"That's not how we want to keep playing these games, "
"It is what it is, " said Vilma, who had 12 tackles (10 solo), including two for losses. "And we can't lose sight of the fact that we're playing good opponents, giving us their A game. We've got to tip our hats to them."
"I would say we're blessed, because a lot of teams can't make all those mistakes and be down 17-6, " said Meachem, who finished with five catches for 98 yards. "Coach said one thing that stuck in our minds at halftime: If we stop making the mistakes, we can come back and win the game."
"We all knew what we had to do, " Pierre Thomas said. "We said, 'Let's take it 98 yards, let's take it all the way and keep this thing going.' "
"Man, 1991 is a long time ago, " Hargrove said. "I was 8 years old, in foster care in Queens (N.Y.). I remember my third grade teacher was Miss Schneider, but I didn't know nothing about the Saints.
"8-0, huh? A franchise record? I ain't never been 8-0 before. This is awesome. This is crazy."
"Going 16-0 and finishing the regular season would be great, but we want to win the division and get home-field advantage, " Saints defensive end Will Smith said. "The only thing this win today guarantees us is 8-8. That's all."
"We weren't overconfident by any stretch, " Panthers Coach John Fox said. "We played this team before, and we know their potency on offense. It's a 60-minute game."
"I take responsibility for the way we came out offensively, " said Brees, who finished with more-than-respectable numbers of 24-of-35 for 330 yards with one touchdown and one interception for a 96.1 passer rating. "I turned the ball over twice. I'm really disappointed in myself, knowing how important the game was today.
"What I can take pride in is the way we bounced back, our entire team. We know we got what it takes to come back and win."
"We just know when that ball's thrown to us, it's on us to make the play, " ... "That's what guys have been doing, from the running backs to the tight ends to us to Drew (Brees), taking advantage of opportunities. That's the thing. When you're doing that, it's hard to beat."
"He gambled a little bit -- just like his last name. And we were able to make him pay on that play, "
-Robert Meachem, on safety Chris Gamble
"I'm just enjoying the ride, " Meachem said. "I knew my speed was back. I knew my swagger was back. Everything was back. The Good Lord was blessing me. And I just kept praying, 'Lord, please get me out of this hole.' And he's gotten me out of that hole, and I'm back where I want to be. But there's still more to come."
"You know, you don't get hired to miss kicks, so I was disappointed in the last few weeks, " said Carney, who is 11-of-14 on the season. "I wanted to come out and have a clean game, and I'm very fortunate to work with Jason Kyle, who's a great snapper, a great veteran, and (holder) Mark Brunell. They can make a kicker's job very easy."
"I was just trying to keep the ball in, and I remembered that I had to get my feet back in bounds before I could touch the ball, " said Jenkins, who briefly ran into the end zone but had the presence of mind to get back out across the goal line as he had been coached. "And Thomas did a great job of getting the ball to bounce our way. It kind of bounced flat."
"It's great," quarterback Drew Brees said. "1967 'til now, and we're the only team to have done that. That's special. It's really special."
"The Saints are a heck of a football team," said Jake Delhomme, the Panthers' quarterback, a Breaux Bridge native and former Saint . "I said it all week, it's the best team in football, in our opinion."
"It just shows you what kind of character we have on this football team, to be able to come back and win games like this," -Darren Sharper "8-0 is nice but we want to go 19-0," Sharper said. "That's our goal."
"Anything's possible," Brees said. "Would we like to win them all? Absolutely. But you can never look too far ahead."
"That first leap, my toe kind of caught the wall a little bit. I had to set myself and get my mind right, " said Hargrove, who then started to revise his excuse. "Actually, what happened was, I don't think the fans were ready. They were still cheering. I think if I would have went in there, they might not have been ready for me. . . . There was a little girl there. I might have hurt her."
"Usually by this time of year I'm in jail or been arrested or failed a drug test or something. If you look back, that's how it is. I get about a month in and go AWOL, " Hargrove said. "It's November, I haven't been arrested, I haven't failed a drug test. Seriously, I have to call a spade a spade. That's my reality. I'm in a very new place right now."
"This is crazy. Honest to god. Just making a play like this once a week, it's a blessing, " said Hargrove, who recovered two fumbles Sunday -- one forced by defensive end Will Smith earlier in the fourth quarter -- and scored the first touchdown of his career. "It's crazy. I come out here and I just try to play. For me, it's a blessing. I don't think I've played this well, this consistent."
"Just being in position to make a play like that, it was awesome. I knew nobody else saw (the loose ball), so I just picked it up and kind of hobbled into the end zone, " Hargrove said. "I'm no Sedrick Ellis by any stretch. I just started playing defensive tackle this year. I'm just in here trying not to be a weakness for our defense."
"We wanted to establish that in the second half, get the run game going more and really take it to these guys so we could open up the pass, " said Thomas, who ran for 50 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and caught five passes for 31 yards. "We talk all the time about finishing. Finishing runs, finishing catches and finishing games."
"It’s really just starting to sink in and it’s hitting me hard,’’ Hargrove said. "It’s a rough world out there. It makes you realize life is short and you have to make the most of each day.’’
"I think I’ve grown up a lot in the last year or so,’’ said Hargrove, 26. "I had to grow up. It was past time to grow up. I think the biggest thing I learned was how important each day is and making the most of every opportunity in life.’’
"I’m truly having fun out there,’’ Hargrove said. "This is a fun defense to play in. We all play off one another and no one guy is bigger than the team. It’s fun to be a part of something like this.’’
"I just have to keep reminding myself every day about the wonderful chance the New Orleans Saints have given me,’’ Hargrove said. "They gave me a chance to play again when nobody else was really doing that. They gave me an opportunity and what’s happened the last couple days has really reinforced that you have to take advantage of every opportunity you get because you never know when opportunities will stop coming.’’
"Being part of teams that have won here before (at the Superdome) is great, " said Delhomme, who entered the game 7-0 in the Superdome as a starter, counting games in college and professionally. "At UL (Lafayette) we did it, and we did it with the Panthers. But it just didn't happen today."
"Jake managed the game well, " said Carolina Coach John Fox, who like his quarterback lost for the first time at the Dome as a head coach. "He's done that for a lot of games. We had our chances. Unfortunately, we came up a little short today. It's kind of like how I coached and how the rest of us played. We just came up short."
"We are real disappointed, " Delhomme said. "They are a heck of a football team. I said it all week, it's the best team in football in our opinion. You look at them on film and then in the game, they give you all you want."
"It's tough to lose this one, especially because of how we lost, " Williams said. "We got the ball back, and then I commit a turnover. That's how games are won and lost in this league by the team who makes the least amount of mistakes."
"Early on we had it in our grasp, but we just couldn't make enough plays, and that's what it came down to, " Thomas said. "It's not a surprise (the Saints are 8-0). They are a good team. We just didn't do the things we needed to do today to beat a good team."
Saints explode in second half as Panthers unravel - Charlotte Observer
"The first thing that went through my mind was, 'game over,'" said Delhomme. "I mean, we didn't have any timeouts left and that was it." -Jake Delhomme "We had our chances, but we blew it,"
"It was a first-time mistake," said Bernadeau. "I guarantee you it will never happen again. It was just something that happened (that) I've got to adjust to. I'll know the next time to get further back from the ball. It's unfortunate because I felt like it would have worked (and the running lane to the end zone) was open."
"It's still a long season" yet to play, said defensive tackle Hollis Thomas. "You can't let this ruin your season."
Beason: 'it's pretty disheartening' - Charlotte Observer
"You've got to give them credit," Beason said after the unbeaten Saints rallied to beat the Panthers 30-20 in the Super Dome. "They're a pretty good football team – I didn't say great.
"We showed we can play with them. We proved it for 3½ quarters. But you can't give them stuff and that's what we did late in the game."
"Anytime you don't know what's wrong with a knee, it's definitely scary," said Beason. "Unfortunately, he's having a great season. Pro Bowl numbers. I can't think of any outside linebacker playing any better. You've just got to keep the faith. Hopefully everything works out and he'll be back next week."
"It's pretty disheartening," Beason said. "That's on us. (We) missed tackles, had a blown assignment one time. It's something to build on, but you can't have it if you're going to win games. It's too tough in this league."
"They've gotten to where they're running the ball better," said Beason. "It used to be that a lot of teams just sat on the pass. You can't be one dimensional in this league. We did a good job containing the run, but we blew some coverages."
Saints vs Panthers Game Story - New Orleans Saints official website
Photos - Saints 30, Panthers 20 - Charlotte Observer
Improved Panthers still lack a true closer - Charlotte Observer
Key Moments - Charlotte Observer
Scott Says ...: 5 things I didn't like in loss to New Orleans - Charlotte Observer
Panthers Report Card - Charlotte Observer
Saints Postgame Notes - Panthers official website
Saints vs Panthers Game Notes - New Orleans Saints official website
Week Nine Morning Aftermath: Saints 30, Panthers 20 - Pro Football Talk
Saints win heavyfight bout with Panthers; 30-20 buys them 8-0 - New Orleans Pro Football
|Jeff Duncan's Panthers-Saints Vlog (Nov. 8, 2009)|
Out of the mouth's of babes...
Sean Payton Transcript
From the New Orleans Saints official website
- "Just from an injury standpoint, Jabari (Greer) came out for a few plays; he tweaked his groin.
- "One of the things we talked about was trying to get our legs back. We played a good team.
- "I thought we hung in there in the second half. The kicking game, we won that battle, and that was significant for us. We hung around offensively and got some things going. It's good to get the win. There's a lot of things we can improve on. I think it's a very well coached team we played.
- "I thought there was a point in the fourth quarter where the momentum kind of shifted.
- (on 8-0 start) "It doesn't really promise you anything. I'm encouraged with how we've been playing. I'm encouraged we've been able to win some of these games without playing our best football. I don't think we're paying a lot of attention to where this compares to past teams. I think we're just focused on the job at hand and next week. I'm excited for our players. Early on, it would have been real easy to get discouraged. We battled back and I think all three phases in the second half played well.
- "We were getting a lot of coverage. We're not going to force throws. Carolina did a good job in coverage. Historically, they've been a real patient defense. We made a few plays later in the game. I thought the offensive line played well, particularly in the second half.
- "I think it's important to get these guys away for a couple of days and get them rested.
- (on resiliency) "That's been the encouraging thing. The body language is important. We had made a few mistakes. We had the turnover in the red zone just after we had gotten the turnover. Those are all things that can potentially hurt you in a game. You never lose sight of your ability to come back. That was encouraging.
- (on Anthony Hargrove) "To his credit, he's been able to take it one day at a time and work hard. I think the support cast and his decision to seize that opportunity, obviously we're real proud of him.
- (on fourth quarter success this season) "We made a point of emphasis in the offseason of trying to finish. I think we're playing better defense. I think we're running the ball better. I think we're getting turnovers. Those things lend themselves to playing better at the end of the game.
- (on Carolina RBs) "Those are two good running backs. Once we got a handle of what they were doing, we were able to hold up. I thought our players, especially as the game went on, did a good job on their run-pass keys.
- (on Robert Meachem) "It was big. He made a few big plays in the seams. At different times, you don't know where the ball's going to go based on the coverage. Robert took advantage; that was significant."