I love the smell of victory in the morning. I also like reading quotes about that victory. Here is your collection of post-game quotes from the Saints drubbing of the Raiders yesterday. By the time you are done reading these quotes you will be pumped all over again. Get comfortable because I've got a lot for you.
Special thanks again to MtnExile for his ridiculously awesome work with the above graphic. Is that not the coolest/funniest thing you have ever seen? Be sure to show your appreciation in the comment section for MtnExile's awesome work! If anyone else thinks they have something they can contribute to CSC feel free to let me know.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON
"Without having looked at the film, I thought we eliminated some of things starting with the penalties and turnovers. We are 7-0 going into this game when we don’t turn the ball over, now 8-0. It doesn’t have to be too complicated. I thought we played with great energy. I thought we looked liked the team that had the bye, not them. I thought we looked like the team that was healthy, not them. In both cases, I was proud of the energy we had after the short week. We had a lot of guys stepping up and playing and filling in. I though on both sides of the ball and the kicking game we outplayed them. I thought we deserved the win."
Q: Coach, Drew Brees has had some great games, but do you think this could be considered his best game?
A: It was clean. He had great command of the huddle. They do a lot of things on defense, they get into a third and four defense, they get into a goal line defense a little earlier than we are used to so we had a bunch of different looks thrown at us so I think we have some real good personnel. We have a lot of respect for their corners and the talent on that team (Raiders). I thought Drew (Brees) handled it and managed the game very well. Any time you win like that and you play like he did from an efficiency standpoint, it is outstanding and it is a big part of us winning. So, we’ll have a chance to look at it and I don’t like comparing it to other games but certainly he played outstanding. It was a big win for us."
Q: Last week you addressed the false starts, turnovers and repeat offenders, there were no false starts tonight, what did you do?
A: It starts with coaching. Last night we spent a lot of time looking at penalties and turnovers and some of the things that have hurt us. We all take that pretty seriously, not just the players, the coaching staff and myself too. We have to call more attention to it and understand the importance of it. I credit the players who were able to handle it. We had a couple of penalties early on that brought us out of field goal positions, out of scoring position, but other than that I thought we played very disciplined."
Q: What does it say about Drew Brees and this offense that he found every receiver an every back that touched the field?
A: He has real good vision. I’ve said these before; I think all those guys understand the importance of their specifics within the route. He’s find the holes in the coverage and the weaknesses in the coverage and there is not many times when he doesn’t. I think those guys appreciate that and understand. You saw Reggie Bush catch a check down and score a touchdown today and he is about third or fourth in the read. We played well up front and on both sides of the ball we handled the trenches. I was encouraged with that. It was a good win for us to close out this home stand with, and we are going to be away for a while. The good news is when we come back it is a night game on Monday Night Football. In the meantime we will have an opportunity to play a real good team in our division next week in Carolina. We’ll have to take that game very seriously. They are much improved, just from looking at them on tape."
Q: Last week you were encouraged by the defensive output and they played very well today, what do you attribute that to?
A: A couple of things. You can see that they are tackling well, they are tackling very well, and there is not a lot of leaked yardage. We are minimizing the big play; we talked about that as an emphasis and as a goal. We got our hands on about four passes today; we picked up one interception, which was a great play by Jason David, but we had two or three other opportunities. We have to work on that, but I think you see a pretty good balance. I think you saw today, if you went back and looked at the third down percentage converted, we won in that phase as well. We got them into some third and longs, but when you win the turnovers, you win the third downs, you win the penalties, you win the time of the possession, you with the rushing; when you win all those areas you are generally winning the game. We just have to keep playing a complimentary game with each other. I have been real encouraged with how we are playing. Like I said, looking at that game you would have thought we were the team coming off the bye week and we were the team without the injured players. So, we had some defensive tackles in that I can’t even pronounce the names of the players yet. I am encouraged with that."
Q: When Taylor Mehlaff kicked the ball out of bounds, you pulled him aside and had a conversation with him. What was said?
A: That is one of his strengths. There are going to be some jitters your first game out. He settled down and played well for us. I was encouraged with that. Like every one of us, your first time out doing something, I know for me as a coach and a lot of you guys in your profession, whatever it is, coming in is not easy and I thought he settled down some and I was encouraged with that. That is the strength of his really when you study his ability. We just have to slow him down a little bit and keep working on him. He doesn’t need to hit a driver every time, just needs to back off a little bit. He has a strong leg."
#58 LB Scott Shanle
On the significance of today’s win
"It has been a long time since we had a win like that where we played well in all three phases. That’s key with the stretch of the season that we are hitting. We are at a critical stretch of our season. We are at .500 right now. We want to go 2-0 in these next two games and hit the bye week right."
On Jamarcus Russell
"I thought he has a cannon of an arm. He’ll get better with experience. They have good players. A lot of it is getting experience at this level."
#71 DT Kendrick Clancy
On the defensive pressure today
"It was all about being disciplined and following the game plan. It was a pretty solid game plan followed by everyone and we came out on top. "
#5 K Taylor Mehlhaff
On his performance
"It was not the way I wanted to start my career and the game. I was doing great in warm-ups. I peaked up mentally to watch it too soon. That’s what happens. You end up pulling it. I pulled it right over the upright. Obviously, I was disappointed with that. In college, my coach use to say it’s not what happens during the game, but it’s how you respond. I was just happy the way I came back and kicked the rest of the game. I hit all my field goals really strong. I put the ball up there on some kickoffs. We had some tackles inside the 20. I was happy by the way I came back."
On if he was nervous today
"Obviously, there were some nerves out there. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that I wasn’t nervous. It’s all about controlling it. I think of myself as a mentally tough kid. I have a lot of confidence in me. Some people would shy away from the challenge of going back out there when they miss a field goal. I wanted another chance. I wanted to go out there and redeem myself to prove to these guys that I can do it for them and they can count on me. I am happy the way that I came back."
#42 CB Jason David
On his interception
"The defense has been doing a great job these last couple of weeks. It is always good for the whole team when you can come up with a turnover. We are just out there trying to do our job and play good football. "
#25 RB Reggie Bush
On Drew Brees connecting to nine different receivers
"We stuck to the script and executed our plays. We didn’t turn the ball over. We protected him in the pocket. Our main goal today was to protect the ball."
On his touchdown reception
"It was a normal passing play that we run a lot. I checked down over the ball and fortunately for me Drew (Brees) likes to check the ball down. I was just at the right place at the right time and I was able to make a play out of it."
#9 QB Drew Brees
On the Reggie Bush touchdown reception
"It was a play action fake and Reggie was looking up over the ball. I’m looking down the field and if there is nothing down then I check it down to him. He did the rest. It was a great play on his part. That’s the kind of stuff that happens when you are flowing as an offense. You are taking those underneath completions and turning them into big plays."
On if he knew about the 16 straight completions
"I didn’t know that. Somebody mentioned something around the second quarter. I felt that there hadn’t been an incompletion yet, but I didn’t know how many there were. I was trying to complete them all."
#51 LB Jonathan Vilma
On the run defense the past couple of weeks
"We have taken pride in wanting to stop the run and wanting to be a good defense. I think we are paying more attention to detail. We are picking up our assignments. It has been a collective effort against the run. All 11 guys are taking notice and paying attention in getting the job done."
#16 WR Lance Moore
On Drew Brees’s performance
"I think he is the best quarterback in the league, but he is playing like the best quarterback in the league right now. It’s an honor and a pleasure being out there and catching balls from him."
On the amount of playmakers on the team
"We are extremely deep. We have playmakers all over the place. Even when guys are hurt, we have guys who are capable. We are definitely going to be a force to wrecken with out there when those guys come back."
#20 – DARREN McFADDEN (running back):
"My toe (injury) wasn’t the issue out there today. We just got beat. And we got beat bad. Lots of people tell me the toe will hurt more on this kind of turf surface over the grass, but it doesn’t really make that much difference to me. We just got beat out there today."
"I just hope we can re-group and get back to Raider football. I know I’m just a rookie but we have to come in and win games."
#23 – DEANGELO HALL (Corner Back):
"You’ve got to hand it to the Saints. They kept us off balance all day. Brees was fantastic. Each time we thought we got a good pass rush on him he would just deliver the ball on the money. It’s always difficult whoever you are playing, when they get off to that kind of start its hard to stop. The whole time out there; it didn’t matter whether they did the run or the pass, they just did what they wanted to do."
"The coaching change had nothing to do with what went on out there today. We have to stop making excuses. It didn’t have anything to do with anything. They (saints) just came out and played better than we did."
#2 – JaMARCUS RUSSELL (QB): "I thought early in the game we did move the ball; but we just didn’t take advantage of our opportunities. We did have the lead early. We just have to go out there and make plays. Early on, if we have scored a touchdown instead of a field goal it would have been different. But we just have to learn how to execute when we get close to the end zone."
"We just have to better ourselves. Those guys (defense) get paid to do what they do, and I just have to make plays and move the ball."
"We have a good team; we just have to learn how to execute. I can’t be focused on what Brees is doing. I’m focused on my team mates and what I can do to help them."
QUESTION – how many ticket requests did you have for the game?
A: "About 40 in all. It was disappointing whether your family is there or not. A loss like that is still a loss. I’m pretty sure everybody out there – our team, our fans – wanted us to win."
"It was fun to come back here (to the ‘Dome) but that (LSU) was in the past. I am just looking to the future now. This team is moving forward and I am just trying to do what I can to get us there."
Raiders Head Coach Tom Cable
Opening remarks: "It’s not the start that we were hoping for. Only one guy did not finish the game. That was Ashley Lelie. Everybody else seems to be fine. We still have work to do."
On his optimism at the beginning of the second half: "I thought it was really critical. We talked about it at halftime. We kind of leaned on the fact that we were going to get it first. We were down by seven at that point. It was an opportunity to go do something with it right away. Unfortunately, we didn’t."
On the loss today: "I really think it was us (not playing to our potential). Give credit to them (the Saints). They played very, very well. It’s a well coached team. Really for us, it was a lot of balls where they needed to be. We didn’t catch everything. We didn’t target everything as well as we wanted to. There was some improvement there. I know that sounds crazy. It certainly was an improvement for the number of times that we through the football. We’ll keep evaluating that and still try to come up with the right balance."
On the balance and productivity of the Saints offense: "We have to use them as a model. I don’t know what he finished with, but I know that he was hot. That’s where we want to get to. There is no question."
On not doing what it takes to win: "We came here to win a football game. I thought that we didn’t do the things that it takes to win. That is staying in drives and putting the ball into the end zone in the red zone and not giving up big plays. We have work to do. We’ll get there. We will get there this year."
"It was really pretty good. I really kind of kicked myself there. We’re in field goal range, in terms of Janikowski’s range, right before the half. You could argue with yourself if we might have punted there and make them (Saints) have a longer field with about a minute and 36 seconds left to go. You believe in the guy so you give him a shot. The length wasn’t the issue at all. It was just a little bit left. I think that was the right decision, but you could argue that one."
"I was pleased today with how we played smart and tough football," said Payton, as the Saints got back to .500 (3-3). "We took care of the ball, defended well and took advantage of our opportunities. It was a team win all the way around.
"Drew was something else," said Payton. "He was making all the right reads and giving a lot of different guys a chance to contribute."-Sean Payton
"I tried to complete them all," Brees said matter of factly after the game. "We were good on third downs today, nearly 65%. I think if you look at the stat sheet, no one guy really jumps out. That was by design. We just wanted to get a lot of guys involved and keep them, second guessing."
"I thought we were more patient with the running game, and as a result, it helped our balance,"
"We are getting our hands on some footballs and are developing and we are getting close to making plays out there," Vilma said. "The defensive line was awesome. They are doing some job up there."
"I thought we played like the team that had the by, not them," New Orleans head coach Sean Payton said. "I thought we looked like the team that was healthy, not them. In both cases, I was proud of the energy and effort we had coming off the short week.
"I thought we deserved to win."
"Jason David’s interception that set up a touchdown a few plays later put us up all of a sudden three scores," Payton said. "That’s a significant play in the game."
"To limit them the way we did, that’s encouraging," Saints linebacker Scott Fujita said. "This is the kind of momentum we need at this point in the season."
"We were a little salty," Brees said. "We wanted to get back on the field and get a win and feel good about ourselves again."
"We've started now to develop a culture on the defense," said linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who led the Saints with 11 tackles. "We're trying to be one of the top-tier defenses. We're developing towards that."
"They are tackling very well," Saints Coach Sean Payton said. "We are minimizing the big play. That's been a point of emphasis."
"We're just starting to come together and jell as a defense," defensive end Will Smith said. "Everybody is staying disciplined and playing their gaps. We're not letting the running back have a seam to get out."
"It's the front four; we're going to go as far as they take us," Fujita said. "They've been pretty impressive, especially with as beat up as they are. They make it so much easier on the linebackers. There's rarely anybody getting to the second level to block us. Jon's got a lot of free lanes to run through. They're carrying us right now."
"Everybody is on the same page, and we're coming together as a unit," Smith said.
"It's good to get recognized, but you have to earn it," Smith said. "Sometimes we get hidden in the shadows a little, but it's not a big deal to us. We like being under the radar."
"I thought we played hard," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "I really want to credit Bobby (McCray), he had some big sacks. Jason David had a big intception that set us up for another score. "Mark Campbell big play on the goalline. I was encouraged with the way Deuce played. Thought we were consistent running the ball. I felt real good about that."
"I felt like we were very efficient all game," Brees said. "We spread it around a lot, even in the run game, we had four guys to carry it. Nine guys catching it, we were able to spread it around. We were effiecient, got into third and short and able to convert. Very happy with that today."
"He might not be the prototype 6-foot-5 guy," cornerback DeAngelo Hall said of the 6-foot quarterback. "But Drew knows how to win. He knows how to work a defense. If I was starting a team and had to pick a quarterback, I'd probably have him at the top of my list.''
"Sean Payton is an excellent play-caller, master of the art of play-calling,"
"Some of them can be a (wrong) route and some of them can be on (poor) timing," Cable said. "A lot of it can be fundamental. That's stuff you got to go look at tape and really kind of analyze it."
"We got our (butts) kicked," Raiders right guard Cooper Carlisle said. "Simple as that."
"You blink your eyes or turn around, and you're down 21, 28, 31, next thing you know, the game is out of hand," Raiders cornerback DeAngelo Hall said.
"The game came down to really a terrific quarterback who really never got bothered," Cable said of Brees. "That's something we've got to fix."
"It's not the first time," Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said. "I saw him on Halloween in '04. He got us pretty good. He's a smart quarterback."
"There's no one thing you can do to stop him," Hall said. "There's no one special formula."
"You have to use (Brees) as the model if you're the Oakland Raiders," Cable said. "He was hot and, certainly, that's what we want to get to. There's no question."
"Patience is everything," Cable said. "Unfortunately, in this league, at this level, there isn't a lot of patience by the powers that be. The bottom line is, to bring a young quarterback where you want him to be, you got to have patience, and we'll do that. We'll take care of it."
"You're going to have times when things go bad," Russell said. "You just have to move forward, and everything's not going to be perfect as far as how you draw it up. You just have to work hard and keep going."
``This is probably one of the most unselfish teams I've ever seen,'' Hall said. ``It don't matter who makes the plays, but they get made. My hat goes off to them. Great game plan, they executed it, kept us off-balance. They looked good.''
What if Russell is a scatter arm? What if that huge right arm of his is a bazooka in the hands of Mr. Magoo?
"Patience is everything," said Raiders interim coach Tom Cable. "To bring a young quarterback to where you want him to be takes patience."
I asked Saints wide receiver Lance Moore if he and the other receivers expect Brees to be on the money with every pass.
"Pretty much," Moore said. "He does it in practice every day."
"He may have touched some people," wideout Ronald Curry said of Cable's address, "but it's not about speeches. The bottom line is performance. So the obvious is out there. We've got to take care of that."
"I thought we could have played harder," Cable said. "We worked with a real purpose this week. We have to look in the mirror and say we can do better, and it starts with me."