Tuesday, 19 October 2010 12:06

New Orleans Saints Brees Says Ivory Had Huge Day

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"I don't think we're reached the surface of where we'll be as a football team."

---Saints quarterback Drew Brees


Drew Bress took a timeout from waiting for a call on his cell phone from his wife, Brittany, who is expecting their second son any moment, to toss out some positive opinions on-his team for the media.

Brees terms rookie Chris Ivory a big, powerful back and can get outside and run and that the Saints used four running backs last season and will welcome Reggie Bush amd Pierre Thomas back to team with Ivory and Julio Jones.


Do you think that this performance on Sunday puts the offense back on track? “I hope so. We still have a lot of things we need to continue to work on, but I think there were some encouraging things. We were able to run the football and throw the football. (It was) probably the most balanced effort we had all season. I think Chris Ivory continues to gain confidence and run the ball. Obviously he had a huge day yesterday. Ladell Betts had another solid performance. Julius Jones is getting into the mix and doing a great job. (We were) spreading the ball around in the passing game. I think it’s one of those games for us offensively for us to build on. (There were) a lot of good things. I’m still feeling like we left a little bit on the field. I wish we could have had a touchdown or two more.”

What do you see Chris Ivory’s role being upon the return of Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas? “I don’t know. We’ll just have to see. We’ll see when we get those guys back and then how things are flowing, but I felt like we had a great one, two, three, four punch last year when you talk about Pierre, Reggie and Mike Bell and then Lynell Hamilton. We used all those guys. At times, one out of the four are going to be nicked up, so if Reggie and Pierre come back, I don’t know how that affects the guys we’ve brought in, Ladell Betts, Julius Jones and Chris Ivory, but there’s a place for all those guys. We’ll see how it shakes out, but obviously all of them can help us..”


When you have a game like yesterday, is that more play-calling or just the effort overall? “There’s always effort. It’s just a matter of the game plan and how it’s executed. We overcame a few penalties yesterday, on the first two drives really. We got the offsides and delay of game and then the touchdown to Lance (Moore) and we overcame it. The next drive we had the offsides and overcome that with the touchdown to (Robert) Meachem. We overcame those penalties. You don’t always overcome those. We can’t just excuse those. Those have to be corrected. We laid two balls on the ground yesterday, fumbles that thankfully went out of bounds, but we have to secure that. Obviously with the interception at the end of the half, those are points. We were going down to get three points. We always try to avoid that.”


Does Chris Ivory have more wheels than you thought? “He’s surprised a lot of people in our building with the way that his speed and ability to pull away from the pack as he comes around the corner. We see him as a big back, a big, powerful, physical back. He got on the edge a few times and there are guys on the other team with speed and he’s getting to the corner on them or he’s pulling past them, so not only did he surprise them, he surprised some of us with that with his speed, straight line speed”


What did Tampa Bay do that allowed you to get downfield more in the passing game? “We threw a couple balls downfield, obviously hit two big ones, one in each of the first two drives for touchdowns. I think that was just execution. It was also the situation and just being prepared for it.”


Did Sean Payton have his best game of the season calling plays yesterday? “I thought he did a great job. There was a great flow. If you look at our time of possession for each drive, they’re very consistent and the plays we were running in and out of the huddle, I thought our tempo was great. You could see that we were balanced as the game went on. It was a little hotter and humid out there than we’ve experience, so I felt like we got on them, stayed on them and imposed our will and physical nature. We were able to get some really solid gains in the running game and we made a few big plays in the passing game too.”


Can you talk about the decision to run the ball three straight times at the start of the game and popping off some nice runs there? “We wanted to set the tone and we just know the importance of the run game. Obviously not only the success we had last year, but just moving forward. You can’t be one dimensional in this league. You have to be able to do both. You need to have a healthy mix and balance too. There’s going to be those games where we’re not going to rush for 200 yards a game like we did yesterday, so you need to have those times where the pass is going to pull you through or the rush is going to pull you through, but all in all at the end of the season you look at it, sit down and see you did a great job with getting four or five yards a pop, some big gains here and there and obviously the passing game was very efficient for some big gains as well.”


Your defense has done a great job the past few weeks of taking the run away from opponents. How difficult is that when someone does it to you? “Whenever you can make an offense one dimensional, you become more predictable. If you’re able to run and pass, obviously you step up to the ball and as a defense you’re going “Are they going to run it or throw it?” Is it going to be short or deep, whereas, obviously if you’re going to take something away you become more predictable and it becomes a little easier to defend. That’s why we make such an emphasis on running and throwing, not only short but deep and a different mix of the different zone running schemes that we have. We’re going to run inside. We’re going to run outside. We have the stable of backs, all of them having different strengths that we can utilize. That makes it hard, because I think defenses certainly gameplan to the runner that’s in the game.”


When you look at the conference picture right now and see five teams with the same record including yourselves do you see that it’s all out there for you guys right now? “Yes. It was last week. It was the week before. Obviously as you look it now, is there a one loss team in the NFC right now? Everybody has two losses or more, whereas we were 6-0 last year. I think the Vikings were 6-0 at this point. Maybe there were some one loss teams. It just shows the parity in the league too. There are a lot of good football teams. On any given Sunday and as the saying goes, anybody can beat anybody. You see it every week. For us, just to know that it’s out there for the taking. Obviously we went into the season feeling that way. Really nothing’s going to change that mentality for us. We’re a confident group. We have some swagger. We know how good we are and how good we can be. We still don’t feel like we’ve scratched the surface to where we can go as a football team. I feel like yesterday was definitely a step in the right direction in all phases. That was a good win on the road against a 3-1 football team in our division. That’s a positive.”


Is it possible that the Arizona loss had a sharpening effect on this team? “Look to last year. We lose the last three games, albeit we rested a lot of starters against Carolina. It was the same type of thing, everybody asking the questions you guys were asking last week. Where did the offense go? Where did all the points and big plays go? What’s happening to this team? We do our thing. We come to work and focus on the process. We understand if we take care of that, the result takes care of itself. We band together. We stick together, despite injuries. We have guys nicked up. We were in that stage last year just like that stage this year. You find a way to weather through that. You get some young guys experience that otherwise might not have gotten much to this point and they might be playing more as we go forward. You have to look at every game, every scenario, albeit it might stink at the time like the Arizona game last week. It stunk real bad, but you have to use it as a positive, which I feel like we did and we came out and had our best performance of the year thus far.”


What additional versatility does Julius Jones bring to this team? “I’ve only had a few practices with him and just one game, but I like his veteran presence. He’s calm, cool, collected.. He’s played. This will be his seventh season. He’s played in some big games. He’s played with some good offenses with Dallas and Seattle, so I think all those things help. He’s been with Sean (Payton) before for two years in Dallas. This system is not totally foreign to him. There’s a lot of carryover and similarities. I think his mentality too is “wherever I can help”. If you need me to run it inside, outside, pass protect, catch the ball, run it out of the backfield, I’ll do whatever I can to contribute. That’s what you’re looking for in veteran guys. Ladell Betts has been the same way. “Whatever I can do to help us win I’ll do.”


Are you a father for the second time yet? “I’m still a father of one. Any day now or any second.”


What do you think of the propensity in yesterday’s NFL games to have some hard hits leading with the helmet or helmet to helmet hits by defensive players around the league? “I saw the Dunta Robinson hit that put both guys down for a while. You just hope guys are okay. It’s a violent sport.. It’s a rough sport. There are times where guys are trying to do what is the legal thing to do. They show all those things. Guys are trying to do what is the legal thing to do mainly. All of a sudden there’s a helmet to helmet shot or whatever the case might be. It’s just unfortunate. You just hope that all of these guys are okay and there are no serious injuries or long-term effects because of it.”


What is the latest status with your wife? “No baby yet, any second really. The due date is today. I’m on high alert. I have the cell phone with me at all times. I bring it in the weight room and just wait until the time comes. It could be today. It could be tomorrow, a couple days from now. We’ll see.”



by Ed Staton

Dead Pelican

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