OK, I'll start off with the injuries. We had Kenderick Allen come out of the game with a foot, and Ryan Pickett with an ankle. And with that I'll take your questions.
(What did you do to celebrate your first victory?)
Got a good night's sleep. It was enjoyable.
(Were you calling more people or were more people calling you, how did that go?)
Got a lot of messages. Called my family, my daughter, and had some balloons sitting at the house from my neighbors when I got home. It was flattering.
(Can you put into words what that feels like?)
It was a little bit of relief. When you go into a Hail Mary situation, you're going to be on one side of it or the other, and I was happy to be on the right side of it. But when you have time to reflect, it will be a game that I'll always remember for a lot of different reasons. But frankly, you get right back into work and get into the evaluation process, we've been meeting all day. We just want to get this thing cleaned up and move on to Philadelphia.
(How does a win fortify the team as a unit?)
Winning in this business is so important, because the alternative is you spend the whole week trying to overcome that. You have to deal with the prior game longer. So with winning, it makes your correction phase a lot cleaner, and you have something to really build on. I think as a football team we were able to grow with this victory over Detroit, where in the last two weeks I think we were just improving in some areas. It's something you're able to build off of. We keep talking about stacking successes, and this is what I'm talking about. It's a young football team in a lot of different areas. They need to know how to win in this league, and we have some veterans who haven't won a lot of games here of late. Winning is very important, it cures a lot of your potential problems, but it really gives you the platform to build off of.
(How did Colledge grade out, and does he give you something to think about if Spitz is healthy this week?)
Yes, he played much better this week. I feel like Daryn is really improving. I see a player who's starting to get more comfortable. He had an excellent challenge, their defensive line was a good challenge for us. As far as those young guys, Spitz, Colledge and Tony Moll, we'll really play the best two of the three, whoever is playing the best at that time. Their level of experience is all very similar, so we're just going to keep looking for the right combinations in there with those guys.
(Brett said you went to a lot of max protect yesterday. Is that something you can keep doing, or at some point do you have to let those guys survive on their own?)
Well, we did more seven-man protections, we didn't do as much eight-man or max protections. But that's really based on the game plan. That's something we go week to week. But we were able to be very productive in the passing game yesterday with it, so I was very pleased with the way the protection unit played, and the pass perimeter.
(Were there a couple of plays where Green could have bounced it outside possibly for a big gain?)
Not really, it really depends on the read, the initial read and how the fullback fits into it. I think the one you're talking about, they had a strong dog, what we call a mike and sam, that had a chance to bounce. The fullback, his entry into the front was not a good fit, and I think that's what happened to Ahman, he got caught. That's the one that jumps to mind that had a chance to go outside. But it's something we need to continue to do more of. We're reading a certain defender, and based on what we've played, we have three levels with this play, and without going into specifics of it, we felt the read was going to go more inside this week than outside, to answer your question.
(More explosive plays in the passing game against the defense, what's happening there?)
That's a problem, that's our problem on defense right now. I said it here last week, we need to get it fixed. We had seven last week and nine yesterday. Communication is the start of a lot of them, it's really not one individual, it's a combination of the fit in the coverage leverage and being inside and outside, based on the adjustment of the formation and things like that. We need cleaner communication, we need to be more decisive, more urgent, and we'll get that cleaned up.
(Is what Bob is doing that complicated?)
No, it's not complicated. It's continuity and consistency, those are two things we need to do a better job of.
(When there's a miscommunication back there, does that create more holes when one guy is off?)
It all fits together. To give you an example, if you're in a match scheme where this guy has the 1 receiver, this guy has 2 and this guy has 3 and they go to a certain formation, it may turn into a cloud because certain formations you can be exposed to picks and things like that. That has to happen right there on the line, so they all have to be on the same page.
(Does Martz's offense with all the shifting make that a bigger challenge?)
The shifting, that's a challenge. You play more zone and things like that. If you guys noticed, we played a little more zone than we normally do to counter those types of things.
(On the Bryson and Williams touchdowns, are those the matchups you're expecting in those defenses?)
Bryson's touchdown was a hot situation. Manuel has to come down quicker. He gave him way too much room to get up on him. We were blitzing, and he was the hot receiver. That's what we were looking for by game plan and that should have been a positive play for us. Roy's touchdown, we didn't get the coverage pushed over the top, and Nick has to get over the top of that route. That's the two different breakdowns.
(The play before Williams touchdown, the screen back to the tight end, whose guy was that?)
I'm trying to think who has that. We call that the 'Oh (no)' screen, because you say 'Oh (no)' if they're wide open. It's a good play. Usually when the tight end flops down like that, there aren't too many blocking schemes that he does that. It was more of an awareness. I don't recall the defense, I watched it this morning with the guys.
(Collins made the tackle.)
Yeah, but that wasn't his guy, though. Nick made a number of big plays, saving plays.
(How important is it to get all those guys involved in the passing game so Donald Driver isn't the only guy?)
Very important. We had 10 receivers, and Ahman Green touching the ball 30 times in a game, that's important too. Check-downs are really an extension of the running game, so that's an important part of our passing game. I think it shows you the quarterback is running the system. He's taking what they're giving him, and I'm very pleased with where we're at right now.
(Seemed to feed running game more than a week ago, despite little success? Did last week have anything to do with it?)
Not really. Last week's game didn't affect the way I called the Detroit game, to answer your question. The score of the game, what you see as far as the information you get after each play, all those things factor. I've said it over and over again, running the football is very important, even when it doesn't go well. Because if you stick to it, the big runs usually come in the third and fourth quarter. That was our plan, just keep hammering away, body blows to the defense. We had some opportunities for the ball to come out, but it didn't. But you're never going to get it to come out if you stop trying. So it's a commitment you have to have, and if that's 20 times, 25 times, we'll do what we have to do. But we've had a lot of success throwing the ball the last two weeks. It would have been real easy to throw it again 55 times yesterday the way we were pass protecting, but I didn't think that's in the best interests of our football team.
(Going to the shotgun, are you doing that for the passing game and does that limit the running game?)
We're doing it for the passing game, just going into it with big Shaun in there in the middle of the defensive line, gives the quarterback a little more vision. We're going into some different packages with the shotgun, but we still do have a run game out of the shotgun. You're not as multiple in the shotgun, no.
(Is there anything you can do specifically to address the fumbles by Herron and Green the last couple weeks?)
Just have to keep emphasizing it. Those are two critical plays in the game that could have really factored into the football game. Edgar Bennett does a good job with his individuals, he stresses it every day, and we just have to keep emphasizing. That's our job, teach and demand. We need to get it corrected.
(Did Brett just miss the handoff on that one in the fourth quarter?)
I think the back was a little wide, between Brett and the back it was poor footwork.
(On that quick snap, the disallowed play, what happened there, what was the call?)
We substituted in the hurry-up situation, and you cannot do that outside of the 2-minute warning.
(They get a chance to bring somebody back in?)
The way I understand the rule, we were substituting player for player, and then Brett, he called that on his own because he caught them in a substitution situation, was taking advantage of it. You're not allowed to sub in a, we refer to it as a mayday situation.
(That was his call because he saw the guy coming off?)
We have it in there for certain times in the game, and he was taking advantage of it based on what he saw.
(Late in the game, with the Green fumble, is it the first priority to cover the ball and worry about yards after that?)
Absolutely. Ball security is always the first priority. I'm not ever going to justify a reason for the ball to come out. The defender made a good play on the ball, but still, you have to cover the football up. That's part of carrying the football. Every running back knows it, every receiver knows it, you have to take care of the ball.
(Did Greg Jennings do anything different after the Chicago game in terms of preparation?)
I think he practiced the same. We're all excited about him but I feel like I say the same thing all the time. He's a very consistent player for being so young. I don't know if he ate something different that week, but Greg has been very consistent. That was a big play, really gave us the momentum there early in the game. But I don't recall him doing anything different Chicago week as (compared to) the last two weeks.
(Tonight is a big night for the people of New Orleans. What will it mean to you to watch the Saints play in the Superdome again?)
I don't watch much Monday Night Football, but I will watch that tonight. I think on a personal level, for anybody who's been a part of that community down there, it speaks volumes of the people of the Gulf region. I think it will be special in a lot of ways. We all remember the dome and the way it was used during Katrina, and now to see it back. The people I've talked to in the organization, they're really excited about it. They say the
Dome looks great, and I'll be rooting for the Saints tonight.
(How will you handle this elongated week in terms of practice?)
I'll try to do everything the same as much as possible. Obviously we have the one extra day, so we'll stay on a normal Wednesday, normal Thursday. We'll go more of an abbreviated Thursday practice on Friday and then our Saturday will be a normal Friday, and our Sunday will be a normal Saturday.
(Did using Ben Taylor in spots like you did, did you like that and will you explore it more?)
I liked it. I thought Ben went in and did a nice job. You never have enough good players. He gave Brady a little relief, his reps have been up the last two weeks. So that's something we may do more of.
(Did Jason Hunter show you anything?)
Yes, he did. He did a really good job on special teams. Very pleased with his productivity, particularly on the kickoff coverage. He needs to block a little better on the punt return. Charles had a chance for that one to come out there if he finishes his block, but I thought he did a real nice job.