Head Coach Raheem Morris
(Opening statement) Disappointing performance, obviously disappointed in everything we did today. That was a total team loss from a coachs standpoint and a players standpoint and all around. We lost that game together. We played a manageable first half, got some of the things we wanted to get accomplished, keep Drew Brees off the football field, be able to run the football in the first half, limit the amount of his attempts. At the end there we let the rope go, gave them the ball back, with a scoring and striking mentality and hes able to get you there. Anytime you turn the football over like we did today, youre not going to beat Drew Brees and what he is able to do. We talked about it earlier in the week; we have to make plays that we didnt make today. He did and thats why he won the football game. Its a credit to their coaching staff. Its a credit to their players. An undermanned team came in and beat us today and they did what they were supposed to. Its what a 9-0 team looks like. You have to be able to compete with those guys at one point. The best part about it though, the silver lining, is you have another opportunity to go down there and show them what we really look like and who we really can be. Its all about the progress from this young man. This young man at quarterback today, which just goes back to the obvious and the things we got to work on.
(On if he expected performance like these from Josh Freeman) You expect it. We were living in a fantasy world a little bit there a little bit the last two weeks with him being able to come back and being able to strike like he was able to do. Today he was just off his throws. He didnt have his rhythm. He was never able to get into a rhythm. He just didnt have it where he wanted to go especially on third down early in the game. On third down, we had a bunch of manageable third downs. Thats where you like to be. We werent able to run the football on this team, which we thought we would be able to do. Once you got out of that game plan, we just wanted to be in a third down manageable, continue to move the chains, keep Drew Brees off the football field, let them eat up clock, really stay in the game. If you look at the end of the game, he had to convert a bunch of those third downs and really have an opportunity to win a football game like that. We were not able to convert those today. Whether it is a receivers fault, whether it is a quarterbacks fault, it really doesnt matter. Whether it is my fault as a coach, it really doesnt matter. It was all our faults. We have to go clean that up and get better in those opportunities and have a chance to win these type of football games.
(On Earnest Graham) Earnest has the ability to get in there and play tailback for us in our one back sets right now and he can possibly go in there if we would have [Chris] Pressley. Pressleys been on our team for probably two weeks, doesnt know the whole package. We have to keep Earnest at fullback to get him acclimated with everything hes going to do. When you get a hot back like that, you would like to be able to stick with them and go with a two back run especially if one of them is starting to roll but youre not able to right now. We dont have the ability to do that. No fault to Pressley, Im not knocking Pressley, but hes only been here two weeks. Hes only been in your system for a limited amount of time. Youre going to play the New Orleans Saints who are 9-0, you have to get him a package, you guide him for that package. You want to be able to pound it. You want to open the game with that type of mentality and be able to go out there and get a little bit out of it. We just werent able to maintain it today to keep it going
(On the Saints) This is a very good football team. Dont forget they were undermanned as well, so those excuses can be saved for a later date when those situations come up. They were an undermanned team today. They didnt have Reggie Bush. They were missing two of their starting corners. They went out there and played with what they had and they won the football game. Thats what we have to do as a coaching staff. We have to get ready to get better to play with who we have. Well talk about it with our team. Well talk about it with our organization.
WR Michael Clayton
(On what the difference was after the first touchdown drive) We just have to continue to work. We had a lot of open looks out there and the challenge for us right now is making a transition between the things we do in practice and being able to come out in the game and execute. Early on we were able to get some things rolling and capture some momentum; that worked in our favor. At some point we let go of that rope. We cant let that happen.
(On if Josh Freeman was just out of rhythm today) Its going to happen sometimes. Thats when you need the rest of the team to step up. Thats what makes a good caliber football team. We werent able to do that today. When we are, well be a better football team. He definitely has all the ability. Unfortunately, we couldnt give him a little more help.
QB Josh Freeman
(On his lack of accuracy) That was definitely the case. Coming into this game, we knew how potent their offense was and we knew the best defense was for our offense to sustain drives. The tough thing is that only lasted our first drive. We knew what we had to do to come out and win and I put that on myself. Whether it be the ball to Sammie [Stroughter] or the couple balls to Kellen [Winslow], on third down I have to help us sustain a drive, weve got to keep it going. I was just a little off and couldnt get into a rhythm.
(On if he was too hyped up) No, I felt calm as I ever have. I felt confident throwing the ball. For instance the out to Sammie, I threw it right when he broke, it was maybe a foot or a couple of inches outside where it normally would be a completion. It was just one of those days, an off day.
(On if the Saints did anything different in their coverages) Not really. I felt really prepared for them, I knew what they were running. It was just a matter of missing some throws. I wasnt able to put it where I had the previous couple of weeks when I put it right on the money. This week I was just a little off.
(On trying to get the first road win next week) This game is this game. Starting tomorrow, I am going to go in and watch this game and its going to be out of my system. I am going to move on to Atlanta, start with a clean slate and get ready for Atlanta. Next time the Saints roll around Ill pull up this game and try to get as much as I can out of it. Right now, its just focusing on the Falcons.
(On the type of coverages teams are playing against him) These guys brought quite a bit of pressure. The thing about the blitzes, its not like you dont know what type of pressure they are bringing, its just a matter of getting into the protection and picking it up. Knowing who you have to throw hot off of is what makes blitzing stressful. But if you know your protections and know where you have to go with the ball if you have a free hitter, then teams that blitz and teams that dont, they are about the same except teams that blitz you have a few more opportunities to take it down the field.
(On how accurate he was in practice this week) I felt great coming out of this week of practice. I felt good and in rhythm and was putting the ball right where I wanted it. Its a game of inches and today I was a hair off. I dont see that as a problem in the future. Its not something that I am going into next week saying Oh man, I hope Im not a hair off. I just have to keep throwing it.
RB Earnest Graham
(On what happened after starting off so well) The first drive we came out and played pretty well. We ran the ball pretty well and made some plays. We went down the field and kind of showed what we could do as an offense. But after that, whether it was turnovers or penalties that stalled the drive, it was our fault. It was just ineffectiveness on our part. We didnt do the job that we came out here to do today.
(On if they felt that they needed to pick it up around QB Josh Freeman today) Just as a total offense, we didnt play well. Whether it was Josh or the receiving group, the running back group, or the offensive line, we didnt do anything as an offense. With any game or any season you need somebody to lead, and we didnt have anybody step up and lead today.
S Tanard Jackson
(On the running game of the Saints) I have to go back and look at the film to see what the problem was this week. Just being out there and analyzing now, I can say that we just have to make more plays as a unit and as a whole.
(On the Saints tight ends giving them problems including backup TE David Thomas) We know Drew Brees likes to spread the ball around. He wasnt one of those guys who he looked for early on from watching film from other opponents. He found him today.
(On QB Drew Brees performance) I think they went to the running game once they had the game pretty sealed up. We went out the first half and executed well enough to get out of that half. We came back out and Brees was hot. He played well today. We tip our hats to them. They are a great team. They played well today. We knew who they were and knew what they were capable of.
LB Barrett Ruud
(On the game) They were doing a lot of things well. They ran the ball on us, they threw the ball on us and we really didnt stop very much of anything. We have to go back to work Monday and clean up a lot of problems.
(On the teams performance) Offensively, defensively we werent great on either side of the ball. Special teams I thought covered pretty well. I think they did a good job overall. Two of our three phases werent very good today. We have to go back on those and get a lot of the details down.
(On the Saints spreading the ball around) Thats why they are 10-0. Thats also probably why where we are at. You saw one team really executing well and one team that didnt execute nearly as well as they needed to compete with a team thats very good right now. We have a lot to work on.
RB Clifton Smith
(On what happened in the second half) We just have to come back out after halftime with a little bit more fire and just play in the third quarter. We just have to turn it up a notch.
(On not being able to make mistakes against the Saints) This is a talented team. You have to make them drive the ball. We have to keep number 9 off the field. He is probably the best quarterback in the NFL right now, you cant let him get on a short field.
(On Josh Freeman not looking like himself out there today) Thats the life of a quarterback, you go up and down. He takes his punches just like a boxer. I know he is going to bounce back next week.
(On if the Saints changed their look after the first drive) No, they pretty much stayed the same the entire game. We just didnt capitalize on what they were doing.
DE Stylez G. White
(On the game) Im frustrated, Im embarrassed. I know we are better than that. To go out there and play like we played today, there is no excuse. There is no excuse. We are 1-9 right now.
(On their turnovers) We have to compete better. In the first half we did well. Its just frustrating to go out there and see the scoreboard. Its frustrating.
DE/DT Jimmy Wilkerson
(On the game slipping out of hand) I just think that we stopped playing consistently. We were pretty much consistent in the first half. I think that we were just out of gas and really just werent fitting in our gaps properly. Thats one thing that we have to continue to do, get better in the second half just like we do in the first half.
(On stopping the Saints in the first quarter) Thats what weve been trying to practice on this whole week, just get pressure on him. We know if he sits back there, he is going to throw the ball and pick us off. If we could get pressure on him quick and disrupt his throwing game, we know we have a chance to get them off third down.
(On the Saints going to the run) I think they figured they were up by a lot so they didnt really need to pass. If I was in their position as a coach, I would run the ball a lot too to run down the clock.
RB Carnell Williams
(On the first drive) We kind of had them on their ps and qs and we got it done. Then somehow we just collapsed.
(On if they felt like they had to go away from the run) Once you start getting behind in ball games and teams are putting points on the board, and as an offense youre going three and out, its tough to stick with the run when youre down two or three scores.
(On coming off playing two straight games well, then dropping this one today) We were prepared. We definitely prepared the same. We came out feeling good and we had a real good opening drive. We knew Drew Brees and those guys could put points on the board quick. We wanted to control the clock, but for some reason we didnt get it done.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Head Coach Sean Payton
(Opening statement) Certainly, its a good win to get on the road, a division opponent. I thought we did a good job of taking care of the football and eliminate some of the mistakes that hurt us the past few weeks. I thought one of the key aspects of the game is the kicking game. I thought we won that battle clearly. I was happy for the special teams. This is a pretty good special teams team that we were playing. It was one of the things that they did well. It was a big emphasis for our guys in the kicking game. I thought they handled it well. I thought defensively after the first drive we did a real good job of creating the three and outs. Obviously, we had balance on offense and made enough plays to win. It was good to get a win and to get on to next week.
(On TE David Thomas being the 18th different guy this season to score for the Saints) We kept getting the same front and coverage by-and-large. We had some pretty good opportunities mixed in. We thought that we would be able to run the ball a little bit from the nickel today. I thought that our draw schemes early on were pretty effective. We were able to get to the line of scrimmage with a couple of spontaneous plays without huddling. To eliminate goal line defense, we were able to do that. It was good balance. It was a good team win.
(On CB Chris McAlister being inactive) It really just came down to making sure that he is in good enough football shape. We just felt like we were going to be okay going in. I expect this week his chances of being up would be greater, really mainly because he is one week into practice. The main thing was just getting him into football shape. He has picked things up well.
(On the injuries) These guys all did a good job of filling in and handled the substitution. We played a couple of guys at left tackle, both [Jermon] Bushrod and [Zach] Strief. We just keep battling. It was a better game today; it wasnt as sloppy as we have had in the last few weeks.
(On the reason for playing both Bushrod and Strief at left tackle) Zach was someone that has been practicing well. We wanted to get him some work so we played both of them.
(On the defense) I thought we did a good job. Early on in the first half, our third down statistics werent as good as we would have liked. Mainly, that was Tampa Bays first drive on offense. For us, it was a couple of drives. I thought we settled in and handled what they were trying to do pretty well. I thought we tackled well in the second half especially.
(On the importance of a game like this) We just look to improve. I was pleased with the challenge in the kicking game. I was pleased with the challenge for our defense from a run standpoint. I was pleased that we eliminated some of those mistakes offensively. Those three things.
(On if he likes where his team is) I like where we are at, I mean we are 10-0. We beat a division opponent on the road. We have to continue to get guys healthy. I think that is an easy question to answer. I thought we got better today.
(On playing struggling teams) We dont look at them as those kinds of games. Last week it was St. Louis and its a good team. This team just beat Green Bay and played Miami close. I dont see it that way.
RB Mike Bell
(On how much of a step forward this win was for the team) I think we are definitely making progress but we still have a lot of work to do. You cant be content; we have to play our best football game. We can continue to look at the film and continue to work hard. A champions attitude.
(On what changed after giving up the long drive to the Buccaneers) I think its just the type of players we have. I think that we knew we had to get ahead of them early or it was going to be a dog match the whole way so we had to put some points on the board. You know they are a great team and I think they are going to be good down the road so we just came out there, we had to regroup and do what we do and I think thats what we did and eventually we got our rhythm.
(On having no turnovers today versus many turnovers earlier in the month) I think that we still have to work on ball security. I still think we have got to hold the ball tighter; weve got to squeeze the ball tighter, especially me. I know me, I get lazy sometimes and I start getting comfortable and feeling like Im in a rhythm I get real lazy with the ball. So I still think the balls out there and Ive got to do a better job of securing it.
(On seeing the defense motivating the offense with their play) I think offense and defense we work together, were a team. So, when we see them playing hard and physical we are going to go out and play hard and physical. I think thats what type of coaches we have that instill it in us and were just going to continue to work together as a team.
(On if it feels good to be 10-0) Definitely, Ive never been 10-0 in my life and Im just excited to be a part of this team.
QB Drew Brees
(On scoring on the last possession before the half and the first possession after half) Yeah, I know big time. We definitely wanted some momentum going into the halftime. Were disappointed we went out there with about three minutes left just to get into kind of wanting a two minute mode and ended up going three and out. Thankfully our defense was able to get it back for us and we executed well that second time around to get down there and get points before the half. And like you said, that was big. Obviously coming back from the second half our defense gets a big turnover, we convert it to seven points and all of a sudden it has been a 14 point swing in a matter of a couple minutes.
(On fixing anything) Well, were on our way to fixing things. Obviously, we talk about no turnovers. We talk about no sacks. Really just eliminating negative plays and that kind of thing and we come out of todays game, with no turnovers, no sacks and obviously you see the result. We win running away. I think when you look at us historically and especially this year when we take care of the football and when we eliminate negative plays, we are very, very hard to beat. Obviously when the defense is taking the ball away like they have been and did today with four turnovers that just makes it, gives us so many more opportunities through momentum and gives us a short field and all those things.
(On Marques Colston) Marques Colston never went anywhere. Thats just a matter of opportunities. I mean hey, just like you walk out of this game and you say Why did Jeremy Shockey only have two catches today? Well, look at the other guys who ended up making big plays you know, [Robert] Meachem, David Thomas and Marques Colston. So when one guy maybe who has gotten a lot of action all of a sudden for some reason gets taken out of the game you know whether it may be because of their scheme or just because the ball is not coming his way it opens up opportunities for other people. I was excited for Marques today because he needed a day like this just like a lot of us needed a day like this.
(On dodging a bullet by resting people the past couple of games and continuing to win) Yeah, yeah somewhat because we have been banged up in a lot of ways so two weeks ago when you sat there and looked at the next two games despite their one win, despite the fact that were up against two one-win teams they are games on the road. We know were going to get their best games. Both teams have been playing better, playing well. We have these injuries that we got to kind of fight through. But with that adversity, opens up opportunities for young guys but also kind of helps us cling together a bit more as a team. So Im glad weve gotten through that. Hopefully we can get some guys healthy because we need everybody for this next game.
WR Marques Colston
(On three catches at the end of the half) It was just a big drive for the offense to get going. Drew [Brees] was able to find me a few times down the middle of the field. We were able to put points on the board. Going into halftime, the way the game was playing out at that point, it was huge to get points.
(On whether the old Marques Colston is back) The old Marques Colston never left. I struggled for a couple of games but that happens in this league. Nobody in this locker room has lost confidence in me. I havent lost confidence in myself. So we just get ready to play New England on Monday night.
LB Scott Fujita
(On his game with the sack and the fumble resulting in a touchdown) Yeah, thats the biggest thing with the offense being able to capitalize on the turnovers we create. They are going to be able to put points on the board. Were trying to make the plays as much as we can and keep the ball in the offenses hands.
(On not losing under Head Coach Sean Payton when not having a turnover) Its pretty clear what the formula to win is. We just have to keep that going.
(On beating another rookie coach and quarterback) It feels good. I have never been 10-0. I dont think many guys on this team have been 10-0. A lot of guys are saying maybe back in high school. Its a good feeling but you have to put this game to rest and move on.
CB Malcolm Jenkins
(On the defensive performance today) We played pretty well. There were a couple of plays here and there that we have to improve on but overall it was a pretty good performance.
(On the injuries at cornerback for the Saints) Yeah, its unfortunate but its part of football. Luckily, weve got some guys that are stepping up.
(On his interception) We were just in one of our normal coverages and I just broke on the ball. He threw it, I dont think the receiver followed through on his route too much and I kind of just laid out for it and was able to get it.
(On playing differently after giving up a 95-yard touchdown drive) It was just settling down. On that long drive on two third downs the quarterback got out of the pocket and ran the ball. Once we got that contain we did a pretty good job of putting them in some bad situations on third down and converting on third down.
(On the defensive play in the second half) Thats one thing we wanted to do is start out fast. We didnt start out like we wanted to on defense at least, but we came out of the locker room at halftime hot, and I think thats what helped us out and kept us rolling.
S Darren Sharper
(On ever being 10-0) No, I dont think anyone in this locker room has been 10-0. Fujita did with Kansas City, but this is one of those landmark records, and 10-0 is something that I dont think anyone has experienced.
(On the team being back on track after a sloppy couple of weeks) Well its a good sign. We want to be playing together as a team as it gets later into the season. We kind of had a little lull in the middle of the season, which its still the middle now. But there are things we can still improve on. Beating teams like we were earlier in the season by an average of 20 points, and then now, the last couple of games have been tough games. This is the type of game you want to have. Thats dominating teams for four quarters and thats a good sign because we all know our next opponent is a tough one.
TE Jeremy Shockey
(On being 10-0 and the teams performance) We won the game and Im very happy about that, and its just a great feeling being in the situation we are in. As Coach Payton says we cant lay off a little bit because we have a lead in the division, but I dont think this team has that. We know we can play better. We can start faster. Just start fast. We went three and out. Thats not a goal that we reached, and I know we can be better.
(On playing New England on Monday night) We havent studied film on them that much, but its in the dome. Its going to be a great atmosphere, its going to be great.
DE Will Smith
(On being 10-0) We have been 10-0 a couple times at Ohio State but first time in the National Football League 10-0. It feels good for the moment but we know its short lived because we have another hard game next week.
*(On the upcoming game against New England) * No, we always took it one game at a time. Two weeks ago we werent worried about New England, we were worried about whoever we played two weeks ago. This week we were worried about Tampa Bay and now that Tampa Bay is over we have to worry about New England.
(On treating this like a business trip) We knew they were going to come in just watching the comments they made in the media that we were going to come in and they were going to give us their best shot. The beginning of the game they drove down the field, scored and then we started getting three and outs. So we kind of picked up what they were trying to do and we kind of shut that down. We just came in with the plan that we were going to get their best shot at it and we had to do something to stop it.
RB Pierre Thomas
(On the game opening up after going up 17-7) In the beginning we had a little struggle, but we kept through with our plays. We knew coming into the game our game plan was excellent, we just didnt execute at first. We just stayed on our track, calmed down, worked with our schemes, and executed.
(On belief within the locker room that they can be uncatchable) Yeah, definitely. I think guys are more focused on what they have to do in this game. No turnovers, protecting the ball, and trying to get less penalties. Penalties are going to happen sometimes, we know and understand that, nobody is perfect. But we stayed on track, we were focused. We wanted to go out there and make a stand, and I believe we did that.