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New Orleans Saints: What they are saying

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and several Saints players discussed the upcoming game against the Patriots. Here are the highlights of what they had to say.





On playing against a defense coached by Bill Belichick...*
"They are always extremely well-coached. They are extremely well-disciplined. They do a great job of getting pressure on the quarterback, getting turnovers. They play very well at home, utilizing that atmosphere. You just know you are going to get a very disciplined, sound defense."
*-- Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints Quarterback

On what has stood out about the Patriots defense...
"I have to say their guys up front, the seven guys up front on the defensive line. Those guys are very stout, very heavy, but pretty fast on the outside. You've got Rob Ninkovich who is a good pass rusher. You've really got to focus on him getting up the field on our tackles. We've got to slow him down on the outside a little bit, and you've got their big heavy linebackers. These guys are very heavy, not too fast. You have a few guys, [Brandon] Spikes I know he is a very heavy guy, downhill. We've got to watch him. They have so much experience. Then blitz pickup wise, we really have to have our feet staggered, buried into the ground and get ready to deliver a blow because these guys are very strong. We know they're going to come full force right at us. We have a lot to worry about. Then you've got their corner who is doing a great job. [Aqib] Talib is doing a great job on the outside. I know he's probably going to be matched up on our good receivers, but we're just got to stay focused and play our game. That's what we're doing. We're looking at all eight of those guys. We can hit these guys and try to execute perfect."
--Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints Running Back

On Aqib Talib...
"Aqib is someone who has excellent ball skills. He is long, so he gets his hands on a lot of passes. You really have to be on target with where you are throwing his way. He also has very good recovery speed and so he can make up a step. He is playing at an elite level right now. That is just looking at the film every game and watching him very consistently. He's also drawn some tough matchups and he is very competitive."
-- Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints Head Coach


On whether the loss of Vince Wilfork changes the game...*
"A little bit. They still have a couple of big guys up front that are very good. Without him, it does kind of give us a lenience to our side, but we can't take that for granted. They still have several other players that can step up and do the job too."
*--Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints Running Back

On the development of Aaron Dobson or Kenbrell Thompkins...
"They are working very hard at what they do. They have a very good system. As much as anything else, there is an expectation level and that is something that is not just with the quarterback, but everyone on one side of the ball focuses on the improvements and it really is the daily practice time."
-- Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints Head Coach

On whether the possibility of Rob Gronkowski playing affects preparation...
"I think you go through the process as if he is playing. You discuss jersey numbers and when you are running practice plays you try to prepare for what you have seen when he played and not be surprised if he is up. And also understand that if he is not each week we are faced with that now and the other team is as well. Sometimes if it is an interior lineman, certain positions aren't as maybe as noticeable where you are trying to match up certain personnel, but with a player like him it is pretty significant."
-- Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints Head Coach

On comparing Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski...
"I mean they're both big, physical targets. I don't know Gronk all that well, obviously I know Jimmy very well. But similar size, we all use them in similar ways, you know their offense, our offense. I guess I really don't know Gronk that well; I just know that he makes a lot of plays and if he's out there, he's certainly somebody to be cognizant of where he's at and what he's doing."
-- Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints Quarterback


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