota. They're probably looking at that record saying we've never lost. We don't want to be those guys. We're looking at it that we want to be 1-0 and not 0-1.

How many looks do you think you'll give them that they haven't seen before?

It's hard to say, especially with a guy like Aaron Rodgers. He's seen it all. Not only has he seen it all, he plays well against it all. Whether we give or don't give different looks. Aaron Rodgers is a smart guy. He'll figure it out before the end of the game.

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