August 12, 2006

Quotes From After Saints' preseason opener

Assorted quotes from Saints and Titans coaches and players:



(Opening statements) "I thought there were some positive things. I thought they fought hard in the second half. I thought there were some things in the red area that were concerning. We got a little sloppy with the football. We had some minus plays. I told them after the game, there's a lot of things in the game we can correct. There's a lot of work that we still have to do. We probably settled for too many field goals. We would like to score more touchdowns when you have some yardage and you move the football between the 30s."

"For the most part we came out of it healthy. We got an ankle sprain with Aaron Stecker. Adrian McPherson got a bruise. He got ran over by the mascot so I don't know what to do. We go to play the Titans, we shouldn't have to worry about the mascot and the other stuff going on."

(on Stecker's injury) "Negative x-rays. He has a high ankle sprain. We will see how long (he is out). With Adrian, it was some sort of bruise or contusion."

(on how many snaps Reggie Bush had this evening) "I haven't seen the official statistics. I would be guessing if I told you."

(on Bush's performance) "I thought he made some big plays. He gave us the run on a play that got misdirected and he came back and did a great job. He did a good job on the screen, and he did a good job coming out of the backfield. I was pleased. He's smart, he's into the game and ready to play."

(on Drew Brees' performance) "I thought he seemed poised and ready to go. He had a good week of practice. I thought overall he did a good job in there. He was in control of what was going on. His arm felt good. He had no soreness. He was getting rid of the ball quickly. I will just have to watch the tape. I was pleased again with our ability to move the football, but I guess more discouraged with once we got in the red area or across mid-field, with us just settling for field goals."

(on his first team defense against the Titans first team offense) "I will have to see the tape. I thought there were some things we did well. They had some success running the football early on, and I thought as the game went on we did better against the run. After I watch the tape I will have a much better feel. The positive thing was we won the football game and I told those guys afterwards regardless of what we doing, we are trying to win. They hung in there. Some young guys stepped up and made some plays and we will see."


(Opening Statements) "The biggest challenge early in the preseason is attempting to assess how you did without actually looking specifically at the tape, so I am going to give it my best shot."

"What we wanted to do going into this game was to keep things simple, stay basic, execute, run the football, and challenge the defense to give up field goals rather than touchdowns. We challenged the offense to run the football and not turn it over. You guys can look at that and in a lot of ways we did that, especially in the first half."

"We had some miscues early and I think it is important to point out that when there are issues in preseason games, they are learning experiences. The first penalty on Chris Hope, Pac's penalty, we have a chance to make long field goal and we deliver a high snap, so those are the kind of things that one would expect to be corrected."

"There is a lot to learn from this. I thought the effort was good. I thought there were some good things at first glance. There is a lot of room for improvement and that is what we are going to continue to do. This game kind of puts an exclamation point on the first two weeks of camp. I thought going away was a much-needed thing for this team. I am impressed with the team's personality right now and the team's discipline for the most part."

"As far as injuries are concerned, we had some minor things. I guess the most notable one and most curious was Vince (Young). He's got a mild ankle sprain. He should be fine, probably a little sore in the morning. I don't expect him to miss much, but we will keep you up on that. I didn't take him out because of the ankle. We had intended to take him out prior to the drive, to take him out and give Cody and Matt some work. I think he could have probably finished if we had taped him up."

"We held Rob Reynolds, Ty Calico, and Benji Olsen (out), but they should be back next week. That also includes Bo Scaife and Greg Guenther. I made a decision early yesterday or late Thursday night to not play LenDale White partly as a result of the incident that took place on the practice field and some other things that led up to that. He did not play tonight because of disciplinary reasons. He is on track, he's focused, and very anxious to get back to work Monday and play next week."

"Also, I have another issue today that I want to bring to your attention. Randy Starks, early this afternoon, was involved in some sort of domestic issue or dispute. He was arrested. He was charged and during that process I told Randy that there was no place for him being a part of this team tonight. What follows is a legal issue and anything else is obviously between Randy and the club. I am very, very disappointed in what happened today. I felt it was best that he not participate this evening with his teammates."

(on if Randy Starks will be allowed back on the team) "I can't comment further. I don't know the status. I have been busy the last couple hours."

(on if Vince Young's performance tonight is what he expected) "I really would have liked to see the catch. It was a great throw. Roydell (Williams) usually makes that catch. We had opportunities to make some big plays. Yeah, he understood what he was doing. He had a good feel for it and went in and made some big plays. You saw what he is capable of doing with his legs and he got himself in a tough situation. We had it second and goal on the 5 and he should have thrown the ball out of bounds and instead took a sack, and it's third and goal and 10 and it's hard to get there from the 10-yard line. He's got plenty of room for improvement, but he's obviously a very exciting player to watch and probably a very difficult one to defend, like Reggie Bush."

(on if there were any surprises tonight) "Yeah, we saw some good things on special teams, offensively, the offensive line gels well and protected well and Billy (Volek) commanded the offense throughout his time. Chris (Brown) ran hard, Travis (Henry) ran hard. We saw some good things there. Or course we will watch the tape to further evaluate the players."

(on if he is experimenting with kickoff returns in the preseason) "No, I think we have a pretty good punt returner in Pacman (Jones) and an excellent kick off returner in Bobby Wade, he has shown he can do it and Courtney (Roby) also did good. A great supporting cast a really great supporting cast of blocking on most of the returns, I think. Those that we had problems with were probably misread a little bit, but I thought the guys did a good job of setting things up."

(on if Reggie Bush is as good as he thought) "There was no doubt in my mind well before the draft that he had tremendous potential."

(on Pacman Jones penalty) "It was a learning experience. He learned and he was fully aware of what he did."



(on his play tonight) "I felt alright. The first couple of drives weren't that good, but on the later drives I felt like we had a couple of chances to score. I felt good that we scored at least two out of three drives."

(on Reggie Bush's play) "Reggie is a physical player. Most people perceive him as a guy that has quick feet and can make people miss. Reggie is not afraid to take big hits."

(on his thought of the team's offensive performance) "I was happy we were able to get points and have the ability to move the ball down the field. We need to get better in the redzone and start to score once we get in the defense's 20-yard line. We've got to work on that. "


(on his first NFL game) "It felt good. I think I had some pretty good plays, and it was great to get my feet wet. Most importantly, we won the game. Even though it's preseason it's good to get out to a winning start."

(on the big hit from Pacman Jones) "I like to run. It was me being me. I try to make plays and I cut to the left side and he was there. Pacman is a great player and he wanted to make a big hit."

(on former USC teammate LenDale White) "I had a chance to talk to him before the game. We've all got to learn and it's a process being in this league. I am still behind him 100 percent."


(on his thoughts of tonight's game) "I saw some good things. We still have a long way to go, but I think we will be alright. It was good to win. I'm not concerned with the team overall, but there are some smaller things that we need to get worked out. Coach (Sean) Payton will work those out with the younger guys and we will be alright."

(on his catches made during the game) "I saw some good things from him (Drew Brees) and we had some chances to score."

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