One of the best parts about Super Bowl week is that the league hooks me up with tons of information. Here are all of today's transcripts. It ought to keep your busy for the rest of the night.
(Opening statement) "We just had a real brief practice. We came up here to the indoor facility, and got some good work in. Tomorrow will be Media Day for our guys, and then we will get into our routine on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and a walkthrough on Saturday. I think the schedule and the practice times have been posted."
(on how the Saints' day went) "Today went pretty smooth. The flight coming here wasn't pretty long. We were able to get everyone into the hotel and get over to the University of Miami's locker room to get the lay of the land. Guys got changed there, and we bused up here to get our practice in. We wanted to get a workout in today. We felt that was important. Overall, it went pretty good."
(on how the club's travel logistics went) "Actually, it was pretty smooth. When you get the itinerary down and the players are adaptable, it just involved us busing up here to practice. We knew going in this week that this would be the rain plan. The weather forecast for the balance of the week, after tomorrow, is pretty good, so these fields will dry up well. It was good that we had the (Dolphins' indoor) bubble to use today."
(on if the Saints will use the Dolphins' indoor facility again) "The league has a schedule for both teams in the event of rain. This provides you the ability to practice and get your work done."
(on how injury to DE Dwight Freeney affects the Saints game plan) "I wouldn't be able to comment on a potential injury to someone on the other team. The focus for us is just getting a good week's work done, and I wouldn't want to speculate."
(on taking the New Orleans job after working with both the Giants and Cowboys that have a lot of history) "In the early stages, what's important is the message and the time spent with (General Manager) Mickey Loomis and ownership in regards to their commitment level. When you take over and get a new job, more often than not, it's because they've had trouble in the past. I think what's important is trying to quickly identify what's kept the team from being successful. I've said this before, it's also important to be able to identify who is having success. You've heard me talk about the Patriots, and paying close attention in our industry to organizations or teams like New England, and really studying closely the reason they were successful. It's pretty good business practice to do that. You start with the team aspect of it, of trying to get players who put the team ahead of their own accomplishments, their own itineraries. That's easier said than done. With that being said, that's where we started in 2006 in trying to build this the right way. In the beginning, it had a lot to do with the people in the interview process, of feeling confident that there was a willingness to take the steps needed, the commitment needed to be successful. You trust your gut that way, and you start working."
(on the Saints' Pro Bowl players dressing as bellhops when the team arrived at the hotel) "We had a group of players come down early. The Pro Bowl players came down yesterday for last night's game, and the league did a real good job of working through the logistics and getting the players there. It's unique in that they're arriving ahead of the team. You never lose track of the job you have. For about a half-hour today, those Pro Bowl players earned some pretty good tips with our players getting off the bus and handling the luggage. They did a good job. We're always one to steal a pretty good idea. I think Bill Walsh a long time ago had a pretty good idea, and we just took it like one of his offensive plays and ran with it."
(on what he identified from Anthony Hargrove from the DVD he sent out) "I think it started with the face-to-face interview. People in all walks of life, at times, can hit rock bottom or maybe exhaust their opportunities. There is part of us that wants to make sure you give someone a second chance, and it starts with evaluating the sincerity of someone eye-to-eye and having the belief or having the same confidence in that person that you would want for him to have in himself. Starting with the visit and laying out the structure for him, what we would expect and our expectation level. To his credit, daily he lives that. Daily he recognizes this opportunity. When that happens, there's more of a reward or gratification in what you do than the second-round pick who comes into the league. In other words, it's a good story, and it gives you confidence in the human spirit and what someone can change in their life despite the mistakes they've made prior. It's easy to be proud of a guy like that. He's had to battle and fight, and I think it's a good message."
(on what makes Drew Brees such an ideal person for the Saints and how much he means to the community) "He is an unselfish player. He's extremely committed to his line of work. It's hard in a 15-minute press conference to talk about his work ethic and the way he prepares. For the fans, the persons who live and eat New Orleans Saints football, for them to have someone like that as the quarterback of their team, who is also very talented, a very good athlete and very successful, they appreciate that, and they respect that. There is a combination of character and toughness, hard work and athleticism. All of those things that would draw somebody to a player like Drew Brees, and I think it's unique."
(on relationship between Drew Brees and Mark Brunell, and what was the Saints' thinking in signing Brunell) "The one thing we were looking for was someone who could still play. It's one thing to say that we want to have a mentor, and yet our job as coaches is to make sure we are providing that. So it started with the question: Do we feel like we have a vision for the player in Mark Brunell? We felt like his arm strength was still solid. There is a confidence level about him in the huddle and in practice that is somewhat contagious. That's a good trait to have when you are someone who could be called upon at any time. Outside of the evaluation process, the other things were things we felt good about. He has been someone who has been a key figure on this team and has a key role. He still works and prepares just like you would expect for any one of your players each week. I had to get over the fact he was left-handed - there are some twists that go along with that. Behind him, we have a young guy named Chase Daniel, who is intriguing and has done some good things. We have a pretty good mixture of some experience as well as youth. It came down to skill set first in regards to Mark. We looked closely at it, and we were able to get him signed. He's provided us leadership in regards to that, even as a No. 2."
(on if they will bring back Brunell next season) "Next year seems like five years from now."
(on if he's concerned that defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' comments have become bulletin-board material) "No. Listen, I paid close attention to what was said. I think that I said this last week: Given the nature of Super Bowl week, I think that one of the first things you try to do defensively is try to hurry the quarterback, pressure the quarterback or disrupt the timing of the quarterback. I think it's fairly common sense with defensive football. In looking at it, I don't really pay much attention to that."
(on if he uses that example to tell players that they have to be careful in what they say) "Any more, the regular season provides that as well as the Super Bowl. In other words, the weekly media availability, the weekly press conferences, divisional round, NFC championship round, Super Bowl - this game is covered more than ever before. I think the players and coaches understand that - how to conduct themselves and to be humble. Certainly when you look at a team like Indianapolis, who we are getting ready to play, we have all of the respect in the world for what they have accomplished. As the season was unfolding, this was a team along with us, that hadn't lost a game. Each week, whether they fell behind and came back and won, or whether they jumped out to a lead and won, you really measure the body of work. You look at what they've accomplished, and it's been rare. It's unique, and it provides a great challenge for us this weekend."
(on how much he has changed the playbook each season) "Each year takes on a shape of its own based on your personnel. If you go back in 2006, we had players like Terrance Copper and Jamal Jones. They were receivers you wouldn't be able to pull up right now. Each year based on what you are seeing in the offseason and in training camp, you evolve with your personnel. It's important as anything to have flexibility as a coach to really look at who you have and who gives you the best chance to move the football. Deuce (McAllister) played extremely well in 2006, and I thought we played a pretty good brand of complimentary football offensively and defensively, and had success. In 2007 and 2008, we were not as successful, and this year we found more balance in the running game, and we are doing a better job of taking the ball away on defense. It's just important to pay attention to the parts. In a guy like Robert Meachem's development after he was selected and his emergence, those are all things. Some guys, it happens quicker, and with other guys, maybe it takes a little more time. You want to have some flexibility in regards to what you are asking those guys to do based on who is doing it."
(on if he thinks having common opponents with the Colts, like the Jets, Patriots and Dolphins, help at all with this week) "I don't know if that's real significant. I do think it's fair to say that having a full season of tape study and being able to reference formations, how they played offense against certain teams, all of that goes into a good game plan. The common-opponent aspect of it, I don't know if it is as important. In other words, most importantly are looking closely at the cut-ups. When teams get to this point in time, all of us have tendencies and things that you do well. Just because you are now at this stage, or this portion of the season, the mistake sometimes is trying to change too much. There is a reason you've had success, and I think it's important in this type of atmosphere that you give your players the things they do well and the things they are able to draw on in a game like this."
(on Saints Pro Bowlers greeting their team dressed as bellhops) "It was (Saints LB) Jon (Vilma)'s idea. Initially, it was just going to be Jon, but the fact that all the Pro Bowl guys were at the hotel anyways, and then we were planning on being out there to greet the team as they came in, he asked us if we'd join in. We were happy to do it."
(on if the Pro Bowlers took ice bags to the Saints' hotel rooms) "It didn't go that far. It was really just the appearance of us kind of standing on the curb, waiting ready to serve."
(on how the Super Bowl changes if Colts DE Dwight Freeney does not play due to injury) "They still will do a lot of the same things. Obviously, he is a tremendous player and one of the best, if not the best pass rusher in this league, as is the guy on the other side, (Colts DE Robert) Mathis. Really, I think their style is one that they have played for a long time. They're getting a little bit more pressure now than they have in the past, but still it's very much the same philosophy of ‘we're going to get after you with our front four, we're going to make you throw it underneath, we're not going to give up big plays (and) we're going to do a great job of rallying and tackling.' Every guy on that defense is a good tackler. They know how to strip and get the ball out."
(on avoiding making assumptions about Freeney's status based on the Colts' injury report) "The fact is it's the Super Bowl. I know any player would do as much as they could to get on that field. Obviously, he's a competitor and a guy who... We're expecting him to play. If he doesn't, he doesn't. Certainly, I feel like they're coming into this game with all of their ammo."
(on comparing the Super Bowl hype to that of the Saints' Week 12 game against the New England Patriots) "I would draw the similarity from the type of organization we were playing then and the type of organization we're playing now. One (similarity) is it is really a model organization. The Colts have won 12 or more games in the last seven seasons and won a Super Bowl just a few years ago. They are a perennial playoff contender, a championship contender that has a great quarterback, head coach, management and a bunch of very talented players-guys that they know how to win. They know what it takes to win, and they play disciplined football. Anytime you go up against an organization like that, a team like that, you just understand that your mistakes all of the sudden get magnified. You need to be that much more disciplined with what you're doing, and execution becomes critical."
(on his relationship with Saints QB Mark Brunell) "Mark has been awesome. Mark Brunell has been tremendous for me as a mentor (and) as a guy who has played a lot of football at a very high level. You're talking about a guy who has been to three Pro Bowls (and) led those teams in Jacksonville to two AFC Championship games. He's played in a ton of big games, big atmospheres. He's a true professional. There are certainly a lot of things I have been able to gain from him over the last few years."
(on competing against Colts QB Peyton Manning) "That's exactly the trap that I'm not going to fall into, which is trying to keep up with Petyon. I know that Peyton is going to make his plays, and he is going to be Peyton. That just means that I need to be me. Certainly, this is a game that very well could be back and forth or one team could get out to a lead and then all of the sudden the other team closes the gap. I think we've both shown the ability to come back from big deficits. The game is always within reach no matter what the situation. It's me and my offense against their defense and vice versa. Certainly, I have a lot of respect for Peyton and what he has been able to accomplish and what their team has been able to accomplish, but it's not me against Petyon Manning."
(on this Super Bowl's impact on New Orleans considering the effects of Hurricane Katrina) "(It is important for) not only the people in New Orleans, but I think the people around the country because you do understand how much it means to that community and what they've been through. Our success as a team over the last four years, but especially this year, has been tremendous just in regards to giving so many of the members of that community hope and lifting their spirits. There is still a lot of work to be done there in regards to the rebuilding and the recovery post-Katrina. There are still a lot of people in some pretty dire straits. For us to be able to have the success we're having, it just does so much for that community as far as bringing everyone together. There's a bond that we have with our fans-between our organization and our fans-that's truly special. This has been, obviously, a storybook season for all of us-a 13-0 start (and) a lot of firsts. (It was) our first time to host an NFC Championship game (and the) first Super Bowl appearance in the 42-year history of the organization, so we have a lot to play for. We don't look at it as extra pressure. We look at it as a sense of responsibility, and we really gain strength from our fans from the ‘Who Dat?' nation (and) from the people of New Orleans, just knowing that their spirit is with us."
(on the rainy weather affecting the Saints' Monday itinerary) "It is what it is. ‘Weather the storm.' We know how to do that. This (walk-through) is something that we wanted to do today. We got here early for a reason. Our team jumped right on the buses to the practice field. We got a good sweat in (and) got a good workout in. I think it has just really set the tone for us and our mindset for this week. It's all business."
(on Vilma's idea to dress as bellhops helping the Saints keep their usual mentality) "You could very easily get to this week and all of the sudden want to put too much pressure on yourself and feel the pressure and the hype of the media and all that stuff. I think that's one of Jon's great strengths is his ability to constantly have a finger on the pulse of the team and know when it's time to work and when it's time to joke and have a good time. Obviously, when the guys pulled up, he thought that would be a good way to welcome everybody in, and it was."
(on being in the Dolphins' practice facility after considering signing with Miami as a free agent in 2006) "It's kind of interesting, I guess. The (Dolphins' practice) bubble wasn't built yet, but it was under construction, so it's not like I set foot in there. Just kind of walking around the facility and the weight room, obviously, to get in here brought back the memories of that free-agency period back in 2006, which was really a defining moment in my career and probably my life just the way that things worked out. Obviously, I'm where I belong."
(on serving as a leader in the New Orleans community) "I know that I have been blessed with a lot of opportunities in my life-the opportunity to go to a great university, Purdue University, play in the Big Ten, the opportunity I had out in San Diego and the opportunity I've had here in New Orleans. (I have had) so many great coaches and mentors around me. I just feel like it's a big responsibility for me. I feel like I've been given a platform to really make a difference in a lot of people's lives, especially those who are less fortunate and those who might not have the opportunities otherwise. I've embraced the community of New Orleans just because it is a special place, and they've embraced me and my wife in a way that I can't even describe. There is nothing more that I want for them than a championship."
(on attempting passes to the back shoulder of his receivers) "It's a simple philosophy. It's throw it to our guy away from their guy. Just because your guy is running right next to one of their guys doesn't mean that there isn't a place where you can throw that ball where only your guy can get it. That's the point of the back-shoulder throw or any throw where... Maybe it looks like a really low throw or a really high throw, but you're taking your receiver and kind of using it to their strengths where you can throw that ball, where you know they can get it and nobody else can."
(on his rapport with his receivers) "That takes time. That's chemistry. That's working at it. (Saints WR) Marques Colston and I have had four years together, and (I've had) the same with (Saints WR) Devery Henderson. (Saints WR) Lance Moore is in his third year. All of these guys, even (Saints TE Jeremy) Shockey, the difference from last year to this year... (There are) so many guys where you just build that rapport over time."
(on the Saints' offensive personnel) "We have an arsenal. We have a lot of guys who can do a lot of great things, great athletes. What we try to do within our offense is put everybody in position to succeed according to their strengths."
(on if former Dolphins Head Coach Nick Saban contacted him at 12:01 a.m. on the first morning of free agency in 2006) "He probably called me before that (laughter). The fact of the matter is I went to New Orleans and I came to Miami as free-agent possibilities. I had great visits at both places. I have a lot of respect for both organizations, but in the end I felt like New Orleans was my calling. That's where I belonged, not only to help rebuild that organization and get it back on the right track, but also to help rebuild a community and a region and to do something special."
(on previously mentioning that everything happens for a reason in 2006) "I do believe everything happens for a reason despite the fact that the (shoulder) injury is what caused me to leave San Diego. At the time, I was picturing myself as being the San Diego Chargers' quarterback for my entire career. That was my dream. That was my goal at the time. For that to be kind of taken away and all of the sudden you are in limbo, (I was wondering) not only what other team am I going go to, but am I ever going to be able to play at the level that I know I can play at ever again because of this serious shoulder injury? God puts you in a position for a reason, and it goes way beyond football, I think."
(on what continues to drive him considering all of his success) "I think you're always driven by the opportunity to be the best. I am blessed to be able to play in this league. How many people would only dream to be able to play quarterback in the NFL and to take it one step further and have the opportunity to play for a Super Bowl Championship, a world championship, especially for a city like New Orleans and an organization like the New Orleans Saints and for a coach like (Saints Head Coach) Sean Payton and a general manager like (Saints GM) Mickey Loomis and an owner like (Saints Owner) Tom Benson, who really believed in me when nobody else did. They had as much confidence in me as I did in myself. That's meant the world to me. I want to win it for them, just like I want to win it for all my teammates and my city."
(on what he spoke to Manning about at the Pro Bowl) "I've known Peyton (Manning) for a long time since I was at Purdue and he was at Indy. I used to go to games. I went to a few games when I was at Purdue as a student. I think he was always very good to me when I was a college quarterback. To think, here we are 10 years later, and it's gone by fast, that we'd be playing in the Super Bowl against one another, at least our teams... (It's) pretty crazy how things work out."
(on staying focused after not playing a game in two weeks) "From the time that we won the NFC Championship, it was kind of 24 hours of celebrating a little bit and also starting to think about what the plans were going to be like for the next two weeks and really kind of coming up with a plan and a routine and a process for last week and this week, just understanding the hype and the media and the potential distractions and all of those things and just trying to kind of manage all of those things. I talked to a lot of my mentors. I talked to a lot of former quarterbacks who have been to this game before and just got a gauge for just how I wanted to handle this week so that I could get all of my preparation in and be as ready to play and win this game as I could."
(on Saints RB Reggie Bush's potential) "I think the sky is the limit for Reggie Bush. I think he could continue to get a lot better and continue to... Just like any young running back in this league, there's that time period or that learning curve where you're just continuing to develop and continuing to learn how to be a pro and kind of honing in on your skills. Obviously, he's one of the most talented players in the NFL, but to see him in that Arizona game have the game that was very complete-probably one of the most impressive performances since I've seen from him since he's been here-I think he just needs to continue to build upon that (and) continue to fulfill his role. He can really help us win if he does that."
(on the biggest game he has played in up until this game) "I think all the games this season were pretty big, but I would have to say the last game is the biggest I have played in. The game was so up and down. It was a rollercoaster game. Playing against Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson and that defense made it pretty big. It was a tough game for us. I think everyone who watched that game saw a hard-fought game for 60 minutes."
(on the changes to the schedule today and arriving at the Super Bowl) "The rain put a damper on some of our plans. It rains a lot in New Orleans, too, so it is something that we are used to. I don't think the weather is going to be too big of a deal for us. But getting here today has been a lot of fun. It is nice to get this thing on the road. We got situated in our hotel rooms so that was nice."
(on if DE Dwight Freeney did not play this week and the impact it would have) "We have heard stories about him playing and not playing. We are just going to prepare as if he is going to play. We don't know for sure, but it is the Super Bowl and it is all on the line. You never know what goes on in a guy's head. You never know what they are going to do. We are going to prepare as if he is playing. He is one of their best players on defense. It starts with him and (Robert) Mathis up front on their defense. We will prepare as if both of those guys are playing, and if we get to the game and they don't, then so be it."
(on the how the community of New Orleans has shown appreciation for making it to the Super Bowl) "Since I have gotten to New Orleans their support level has been through the roof. They love the Saints. They are behind us. It is almost a live-and-die situation with the Saints. That is special to me. Growing up in southern California, I always heard how big football is in Texas and Florida and I never got to experience that. But coming to New Orleans is my first time experiencing something like that. It is very much appreciated. Everything we do is for the city of New Orleans."
(on the Super Bowl coming back to New Orleans in a couple of years) "We would love nothing more than to bring a Super Bowl trophy to New Orleans. As far as the Super Bowl coming to New Orleans in 2012, it will be huge. It will be great for the city. They have been through so much down there and every time we have events like that there it just helps that city become even stronger. It is a continuing effort, not just by us, but by everyone. The people are trying to rebuild New Orleans and it is going to take a while."
(on being a different running back now than he was a rookie) "I definitely am. I looked at the film the first time we played the Colts, and it was hard for me to watch. I just saw things I should have done better. I should have made that cut or that cut. It was just hard for me to watch. This is a learning process. This is a faster level of play. The guys are faster, smarter and stronger. I just have to continue to learn. I feel that I have learned so much already the past few years. I have dealt with injuries the last couple of years, so I have learned to deal with that. It is just a learning process. I am excited about where we are as a team and where I am at personally. I feel like we will only get better from here."
(on the coin flip in overtime of the Conference Championship game) "That might have been the slowest coin toss I have ever seen. It took forever for that coin to come down and hit the ground. I was just praying that we won the toss. You had to be prepared for whatever the outcome may be and prepare accordingly. You didn't know what was going to happen that game, so you didn't want to look ahead. Winning the coin toss was a huge sigh of relief. The rules are what they are and you have to play by them."
(on what he expects to hear from Sean Payton every day this week) "During the week he is a normal guy, but on game day he is a different person. It is almost like he is bi-polar. He is absolutely intense on game days. You don't want to approach him because you don't know if he is going to snap on you. That is just him."
(on what Sean Payton has brought to his game) "He just gives me the ability to have mismatches. He creates problems for defenses every week. You cannot ask for more than that. He reminds me a lot of the offense we ran at USC. It was a wide-open offense that created a lot of mismatches, not just with me, but with Marques Colston and Devery Henderson. He gives those guys a chance to be successful on every play. Since the day he got here, you have seen an explosive offense. It is all a testament to Sean Payton."
(on first-time organizations in the Super Bowl and their results) "It is what it is. This is a tough team we are playing against. Everyone knows what we are up against. Peyton Manningis a great quarterback. Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney and Mathis are talented players. They have so many players on their team that are talented. You can never overlook one guy. As much as everyone is talking about Peyton Manning, there are 52 other guys on that team that can beat you. Peyton is the leader of that team, but he is not their only player. We are just going to do the best we can. We are going to go in with the mentality that we can win. That is the approach we have to take. I know this is the Super Bowl and it is exciting to be here, but we still have a game to play."
(on playing in big games in college) "I think experience in general helps you. I think coming from a program that I felt prepared me for the NFL definitely helps. These are the types of games you live for. They are the types of games you love to play in. The more experience you have the better."
(on being drafted by the Saints and did he have any trepidation that he couldn't win) "When I was first drafted by the Saints, I am not going to lie, I was pretty scared. I was nervous. I didn't know what to expect. It was a year after Hurricane Katrina, and they didn't even know if they were going to have a home field to play on. I didn't know what to expect. Drew Brees called me the night I was drafted and told me he was excited to play with me. He told me how he got to play with LaDainian Tomlinson and he was looking forward to playing with me. That changed my entire view on what I was going into. It also eased my mind. I had a chance to watch Drew play when he was with the Chargers, so for a guy like Drew to call me says a lot about him. It eased my emotions about what I was getting into. Having the chance to come right in and be a difference maker for the organization is a blessing. For us to be able to change the face of this organization from Day One is a testament to the hard work we have put in, the character of the guys on this team and the coaches. You have seen that from Day One. From the first time Sean Payton, Drew Brees, Reggie Bush and Marques Colston stepped on the field, you saw a difference. We have been trying to bring that every day since then."
(on if the doubters disappeared after the win over New England) "I don't know. I feel like we have not been picked to win a game all year. I feel like we have faced the criticism head on this year. I think the critics just push you to play harder. I think when we signed Mike McKenzie and he came in and helped us beat the Patriots the way we did, it spoke loudly to a lot of people across the league. It was a chance for us to show we were a legit team. I think people were straddling the fence on if we were a solid team or not because of the teams we had beaten. To beat Tom Brady, who is one of the best quarterbacks to play the game, in the fashion that we did, spoke loudly to a lot of people across the league."
(on being able to contribute by running the ball, catching the ball and returning the ball) "I love doing them all. I like getting the ball in my hands. Why stop at just being a running back? You should try to be the best at all three of them. It gives me a chance to be more versatile. It creates mismatches for defenses. It continues to create nightmares for defensive coordinators."
(on his first impression of defensive co-coordinator Gregg Williams) "My first impression was that he was a no-nonsense, cutthroat guy and you kind of need that as defensive coordinator on the defensive side of the ball. You want a no-nonsense coach and as we started building a relationship, I noticed a guy who really wants to understand his players, understand how they operate, how they tick, what makes them tick, how they ball. He really puts a lot of trust in us, in the players and I've learned that it's okay to go out there and not be worried about mistakes playing with Gregg. Just go out there and play hard and if it's a right mistake, something that you though you saw, then we can live with that. We can keep playing."
(on how long it took for Gregg Williams to change the mindset of the Saint's defense) "It didn't take him long. The biggest thing was, I'd say, before camp. I'd say maybe during OTA's and that was really because we had a bunch of guys, a bunch of players that wanted to get better. We all wanted to strive to be the best and we needed a little, I just call it, guidance, a little guidance on where we were going and how good we could be."
(on Williams being able to stress the importance of turnovers on defense) "Definitely, it was a situation where we understood that we needed to do whatever we could to get our offense the ball back, with better third down percentages, getting stops, forcing fumbles. And he came in and said, 'If you want to do that, then this is how we're going to do it.' We've really been harping on the turnovers, on third down and we've been reaping the rewards since."
(on whether they are any two players on the team more excited than himself and TE Jeremy Shockey as former University of Miami standouts)"Right now it's exciting, but right now it's funny. I got down here and
I don't really feel like I'm home. I feel like I'm on a business trip.That's the approach that I'm taking right now, and that's the mentality that I have right now. It's really about getting the film broken down,understanding my opponent and getting ready for this game on Sunday. It doesn't really feel like I can relax, that I'm in Miami, South Beach,
the whole nine. It's really about getting this film work done and getting this game going."
(on playing his first Super bowl here at home in Miami) "You know it's special, but at the same time, I'm not thinking about that right now.This is not the time to sit back and reminisce, or sit back and reflect on the season. Now is the time to hunker down and get this game going.After the game- win, lose, or draw- I'll get a little off time in the
off season and that will be the time to sit back and reflect on the season and accomplishments."
(on whether he envisioned playing for a championship with the Saints after being traded by the New York Jets) "Yes. The first thing was that we had number nine, Drew Brees, and it's hard to find a good quarterback in this league. You find guys that may have one or two good years in this league but when you find a guy like Drew, they are few and far [between] in the league. To have an opportunity to be traded here with the situation as it was two years ago, it felt as if it was the best situation. I knew and we knew that the Saints were real close to being in this position last year. We just had to correct a few things, and we got that done."
(on getting Super Bowl ticket requests from friends and family members) "No. Fortunately I have not [had any]. I have a very understanding family and they understand the importance and the magnitude of this game, the importance of blocking out distractions. As much as I would like to sit here and worry about tickets and inviting everybody, that's just another distraction for me right now. I was able to get my family. My family is good, so I'm good."
(on talk of selling his tee shirts with proceeds going to toward assisting relief efforts in Haiti) "Ah, the Dome-men tee-shirts, It was originally going to be something for the defense for New Orleans, and for the playoffs. Unfortunately, the earthquake hit in Haiti and what better way to give my time and my money right now. The best that I can was to donate the proceeds to the Haiti relief effort."
(on both himself and TE Jeremy Shockey representing for the University of Miami in Super Bowl XLIV) "It's great for the University of Miami and it's great for us. Words can't describe how not only myself but Jeremy Shockey, other U of M alum, everybody from seeing Michael Irving yesterday, to seeing Ray Lewis on the sideline, Jon Beason on the
sideline cheering me on hoping that I win. Of course, we've got Reggie Wayne on the other side but once the game starts, we're not worrying about that. But it's good that we can represent the University of Miami in a positive way."
(on the circumstances of being traded from the New York Jets to the Saints) "That's in the past. Right now I'm focused on the Super bowl, focused on the position that I'm in right now. There's no point in reminiscing on the past."
(on what impact does he think that he'll have on the game if Colts DE Dwight Freeney cannot play) "That's something that I know that [QB] Drew[Brees] will be concerned about. I know that Dwight Freeney is a superb
player so with him not playing, I don't know if they switch too much on their defense, I can't tell you that but I know that will be a big player that they'll miss."
(on whether it was the win against the New York Jets during the season when he knew that the defense could be special) " I would say before that. I would say that it was week three against Buffalo. They had a pretty hot start and we were able to hold them to seven points. It was actually a shut out on defense, we gave up a special team's touchdown.We felt that if we could get into games like that, where the offense was struggling a little bit in the beginning and blew them out in the end.To be able to say that the defense was part of the reason that we won this game, we never had a situation like that. The year before, it was always high scoring games. To go out there and perform the way we did that week, we felt like we had something special."
(on whether the defense was viewed as the Achilles heel holding back the offense) "You look at it as most of the people, the first thing that they are going to look at is the stats and they're going to say offense is [ranked] number one, defense is [ranked] 21or offense is [ranked]number one rushing, defense is [ranked] 31 rushing or whatever it is. It's just natural for people to place blame on whatever is not right. We were 8-and-8 and they were going to say well the offense is one, then obviously it has to be the defense and that's what it was. We were fine with that, you just take it in stride. We've used that as a little bit of fuel and motivation on defense."
(on checking audibles and plays against Colts QB Peyton Manning) "I don't want to get enamored with what Peyton does. Obviously he makes great checks, he makes great reads, he understands the defense. But I don't want to be in a situation where there is five seconds on the play clock and he just made a check, and I'm trying to make a check to get us into the right defense and he's hiking the ball and I have half of my defense doing the right thing and the other half doing the wrong thing.We're all better off all playing one defense and whether we're all right or wrong, we'll fix it. We'll just get to the ball, tackle them
and just live for the next play."
(on whether the run game might be more of a factor than the passing game for both teams) "It definitely could be a factor especially with [RB]Joseph Addai and they have a couple of other backs that are very good.I know that they drafted one in the first round , they have very capable backs, first round backs. They have talent and they have ability, but at the same time we don't want to make that another problem for us to deal with, it's hard enough to deal with Peyton."
(on being a college teammate with Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin) "I'm still close with Mike (Tomlin). He was there with me for two years at William and Mary. When I came in he took me under his wing when I was a freshman - positively and negatively. He showed me the ropes. It's kind of ironic that I ended up playing - he coached me when I was at Minnesota. Then he moved on to being a head coach. Our relationship is tight. I talked to him before our playoff run and got some tips about some teams the Steelers faced that we might have had the chance to see. We stay in touch a lot. He always has good words of advice. They are a lot different than the words of advice he had when we were in college."
(on the longevity of his career and his William and Mary teammates in coaching) "The fact that they've (Sean McDermott and Mike Tomlin) been able to move up the work pole pretty quickly - for Mike to be a (defensive) coordinator and now a head coach. I've had longevity in this league, but they've ascended pretty quickly in their profession. That's a testament to them and it's also a testament to me, to be able to last to see them get to the points they are in their career."
(on what he was looking for in a new team in free agency last offseason) "The thing that I most looked at when I was a free agent was where would I fit as far as with a team, what team was on the brink of getting to the playoffs and having a chance to win the Super Bowl and somewhere I felt comfortable. I knew a lot of guys on New Orleans before I signed with them. When I met (general manager) Mickey Loomis, (head coach Sean) Payton, (defensive coordinator) Gregg Williams, it just felt right. A lot of times that is what it comes down to. At this point in my career it's not about the money. It's about trying to get a ring and enjoying playing football and being around people you want to play for. This is the perfect place for that."
(on whether there was ever a time he wondered if he would win a Super Bowl) "Coming into this season I knew we were going to have a good team. You can never predict that you'll be in the Super Bowl. Sometimes I had that thought. I was going into my 13th year and I hadn't even sniffed not only a Super Bowl, but an NFC Championship game. As a rookie, I thought I'd be back many times. Playing in Green Bay, going as a rookie and having Brett Favre as your quarterback. That just lets you know how tough it is in this league to get to this point. I made sure I let guys on our team know that, so that we can appreciate it and make the most of this moment."
(on how much impact the loss of Indianapolis Colts DE Dwight Freeney will have on the game) "They have guys, I've seen it in the past, that can step up. It's tough to fill a void of a guy like Dwight Freeney because he's such a dynamic football player. He does so much. His presence for that team impacts them a lot. They have another good (defensive) end on the other side in (Robert) Mathis, who can definitely get pressure. I wouldn't be surprised if they have guys behind Freeney that can do what he does. Maybe not to the impact that he has had in the past on games, but a lot of times defense comes down to 11 guys on defense, not just one player. I don't know if it will impact them as much. Jermon Bushrod might sleep a little bit easier. We'll see how it plays out.
(on the Saints playing for the people of New Orleans) "I don't think that can be stated enough. The fact of what we have done for the city, the community, New Orleans and the whole state of Louisiana and even going beyond that with the Saints fans, people who have been displaced out of New Orleans and have not had a chance to come back. This season has meant a lot for all of them. It's meant a lot for us to be able to touch their lives and bring a little bit of happiness to them. Besides the fact of what they went through with (Hurricane) Katrina, but beyond that and before that, what they've gone through with this organization and struggles that they've had. Us playing for the community can never be understated."
(on the Saints regular season comeback against the Miami Dolphins) "From that game, it really gave us the mindset that we can will all of our games that we play in. That was our first true tough road test. I don't mean tough as far as who we're playing, but the situation that we were in - by being down by that many points going into the third quarter, coming out of halftime and being able to come back and win that game in the fashion that we did. We pretty much did everything - making big plays on offense, defense and special teams. That gave us the mentality that we can win all of our games and we're never out of a game. We know we always have the ability to come back.
"As far as what the Dolphins showed us, they showed us that when you play on the road it's going to be tough. You can't expect to win all these games by 20-30 points, like we had up until that point. That's probably the main thing that they showed us."
(on whether he thought it would take this long to get back to the Super Bowl) "I never thought it would take this long. As the years kept going and I wasn't even getting close to this point, I did have the thoughts that I wouldn't have a chance. Besides the fact that a career can be short lived, you never think you have the opportunity to come back when you don't even get close to it. This season has been like a fantasy. Sometimes it doesn't really seem real because of how things have gone - the perfect scenario, coming to a team and in your first year getting to this point. My point in my career, I am going to appreciate the time I've had here. We're going to make the most of it and make sure we come out of this game and do all we can do to get a victory."
(on what his thoughts were during his first Super Bowl appearance) "I was a rookie so I didn't really think too much at all. I was playing cornerback, so I just worried about the guy I had lined up against me. I just enjoyed it. It was in San Diego. I just enjoyed being there, but I didn't think too much at all."
(on what the atmosphere of the team has been this week) "It's been pretty calm. It's been like that throughout the season. To be honest, this group of guys has the feel that we belong. There has never been a point where we're about to play a team or it's a situation in the game, and a guy is looking around like, ‘What is going on? What are we supposed to do?' Even this week, it seems as though we belong. Guys understand what is at stake and are extremely focused. We know we have a task at hand. We know that getting here is good, but winning will be better."
(on whether the team was fired up due to defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' comments) "That has been our philosophy all year long. It just so happens that Gregg (Williams) spilled the beans. Our attitude is always to let teams, at the end of the day, remember that they played against us. That's our plan to play a tough, physical brand of football. Those ‘remember shots' go a long way."
(on the how much the Saints style of defense differs from the Vikings, allowing him more interceptions) "It comes hand-in-hand. The style I played in Minnesota last year, I was more of a protective - a guy that kept everything in front of us. I tried to prevent the big play. In Gregg Williams' style of defense, I'm allowed to be a playmaker, trust my instincts and attack the football. It's two different worlds from where I was last year and this year. That's probably why the numbers (of interceptions) are so different."
(on whether he spoke to the Vikings coaching staff about what he does well) "Always. They just did what they had been doing."
(on how difficult it is to put more pressure on QB Peyton Manning with the presence of TE Dallas Clark) "The thing about ‘remember me shots' - I don't know if you think it means the quarterback or whoever is not going to get back up, he can still get back up, but it's ‘remember me' because he is going to remember he just got his bell rung. You can always get those types of shots on whoever is playing the game once they step between the white lines. The quarterback can always get hit. It's just how they get hit.
"Dallas Clark, he's been a tough matchup for years because he's such an athletic tight end. The quarterback that they have can get him the football as much as possible in any area of the football field. They are moving him around a lot. We know that we have athletic linebackers that can match-up with him. We also have athletic safeties or whoever we decide to put on him. He is a guy you have to watch out for and be aware of where he is because he is Eli's (said jokingly) go-to guy."
(on where he would rank Jerry Rice on the all-time greatest list) "Jerry Rice doesn't rank in the all-time greats. He is the greatest receiver, maybe the greatest football player of all-time. You talk about longevity and playing at a high level for a lot of years. His work ethic permeated through his team. It allowed for them to win the championships that they did, even though they had a lot of good players. I think he always strove for excellence. As a football player that is what you want to achieve - being excellent year-in and year-out. Guys that do that for close to 20 years, you have to rank him as a top receiver of all-time and one of the top football players too."
(on facing the Patriots this season) "It was another game that gave us some confidence as where we could go as a team. The Patriots were playing well at that point. Everyone knows the type of team they have, one of the top teams in the NFL. The way we beat them that game, and how we stepped up and had guys come off the street and play the best games they have played in many years, let us know that we had a chance to get to this point."
(on what the Saints told him when they signed him) "Being a leader was the main thing. They said they lacked that leadership not only on defense, but in the secondary. They wanted me to be a guy back there that was going to make things happen, not allow the ball to go over my head and if I had a chance to make a play, make it. That was the biggest difference than in previous years as compared to this year."
(on how difficult it is to disrupt Peyton Manning) "He is probably one of the toughest. He's been around so long and played in so many big games. He is very mentally tough and has seen it all. He prepares harder than anyone prepares in this league. He is tough and has been a starter in every game he has had a chance to be a starter in. You can't go into a game expecting to knock a guy like that out because no one has been able to do it. That's what makes him so tough, he prepares himself so well. He's a tough football player. He knows we're coming a lot of the times and has the ability to get rid of the football so you can't really get those sacks or shots on him."
(on whether you try to get hits on Peyton Manning or whether you back away from that plan) "You always pick and choose. If you pick one thing to do, he'll kill you. He'll burn you many times. He knows how to change things up and adapt to what defenses try to do to him. You always have to play that little game. Gregg Williams likes to play those chess games. It will be a good one."
(on his reaction to defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' comments) "We hear Gregg say some crazy things in the meeting room all the time. We didn't think too much of it. Gregg has the philosophy and mentality that he teaches us and we believe in and we're behind him 100 percent. His comments were taken where we were going to try to go into the game and our main focus was going to try to knock the quarterback out. That was not what he was trying to say. He was saying that we're going to play physical and any chance we get to hit the quarterback, we're going to maximize that opportunity. We think, come later in the game, even though Peyton Manning is probably the best fourth-quarter quarterback in the league, that it could change how they play."
(on what DL Anthony Hargrove has shared about his past) "Not too much. Everybody knows his background - where he came from, his hardships growing up as a child and moving out here to Florida, being a really good athlete, going to Georgia Tech, going through all his problems at Georgia Tech and then when he got to the league. Everybody knows his stories, his ups and downs, and what we appreciate is the fact that he's really changed his life. He's a better person and a better player for it."
(on how much the team watches out for Hargrove) "We watch out for each other, but mostly probably him. We know he can be on edge sometimes, so we try to do our best to help him out as much as we can. He's always on edge. Everybody cares for him so much that they don't want to see him doing something he'll regret. For the most part, he's a stand-up guy. Everybody always has that feeling that you've got to watch out for him every now and then."
(on if Hargrove has to have that edge to make him successful) "Yeah. I think that's what makes him special, just the way he continuously goes out and works hard, throws his body around in there. You see him on kickoff, play the first guy on the kickoff, and he's 300 pounds just finding those other big guys, so there's an edge, and I think that's the reason he's the type of player he is."
(on the toughest part of playing in San Antonio during the 2005 season) "That was tough. I think the biggest thing was we didn't know where we would be practicing the next day. One minute we were practicing at the local high school, the next minute we were practicing at the (Alamo) Dome, next time we didn't know, but we were practicing at some other high school. Uncertainty of what tomorrow brought made everyone on edge. (We) didn't know what to expect."
(on how that experience shaped the way he views adversity now) "At the time it brought that team closer together, but for me personally and probably the other guys, it made us better players, because we've been through things that probably no other professional athlete has been through - being almost like an expansion team on the road, bouncing from city to city. We went through a lot, and it helped us be able to fight through other things and play in pretty much any type of situation."
(on playing against Colts' QB Peyton Manning) "It's a great thing to be able to be blessed to play against him. We know it's going to be a challenge, and we look forward to (it) as a defense. You always want to play against the best, and this is the opportunity for us to go out there and play against the best, and have a chance to win against the best."
(on if the defense has been preparing for how Manning changes calls at the line) "Yeah, we've been trying to study that. Our defensive line has been trying to study the calls that the offensive line is going to do, all the little things, just to get a grasp of it. But, it's only two weeks - not the whole season focused on those guys. We're going to find what we can find and go out and play to the best of our abilities. Hopefully we'll win the game."
(on what the Super Bowl means to the Saints' organization) "I think for our organization it's great. For the last three years, the organization has done a lot of things that they haven't done in 40-something years. Just to be able to go out and be a part of the first team to make it to the Super Bowl is a great feeling. There (are) a lot of happy people in the building, because a lot of people in the building have been working there for the last 30-plus years. They've been through the ups and downs. I've only been with the Saints for six years, but their story's a little bit longer than mine."
(on if he saw the Patriots' game as a turning point of the season) "We didn't take it as that game. We didn't take it at that approach. We took it more that we wanted to go out and play our best. We thought that was one of the best teams at the time, and we wanted to go out and play our best game. We went out and played very well. They made a lot of mistakes, and we were able to make them make a lot of mistakes. But, at the time, after the victory, we just thought that we were on a roll and we didn't think we had arrived as a team."
(on what defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said about getting after Manning) "I think it was misinterpreted. The guy asked him if he would talk to his players about hitting Peyton late, and he said he didn't want to control his players from hitting him late. I think what he meant to say was if you hit the quarterback, he doesn't want to stop guys from hitting the quarterback. Now, (when) you hit him hard, sometimes the ref throws the flag, sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes referees throw flags on stuff where you fall and touch (the quarterback's) leg, and then throw the flag. I think it got misinterpreted. Gregg has never once told us to go out and hurt any quarterback, especially Peyton."
(on if the team still has to get after Manning) "You've got to go out, and if you can get a sack and hit him, that's part of the game. Nobody ever talks about how hard people hit therunning backs and the receivers. It's just part of the game. You have to go out there and play. Never go out and intentionally try to hurt somebody. Go out and play the game the way everybody else plays it."
(on if forcing turnovers is the best feature of the Saints' defense) "That's our goal to try to go out there and force as many fumbles as possible, and try to get after the running backs and the quarterbacks, because those are the guys that fumble the ball a lot."
(on the key to this game) "They key to this game is to force turnovers - if they're interceptions or fumbles, whatever way to get turnovers."
(on if the ability to cause turnovers is a mindset that can be coached) "I think it's a mindset in the way you go out. I think you can only coach people to practice better, if that makes any sense. I think if we go out there and do the things that we've been doing all season - practicing, picking up the ball, trying to force fumbles in practice - it kind of carries over into the game."
(on if too much is being made of the fact that the Colts have been here before) "They're a good team. They had a great season. They came out and played well. I guess if it helps them it helps them, but they still have to go out and play the game on Sunday. As far as that, I don't know if it's too much or too little."
(on the team's frame of mind) "Everybody's excited to be in the Super Bowl. We just had our first practice in South Florida, and everybody's focused. Everybody wants to win. It's not just about getting here, it's about finishing the job, and that's what we lived off all season - trying to finish each game and finish each play. Now we've got to finish this season with a win."
(on how head coach Sean Payton changed the culture of the locker room) "I don't think it was necessarily a speech, it was just more or less the guys that he brought in when he came in. He had heard things about certain players, and gave them a chance. If it didn't work out, he got rid of those players. He tested everybody to see if they were on board of if they weren't on board. He cleaned house a little bit and kept the guys that he liked, brought in more guys. If the guys didn't fit, then he got rid of them and brought in guys that did fit the system."
(of if the defense is better than it gets credit for) "Yeah. Statistically as an overall defense, we're not top 5. I don't even think we're in the top 10. But, in certain categories we are in the top. I think we're No. 1 in the red zone, No. 1 in turnovers, other little things that we rank high in. I think that's what we pride ourselves in, not necessarily giving up big yardage, but making the plays when we need to make the plays in important situations."
(on Saints Pro Bowl players greeting the team at the hotel in bellhop uniforms) "I thought that was a pretty cool idea. It was the Pro Bowl players, they greeted us as we pulled up to the hotel. It was pretty cool to see them in the bellhop (uniforms)."
(on how he feels about the fans hoping for a high-scoring game) "As a defensive player, you don't ever want to be a part of a high-scoring game unless your offense is scoring all the points and the other team is getting three-and-outs. Defensively, we want to keep it as low scoring of a game as possible - if we can control it."
(on how Colts' DE Dwight Freeney's injury could affect the game) "It's definitely important, especially the way he plays. He's always flying around making that spin move, doing the speed-rush rip, and the ankles have to be healthy in order to do it. I don't know what his diagnosis is, but I'm sure, knowing Freeney, he's going to be out there giving it his all."
(on what S Darren Sharper brought to the defense) "We lacked a playmaker at the back end, and he's come in and made a lot of plays - big plays at crucial moments. We didn't have that last year."
(on concussions in the NFL) "You don't want to play around with an injury like that. Like you said, the league is paying more attention to it and I think they should. "
(on if he's ever had a concussion) "No."
(on if it would be hard to not play in the Super Bowl because of a concussion) "I mean for the player yes. But from the coaches aspect and the things of that nature, they might want to pull you out after they talk to the trainer and you go through the testing. That would be hard to step out of that one."
(on what the Super Bowl experience has been like so far) "Man, a dream come true so far. It's been great. A lot of festivities for the Pro Bowl, it's been awesome. Going through the different questions and stuff like that leading up to the game has been neat."
(on the most significant game he played in college) "We had a couple battles with East Stroudsburg (Penn.), a PSAC team. My senior year we went undefeated so every game after those first couple we tried to keep playing was a big one. I would say the playoff game for me my senior year."
(on if ever thought he would play in this setting) "Not at all. You always think about it and hope you have a chance to play for a championship and a Super Bowl team. Here I am. Here are the New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl. It's definitely a dream come true."
(on what friends and family are coming from home) "Everybody, family, friends, immediately family, even people that don't have a ticket to the game are going to come."
(on the difficulty of being a restricted free agent) "It's the nature of the game. Like you said, I'm playing for a Super Bowl and it's nothing I'm really dwelling on too much. I'll approach that in the offseason. Right now I'm just focusing on the Super Bowl and glad to be playing in it."
(on Gary Brackett) "He's a good linebacker. He's fast. He reads his keys and gets his guys lined up around him. He's a good team ball player."
(on Dwight Freeney possibly not playing) "We're approaching it as if he's playing. Right now, we're approaching it as if Dwight Freeney's going to be out on the field. Obviously, he's a guy they want out there and obviously it's the Super Bowl. I think he's going to play."
(on targeting Dwight Freeney's weak spots if he plays) "Not at all. It's not like we're going to go out there and try to land on his ankle or anything like that. Obviously, it's probably going to slow him down a little bit. That's in our favor."
(on if Dwight Freeney's situation is similar to DeMarcus Ware and the team having to wait to hear if he's playing) "Exactly. We're expecting him to play. So, we'll be surprised if he's not out there playing."
(on the challenge the Colts present) "It's a difficult challenge. They're a fast defense, like you said, and they rally to the ball. They play in their gaps well. They don't statistically look like a good defense, but because they're so fast and their speed, they create power and they're pretty good."
(on the distractions of the day and having practice moved to a different site) "We handled it well. The weather played a key factor in that and the time delays and stuff like that. We weren't too far off schedule. We pushed a couple things back but still got our work in which was most important. Now we just go out there and finish up the day."
(on if the run game is underrated) "Not at all. When you've got a guy like Drew Brees back there when he's feeling it, he's feeling it and you've got to get the ball in his hands. We know that we want to be physical up front and run the ball well too. That makes us a good offense when you have balance. There are going to be times where there's going to be eight or nine passes out there. There's going to be times where coach is going to say, ‘Hey, the first battle's going to come on one of you guys, it's going to be three runs.' As long as we have that good balance, I think we'll be alright."
(on the running game being a key factor in the Super Bowl) "I think it definitely is. You want to have dominance, but you don't want to be one dimensional, especially against a defense like these guys with speed."
(on if the Saints are a team of destiny) "I guess you could say something like that. We put a lot of hard work in. Going into the offseason, we felt this was our number one goal to get to the Super Bowl. Here we are."
(on wearing the bellhop outfits today) "That was pretty cool. We didn't even know we were going to do until today actually. It was pretty neat when coach told us. Luckily they had a couple outfits to fit a couple of big guys."
(on if Coach Sean Payton dressed up too) "Yeah, he was out there too."
(on if his bellhop suit was big enough for him) "Yeah, I stretched it out a little bit, but it fit pretty good."
(on the theme behind wearing the bellhop suits) "I think it was done in the past. Somebody did it in the past. Coach just thought it was a great way to be there and meet the guys as soon as they got off the bus."
(on if the players were surprised to see them in bellhop suits) "I think so. I can just imagine what they were saying on the bus when they saw us."
(on the best tip he received from collecting bags as a bellhop) "I didn't get any tips. I don't know who had the best tip today. We were saying we weren't taking bags without tips."
(on who dressed up in bellhop suits) "It was the guys who came here yesterday and Coach (Sean) Payton."
(on describing the team's emotions) "It's just a lot going on. At the same time, we're here to work. We know that this is the season for us right now. This is the biggest game of the year and we're not just here for the festivities and the hoopla in Miami. We're here to play a game and win a game."
(on Coach Sean Payton) "He's an aggressive coa ch and we love that about him. He's not going to stop being aggressive. We love the plays that he calls and at the times he calls them in. That's one thing that's going to happen and we're okay with it."
(on what the environment was like when he arrived with the Saints) "I remember my old coach saying when we first got there was a whole bunch of misfits put together. One thing they did was they pushed us. They pushed us and worked us hard. They really tried to change the culture of the organization. I didn't know much about the Saints before I got there, but I know when I came in '06 that was the goal."
(on the variety of the Colts' run game) "They do have different styles of running. It kind of enters your mind a little bit. We communicate with each other in the huddle, saying what each other's seeing and running backs saying what they're seeing and we tell them what we're seeing. We try to keep those communications open so when we make those blocks we can kind of give them a hint of what's opening up."
(on the mentality of the team now that it is game week) "It's back to work. We had a good work today at practice, got loose out there. It's going to continue all week just to stay focused throughout the week and get mentally prepared for Sunday."
(on moving practice today because of the weather and if that will affect the week) "It wasn't that bad. It was a nice little bus ride over. A lot of the guys were getting a nice little nap in. So, it got a little hectic and was off schedule by a little bit. The most important thing was we got a good work in today, got a little sweat going. Off to the rest of the week."
(on the history of first time organizations struggling in the Super Bowl) "That never even crept in my mind. It's my first time playing in the game and I never even thought about that."
(on if the experience is overrated) "I think so. You've got the two teams that's going to put their best game together. It's the Super Bowl, you want to win this game. I think that's what you're going to get, two teams go out there fighting. It will probably come down to the end of the wire."
(on if they are sticking to what got them there) "Yeah, most definitely. We're going to stay with what got us here. No extra and different things, just keeping it plain and simple."
(on what stands out most to him about Coach Sean Payton) "I think he's one of the young, fiery coaches. He's a player's coach. He would do anything for his players, make sure that we've got the best treatment and make sure that we've got everything that we need to be successful. That's what he's done so far and I don't see him stop doing that."
(on how today has been) "Today has been a little slow. The weather kind of took us off schedule a little bit, but it felt good to get out there and get a workout in. We got that done and that was most important."
(on what Coach Sean Payton does that makes him different) I think he had some good mentors coming in the league. I think they showed him the right of passage. He's just taking it all in and putting his own spin on it."
(on what the mood was like on the flight to Miami) "We were just basically chilling and relaxing. That's about it, just listening to music was calm and relaxing."
(on if the flight was different because they flew separate) "Yeah, it was a little different because we we're all together as a team. It was a good group of us, it was seven of us and we we're just sitting back playing cards."
(on how far he's come and if he had doubts that he would play in the NFL) "Coming out of high school I had a bad injury going into college. After my first year in college I got hurt again. That was kind of the low for me. I told myself I got through the first one and I'll get through this one. I knew how to bounce back from it."
(on if there was a time when the team knew they could make the Super Bowl) "Yeah, we knew we had something going. We actually started the season off fast and this offseason we made a lot of moves to bring key guys in. We knew that we were getting things together and making that push to get back to the NFC Championship where we were in '06. The season was just rolling on when we got to 10-0, 11-0 and we were like, ‘Hey, we've got something going.' That really came into sight for us."