Assorted quotes from Saints and Colts coaches and players
HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON Opening Statement: "The thing I told the team, when you play a game like that and turn the ball over five times, you're not going to win in this league. You can't overcome that. The first thing that we got to address is the turnovers and I don't want to just dismiss it as preseason. We need to start doing something. I was disappointed tonight. I was disappointed with the way we protected the football. We got to get that corrected. We played the starters three quarters. That was the plan coming in and these guys will be off tomorrow. We come back Monday and we got a lot of work to do."
Q: What can you literally do to upgrade your roster at this point?
A: "Right now, we got to settle in now. We got a chance to get a lot of work in this camp and evaluate a lot of players and we got to settle in now on the guys specifically and start getting them all the work. Tonight we went with a certain group on offense, a certain group on defense. It's time to go. We got one preseason game left and in two weeks we're playing. We're not a ready product right now. You can see that watching. All you guys can see it. You can't turn the ball over like that. I thought the offensive line did a pretty good job of protecting this pass rush. That was encouraging. I felt we had a pretty good tempo going, but we got a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball."
SAINTS PLAYER QUOTES
QB #9 DREW BREES Q: Can you give us your assessment of the first-team offense?
A: "The fact that we got only one touchdown on the last drive we were on, that's disappointing. To walk away in that first half scoreless. I think there's one thing about us that we've proven, as I evaluate not just this game, but the last three games is when we get that first first down, we pretty much drive down the field. I think we've shown that. Now it's just a matter of situational football when you encounter some third downs and you encounter opportunities in the red zone, I think you just have to be able to capitalize on it. Obviously you can't turn the ball over like I did today. That can't happen. I see us slowly kind of learning what it's going to take for us to be successful and I think we understand. The big emphasis for this game was starting fast. I think we did start fast. I think we got that first first down right away and we marched right down the field. Next time out, three and out, but then the next three or four drives in a row, we were right down the field. Unfortunately it resulted in either a turnover or a stalled drive. We ran out of a time on a two minute drive, but we were on our way there. I would say the encouraging thing is that yes we can move the ball, but I think the most important thing for us now to focus on is the situational game, third downs, converting third downs, keeping drives alive and then scoring touchdowns."
Q: Can you talk about your two interceptions and if you would change those throws?
A: "I think if you look at the stats and you look at the result of those two plays being interceptions, I'm very disappointed with that happening and I understand that that can't happen. I think that I'm always wanting to try to take a positive out of a negative. Tonight with some of the things happening, I think in a way maybe I kind of needed that to happen to a point, just to kind of feel like I'm back turning the ball loose again, but I need to have patience. I think at times, as I'm kind of going through the processes of bringing this shoulder back and getting out on the field again, I think I've slowly taken steps towards where I know I can be and where I want to be and I think tonight, it felt good to be out there. There were balls that I threw where it was just coming out and it felt great. It felt as good as it ever has been, but a couple of those, maybe I was just trying to force in there a little bit, because I was still trying to prove to myself that I can get that ball in there. I think now I'm at the point where you know you can do it, so now let's just get back to playing the game, being patient, taking the underneath completions when they're there, not forcing the ball in there."
RB #25 REGGIE BUSH Q: Can you talk about the game?
A: "Anytime you have five turnovers in a game, you can't expect to win by much, so today was a good learning experience for us. As a team, we all did some things that we can improve on. We all have some things that we can work on to make us better. That's what this preseason is about, the learning process and about getting better every week."
Q: Would you agree there wasn't much room for you out there to run?
A: "Actually I think the runs were wide open today. I think the line did a good job as far as the run. We just didn't run the ball a whole lot today. We didn't run it a lot, so I think when we did run the ball we did well. I'm not worried about the run at all. I think we're going to be fine with that. We just got to get the turnovers out. We can't have turnovers. Anytime you have turnovers like you said, you can't win games."
RB #26 DEUCE McALLISTER Q: Are you as disappointed as Coach Payton in the way things turned out tonight?
A: "We play to win. Whether it's preseason or regular season, you can't win a ballgame when you turn the ball over five times and that kind of hurts. We had two turnovers in the red zone. You definitely can't do that, because you're taking points off the board and when you're playing a team like the Colts, they're going to take advantage of it."
Q: Can you discuss your play this game?
A: "We felt like we could run the ball. We were able to execute them (running plays). We just got to do it consistently."
Q: How do you feel physically after making two strong back to back runs?
A: "I feel fine. It's just going out there and getting in a rhythm and making plays. From that point, as far as being able to get in the end zone, all the guys were excited. I even got knocked down by my fullback. We're excited by it. One step at a time. In the big picture we got to play well as a team."