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Saints 42 @ Lions 7: Who Dat Say!?


Opening Statement: "Real quickly, just from an injury standpoint:we've got two ankles. Jeremy Shockey's right ankle; Jammal Brown's left ankle-both of them sprains. We'll get a better feel tomorrow after we see and get a chance to treat both of them. Those are really the only two injuries of note. Usama (Young) was able to go back in the game. It was his ankle, but he is feeling better.

"I was pleased with our effort. I thought we did a good job offensively on third down, and because of that, we were able to sustain drives. I thought we had good balance and for the most part stayed on schedule defensively. I thought we had some good red zone stops. We gave up the one touchdown after the interference call. Then in the kicking game, I think we got a big boost in Skylar's (Green) first return. We moved Skyler up to the roster to help us in the return game with the absence of Reggie (Bush) and I thought it helped us some. Overall, it was a good win and we'll get ready for the last one of the season next week."

On the importance of getting off to a quick start: "I think it was important. We talked about that. In the games they played real well this year, they've gone ahead of teams. Last week, they got off to a good start so we talked a lot about starting well. I thought offensively when we won the toss; we had a good series of plays-a good drive. We had a number of good drives, I think, and usually you're converting some third downs when you're doing that. I thought we protected real well for Drew (Brees) and kept him, for the most part, clean. By and large, we executed pretty well so we're pleased with that. But the fast start was something that we talked a lot about with this team."

On being perfect on third down: "We took a knee at the end on third down so we were actually one off. I thought we did a good job. We were able to run the ball as well as throw the ball effectively. It starts with the protection. I thought we did a good job of keeping Drew relatively clean. Our guys up front played well. He found the right receivers."

On Saints P Glenn Pakulak: "He had 80 people here today, Glenn did. Evidently, he has a lot of family up here. So, I don't know there was about 4,000 dollars plus in tickets. We gave him the game ball."

On the state of the Lions: "Listen, we have great respect for the coaching staff and the way this team has fought through a difficult season. This is a hard league but Rod Marinelli and his staff have done a great job of keeping these guys going. The Ford family, they've been tremendous owners for a long period of time. I told Calvin Johnson after the game; this will pass quicker than you think and it usually does. In our league, the good news is: after misfortune or tough years or tough seasons, the way its set up is you can find yourself being real competitive sooner rather than later. I think it's no different than other teams we've seen where it may have looked real bleak and then the corner is turned. I like this staff; I like the head coach a lot. And the players there are fighting so it's a credit to them and they'll get better."


On why the offense had so much success today: "Our ability to mix the run with the pass all game long; we converted every third down with the exception of the one at the end of the game, taking three knees in a row. It's killing our average (laughter). I think it was an absolute complete team win and what can I say. We just came in here disappointed after that loss last week in Chicago, but we just knew the task we had ahead of us. We want to finish the season on a high note. Certainly came in here understanding what Detroit is playing for as well. We just felt like we needed our best game."

On how much of a priority it can be for him to break the record next week: "Well if it's meant to be it's meant to be and it will happen. If not then - I think we're going to do what it takes to win - first and foremost - and I think just like any situation where you have a guy or an offense or a team closing in on a record like that; maybe you just kind of keep it in mind. I'm trying not to think about it as much as possible. It's hard to do because everybody wants to talk about it. Like I said, if it's meant to be it will happen."

On whether or not it's a relief not to be the team that the Lions beat: "I guess - I mean we knew coming into this game, although they were 0-14, they very well could have won half of those games. They were up double digit leads in half of them. A lot of them came down to the 4th quarter where they just couldn't finish. We just felt like they were really playing for a lot these last two weeks. Just doing whatever it takes to win a game and they had nothing to lose. They could play loose and take chances and all those things. That's becomes a dangerous opponent. Coming into this game we felt like we should expect the unexpected. We've got to be sharp and be on our best, and I think had they scored more points and kept it going - we we're scoring on every drive. It felt like we were doing what we needed to do to win this game."


On if playing a 0-14 team had any difference in the mindset of the players coming into the game:
"No, it didn't change our mindset. You play the game to win and that's what we came out to do and especially with a team like Detroit. They're a dangerous team, in a sense that you don't look at the record of being 0-14. You look at a lot of games - they were winning the Tampa Bay game. (If) you look at Indianapolis, they came real close. There were teams that they played against, they played well against and you know that they have the talent, they just haven't found a way to win and we had to approach the game with that."

On how important it is for them to finish on a good note and if they can carry the momentum into next season: "That's definitely our goal right now. Obviously, we're eliminated from the playoffs, so we missed that team goal. But, for us to end up 9-7, ending on a good note; (if) we win the last five of our seven games, that would be real good for us and the momentum will run into the off season."

On what it's like to watch his offense hit it on every third down conversion: "That's great. The best defense is a good offense and it's great to watch our offense come out there and perform the way they do. Drew Brees is an awesome quarterback. He's doing a great job managing the game for us and that helps us defensively, because now we can go out there and we're fresh. We go out there and we're playing and as soon as we get them the ball back, we know we're going to get something good, either seven points or three."


On him not playing last game and coming back today to have a great performance:
"You want to play. You want to play. Whenever you have the opportunity, you've got to go make something of it. I haven't played as much as I wanted to this season, but when my number's called, I just try to make plays."

On how he felt out on the field today: "I felt alright.

On if he feels he still has his speed: "I don't know. I'm still looking for that 4.3 to 4.2 I use to run. I don't know if I still have that in me, but a couple of those runs I thought I should have got more yards than I did, but the offensive line, the fullbacks, tight ends - they did a great job and I was able to get up on the secondary a little bit."

On almost having a 97-yard run: "I was able to cut back a little bit and I tried to get outside but I should have just hit it straight forward and run long."


On if they talked about getting a fast start today because of the Lions' motivation for a win:
"Yeah, that's one of the things that we try to do week-in and week-out. So obviously this week was no different."

On the hype before the game from the media that the Lions were going to come out today with a win: "Personally, I didn't see any of that and I don't really pay any attention to anything outside of this locker room. We were focused on going in and getting a big team win."

On the team's mindset before the game: "Our mindset was just to come in and play New Orleans Saints football. We knew coming in that if we were able to do that then we were able to win it."

On how the team was able to score six touchdowns: "It wasn't anything specific. We just rolled on our offense and we were able to come out and set the tone early with the big kick return and got it to a very good position to start the game. We just got into a rhythm pretty quick."


Opening statement: "Just a couple injuries: Calvin (Johnson), I think was more of a bruise as of right now on his knee or ankle. (Travis) Fisher had a concussion. Casey Fitz (FitzSimmons) tried to go; he was sick and he couldn't finish.

"Just overall, what I saw: we were outplayed in every area of the game; kicking, offense, defense. Our defense never gave us a chance to get in the game, not at all. We couldn't get them stopped on third down. If you can't do that, you can't win. The penalties hurt us early in the game and that's really the story."

On if it was the worst performance he's ever seen in the NFL: "It wasn't good."

On how he will avoid going 0-16: "We just go back up and go to work next week. We have to tried to get these guys right. We did not do a very good job as coaches and players this week."

On what it means to be the first team to go 0-15: "I'll let the record speak for itself."

On if QB Dan Orlovsky's illness affected the offense's performance and if that's why QB Drew Stanton came into the game: "No. The game was out of hand and we had a chance to put Drew (Stanton) in."

On how many players had the flu and how severe it was: "I don't know. Two for sure, and it was okay.

"Dan (Orlovsky) and Casey (FitzSimmons)."

On what happened today after the teams' great performance last week in Indianapolis: "I thought we knew what we needed to do. This was a quarterback we knew we'd struggle getting to. We knew that going in, but we gave them way too much time as it is and that was a factor and we just didn't look sharp. I knew we had to sprint and hustle and tackle these guys. The offense, they can spread you out and they can really throw it well, which they did on us and you've got to respond and the thing I think that hurt us early, is time of possession. We couldn't stop them and we got behind and I was hoping our offense might have a chance to control the game a little better."

On if it is harder for the team to play home games at this point in the season: "I would hope not. Hopefully, you come in and enjoy playing this game no matter where you're at; in the parking lot or any thing."


On the fact that this isn't what he expected to happen today: "I thought we'd come out and really get after them and compete hard. But on defense we couldn't hold them."

On what kind of situation they were in, not being able to get the Saint's offense off the field: "Playmakers have to step up. Third down is about being a play maker. It could be a one-on-one rush, it's a blitzer coming, it's a guy walking somebody down in coverage. That's what third down is about."

On if situations where the defense left guys wide open in coverage were just breakdowns: "Yeah and he had all day on it too. A couple of those boots he had - and guys left their man. You can't do that. It's too much time. The front didn't create any pressure."

On the fact that the small mistakes occurring during games cannot happen in his position if they want to be successful: "No and that was our hope going into this game, we thought, offensively, we might have a chance to come in and control the clock. We knew we had to play smart. We couldn't get penalties. We felt we could move it and throw it on them. We did early and we get a touchdown called back and that just can't happen."

On how disappointed he is in their performance today: "That was very (hard). Defensively we couldn't stop anybody. You don't have a chance in a game. To me, it kind of jumped out on me early on the opening kickoff. We had been covering kicks well and that thing gets jammed down our throat early in the game and (we were) not ready to go."

On him showing emotion during the game: "I keep my feelings to myself and I pick and choose and I don't need to display it (to the) public."

On if WR Calvin Johnson has an injury: "No, I think it's just a bruise. That's what they just told me. He just had a little bruise and (Travis) Fisher had a concussion."


On any thoughts about going into the last week: "No - we sucked today. We've only got one (game left) and it's do or die. We've got one left to avoid whatever you guys know."

On thoughts on today's game: "Awful - embarrassing - we stunk. No one played good. Any bad adjective you can use - throw it in there."

On whether or not it's frustrating when nothing goes right on offense or defense: "I can't say nothing went right offensively - I mean - we go on that 12-play drive and we make it 14-14 if we don't have that penalty or 21-14, I don't know exactly what it was. Then it just got out of hand. We played decent football on offense for the first 10 plays and then after that it was embarrassing."

On whether or not he has an explanation for it at all: "No - It starts with me; I'm the quarterback and everything has to go through me. Obviously I didn't do a good enough job running the offense."

On how much pressure he feels going into this next week: "I don't want to say its pressure. We just have to do everything we can to try to avoid that - being 0-16."

On whether he thought they would come out and play better this game: "I honestly thought we were going to play well."

On how he thought he was going to perform: "Yeah - I never go into a game thinking I'm going to play poorly. I always think I'll play well. I just didn't today."

On whether or not he thinks about the possibility of being 0-16: "It's sad to say that, and it's tough to swallow as an athlete. I'm a person who takes this game and this situation that we're in very seriously. It's a reality whether we want to try to avoid it or not."

On how devastating it was when the touchdown pass to WR Calvin Johnson was called back: "It's hard because once that happened we knew they weren't going to give us that defense again."

On what it's like knowing they have to go into Green Bay to get their only win: "It's a daunting task, but whatever you want to say, I'm sure everyone will be betting against us - everything like that. But of the 53 guys we have, we have to man up. We just have to treat this game very serious. I wouldn't understand if every guy in there didn't treat this game like it was the last game they ever played because it's embarrassing to be honest. To never win is embarrassing."


On being 0-15:
"I'm on this team. I'm part of this, but really, that's the last thing on my mind right now. Right now, I'm just going to get out of here, go home and relax with the family-get away from this right now."

On how hurt his knee is: "I'm alright. I'll be alright."

On if he worries about what the 0-16 record would do to him personally or if it's a team thing: "It's a team thing; it's going to stick to everybody. I mean, I'm still a young player; I've got good times ahead of me. Everybody else here does. You go through your lowest points before you reach your highest so you've got to just keep fighting."

On if he sensed a lack of effort today: "Really, I don't know (about) everybody else-I'm only controlling what I could do. I'm not worried about what everybody else is doing. I'm just going to go out there and control what I can do and play hard. That's all I could do."

On if he believes Saints Head Coach Sean Payton who told him to keep his head up and that things will get better: "Definitely. It's nice when the opposing coach comes up to you and compliments you and tells you to keep your head up and stuff like that. That's what I'm trying to do right now is keep my head up. Everybody here is trying to keep there head up and fight to the death."

On the touchdown pass getting called back and if that took the wind out of their sails: "I think they might have called illegal formation-I don't know who. It's very frustrating. We had a big play and to get that called back, that's always going to be frustrating."


On what happened out there defensively: "Drew Brees was on top of his game and I don't think we came out with enough energy to match it. They took it to us today. We couldn't get off the field. They had some key third downs and they kept marching the ball and it kind of wears the defense out. You start to get tired."

On whether or not it was surprising that they didn't come out to play considering what was at stake: "Rod put some pressure on us this week to make it a playoff atmosphere. We came out and laid an egg. The same kind of thing happened when we played Tennessee. He put some pressure on us, and we came out with national television and just laid an egg. We're just not responding to pressure."

On whether or not he is thinking about 0-16 or just concentrating on the task at hand: "I am concentrating on the game ahead. I mean it's definitely looming and no one wants to go 0-16, and no one deserves on this team to go 0-16, but the fact is that it's there. Our backs are against the wall and we've got to go up to a tough environment in Green Bay and beat them."

On whether this is a disappointing effort considering how the team played against the Colts and the Vikings: "Definitely. Once again Drew Brees just took it to us today. He was on his A-game and we didn't respond."


On how disappointing the defensive effort was: "Drew Brees is a good quarterback. They have some good backs. They have a speed threat in No. 19 (Devery Henderson). We were well aware of what they were about. I mean you've got to play - everybody. Everybody has to take ownership and come out there and play. None of us are perfect. Lord knows I'm not, but that's what I strive to be, but I am not going to ever get there. I'm going to continue to fight to get there. That's my ultimate goal, but you've got to come out there and you've got to play. You can't come out there and do the things that we did and expect to come out victorious."

On whether the effort was surprising considering what was at stake: "Yeah - but I can't be inside everybody's head. I can only do as much as I can. It's a reflection of all of us. It's a reflection on me and everybody. We all are one. We are a team, but like I said, everyone has to take ownership for what they do and we've got to play. We've got to play. We've got to come out here and we've got to play better. You just can't play like that and expect to have a favorable outcome against any team in the National Football League. Everybody is too good. Everybody has a quarterback that can make all the throws. Everybody has runners that can make cuts and find the opening and break tackles. Everybody's got a line that can protect. Everybody has receivers that can get open and make catches. We've just got to be better than that and unfortunately we weren't."


New Orleans Saints provide no relief for winless Detroit Lions

"We want to finish 9-7," Payton said. "That's important. It's important as it relates to next season. It's important for our team. And I'm sure, if you ask Drew Brees, it's important to him."

-Sean Payton

"Going into this game, we felt positive," said Thomas, who also had three receptions for 26 yards. "We felt like we could go out here and take it to them, we've just got to stay focused."

-Pierre Thomas

"I thought we handled that part of it well in really just playing the game the way we're supposed to, and that's to win and to attack the defense the way we see best fit to score," Payton said. "And those things happened today."

-Sean Payton

"In the games that they've played real well this year, they've gone ahead of teams," Payton said about the Lions, who lost to Indianapolis by 10 points the previous week and Minnesota by four points before that. "And last week they got off to a good start. So we talked a lot about starting well. I thought offensively, when we won the toss, we had a good series of plays, a good drive."

-Sean Payton

"Maybe one other time in my career I've been in this situation, where you're not playing for anything right at the end of the season," Brees said. "So it's frustrating. But we have a lot of highly motivated, self-motivated guys on our team. And we're playing for a lot. We're playing for each other. And we're playing to finish the season the right way, with pride, and this is what we're paid to do."

-Drew Brees


Payton empathizes with Lions' gloom

"Who would have believed that I was here in the heyday?" Harrington said after being told that the team has won just 10 games since he left after the 2005 season. "No one deserves to go through this."

-Joey Harrington

"I thought for a moment I was (going to score)," said Green, who said he was preparing to jump over the flailing kicker when he got pounced on from behind. "I just got an opportunity today and tried to make the best of it."

-Skyler Green

"Man, it's the most frustrating thing," said Harper, who has now dropped at least three or four catchable picks this year. "I go up, I high point it, it looks pretty. Then when I come down, someone touched me and I dropped it.

"I guess that's why I don't play wide receiver."

-Roman Harper, on his near interception


Here are some audio clips from WWL's Sports Talk. They are of Sean Payton, Deuce McAllister, Jason David, Hokie Gajan and Bobby Hebert.