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New Orleans Saints Postgame Transcripts 8/11

SAINTS HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON

SP: The first thing that stands out in a game like that is the four turnovers. [When] you come on the road and turn the ball over like that, two for touchdowns, we fumble on the first drive, and penalties, you're not going to win many games. Did we play with effort and energy and a lot of those things? I would say, yeah, but that's disappointing. We've got to do a better job, obviously, taking the ball away. I thought in the second half the defense got a handful of three-and-outs. The first drive, we put the ball on the ground – once going in and it was an interception. Shoot, we gave them 14 points on turnovers just in the game alone, so you're not going to win many that way. We'll take a peek at the tape, though, and kind of better assess the individual efforts and how [the players] produced. 

Q: What do you think of how Garrett Grayson responded after that initial pick?

SP: I don't like the fact that one of your first passes in a preseason game goes the other way for a touchdown. I thought he made some plays on the move. We'll see when we watch the tape.

Q: What have you seen out of R.J. Harris so far?

SP: He's someone who's been smart, a quick study and that's helped him because he's been able to train at a couple of different receiver positions. He's still transitioning though – he's been on the practice squad and we'll see where he's at this year. He's a guy that knows what to do.

Q: Kasim Edebali had two sacks. What did you think of his play?

SP: I thought there were some snaps where we were able to get some pressure and then obviously there were some breakdowns. If you just looked at the turnovers and look at the rushing statistics we averaged two-something [and] I think they were over five yards a carry. There are some very telling numbers as you look at it.  

Q: How much did Mark Ingram's fumble relate to how late he played in the game?

SP: None.

Q: Was it good to see Michael Thomas make a couple big plays after seeing him do it in camp?

SP: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. 

Q: What especially stood out about Thomas?

SP: Just during the week he's made some plays over his head. Any other questions?

Q: Did Drew Brees get in for a series just to get a feel?

SP: That was the plan going in, yeah.

Q: How serious is Stephone Anthony's injury?

SP: We'll see. You've used up your five [questions].

Q: What was your impression of David Onyemata in game action?

SP: We'll have a chance to see the film. He was out of his gap a few times on some big runs – we'll take a peek at the film and take a look at it. 

Q: Did you get a good feel for the team?

SP: It was a productive week up here, but when you play in these preseason games and you get on the plane and you go home, you have to know what kept you from winning or having a chance of winning. If you don't learn that – it starts with us too as coaches so we'll get back to work and I'm sure we'll see some good things on the tape tomorrow. The object is to win, [not] lose the game and that's one statistic that will keep you from winning every time and so especially against a good football team we've got to be better than that. 

Q: When Marcus Murphy had that punt and duffed it and picked it up for a big return, do you view that as a positive or a negative?

SP: Anytime the ball is on the ground I'm not particularly happy about it because the next time that happens there's someone on the coverage unit that picks it up. He showed some courage on some returns and we had one return called back that was a 30-yard change of possession – when you're here and the hidden yards go back the other way and that's got to be better. We line up to kick a field goal to make it a one score game in the fourth quarter and we duffed the turf so all of those things have got to be corrected.  

Kasim Edebali, Defensive End

*(On being back in the area) *
"It was great; I had a lot of friends in the stands. I had a little chip on my shoulder, just trying to make people proud."

*(On setting the tone of the game) *
"I think that was important, When we came out and we really had to set the tone, start the game off right. We were able to do that."

*(On the sacks) *
"On the first one I just tried to get a good jump, and the second one fortunately James Laurinaitis helped me out with that and I just cleaned it up."

*(On the defense) *
"I love the chemistry we got, we come out and we really care. Everyone runs to the ball and come at the ball hard, trying to get the blocks. It's really the little things that make a big difference."

Garrett Grayson, Quarterback

*(On the interception) *
"To be honest with you, they [the Patriots] kind of fooled me with the coverage. I thought it was man coverage and it turned out to be zone and I shouldn't have been working that side. I should have been working over to my left. So they fooled me and I tried to fit it in there and that is just something you can't do and when you do bad things happen."

*(On how he did after the interception) *
"I am happy with how I handled the adversity. I think I handled it well and I put some throws together and put some drives together, but again you just can't make those mistakes. I think I had an OK day, I don't think it was good or bad, by any means, just OK. There were a few plays that I left out there. I missed Josh Hill and didn't end up throwing it. I missed him on a seam route that could have had a big play there."

Erik Harris, Defensive Back

*(On how the defense performed) *
"I felt pretty good out there, need some minor adjustments out there. I feel we performed well."

*(On what to learn from this game) *
"Just getting my feet wet, getting adjusted to the flow of the game. I know how to perform and how to finish now."

Daniel Lasco, Running Back

*(On what he learned from the game) *
"It's a lot of learning. The speed is very different and I am still trying to get adjusted to it. I'm just going to take it one day at a time and watch the film and come back next Saturday and put something better on film."

*(On his special teams play) *
"I need to still get better. There were a couple plays I should have made. Once again, I'm just taking it one day at a time and going to watch the film and see where I can get better."

*(On praise from Deuce McCallister about his performance) *
"I was able to sit and talk to him last week and pick his brain and see how he used to do different things and what made him so successful. That's something that puts a huge smile on my face, being able to impress someone of his caliber. That's great. It's a real honor."

Tim Lelito, Guard

*(On the game) *
"When I came out I saw the number twos [second unit] in there and they were doing a good job. We just have to come in and eliminate the simple mistakes, like the holding penalties, like the coach [Sean Payton] said. I don't how many penalties we had. I think it was nine on offense and that just kills us by stopping drives and obviously we need to eliminate those. I felt we played with great effort up front by moving guys off the ball, like some of their bigger guys up front and that is very encouraging. We are trying to emphasize running this year and we didn't do a great job of that tonight."

Luke McCown, Quarterback

*(On what they can take away from the game) *
"You go back and look at the film and obviously a lot of little things to clean up, but we played with effort. Our tempo was good. You just have to clean up the little things. Some of those are to be expected the first game, but it's never what you want. You go back and look at the film and get better."

*(On the turnovers) *
"They can't happen, period. Two fumbles, one of mine, and two interceptions, one of mine. Regardless of what happens during the play, the last line of defense is me. The ball is in my hand so those things can't happen."

*(On what happened on his interception) *
"It was a fade and the corner did a good job jamming up the receiver. He zigged and I zagged. It was a communication issue where we just have to get better."

Thomas Morstead, Punter

*(On what he works on in preseason) *
"Well, it is one of the only time I would punt for five hours straight or I stay loose for five hours straight so I would have to say conditioning. You want to be able to hit your best punt in the fourth quarter so that is important. I came off a major injury last year so it was nice to let the ball fly a little bit. I didn't have a great game but I put a couple high balls up there so that was nice. Everything is situational so you don't know what you are going to get.  There are things you work on in the off season that you want to specifically improve.  For me personally, coming off of a significant injury last year, just getting through a game and being healthy is a confidence booster. I feel great, so that's exciting. I feel I am athletically where I need to be so I am excited about that."

*(On his time spent with Stephen Gostkowski) *
"They've got a good set of pros here. Stephen Gostkowski is the best kicker in football to me. Any time I have a chance to pick his brain I will. I'd like to think we have a mutual respect for what each other does.  He kicks and I punt but I really enjoy chatting with him as well as Ryan Allen. The great ones do things a little different so it is fun to pick guys brains. I just think he has been the top guy in the league for the last five or so years and I respect the success that he has had. I really enjoy the banter with him and to chat with him a little bit. I think we all root for each other to do well around the league but obviously when we play against each other we are competing."

Bobby Richardson, Defensive End

*(On the weather) *
"New Orleans is very hot and humid but I would say it was about the same here ."

*(On playing New England) *
"It was great to see where we are at coming up here against another team. The Patriots are a good team to see where we are and I think we did a great job today. I give the Patriots credit, they played hard and got some turnovers.  You can never be content in this league. This is a great team with a great coaching staff. They do everything first class here and I am just glad to be here."

Michael Thomas, Wide Receiver

*(On how he played in the game) *
"I think I played decent and I know I left a couple of plays out there I wish I could have back, but I can definitely correct that on film tomorrow. I know my coaches are going to coach me hard and get those corrected, so I can add more value to this team."

*(On his big plays in practice and in the game) *
"I just won't let it go to my head and I need to build off of it. I have been always able to catch a football since forever and growing up in a football family I always knew how to catch the ball. Now I just need to worry about the details like running the routes and making plays."

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