"I think we came out of the game fairly healthy. Courtney Roby dinged his knee. I don't think it's significant. Lynell Hamilton with an ankle should be fine. And then, obviously, we're making progress with where Jeremy's (Shockey) at, and we monitored his snaps yesterday. Certainly with Malcolm Jenkins being inactive, he's making good progress. From a health standpoint, it's all pretty good news. We met with our team here just about a half an hour ago for a half an hour, went through the game, and really, the upcoming week, to week and a half from a schedule standpoint. This week these guys will be in here lifting and running today, and then they'll be off on Tuesday and Wednesday. And then we'll practice Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sunday is the Pro Bowl. I haven't gotten that far yet what we want to do with that Sunday. A bunch of our players won't be available. They'll be down in Miami leaving Sunday morning. We were pleased with the win and the way our guys responded. I said this after the game. It was a game that went back and forth with momentum swings. It had a lot of effort by both teams. You tip your hat to Minnesota. They played lights out with a lot of heart. The turnovers ended up being a big stat in this game. Without that swing in turnovers, we probably don't come up on the winning end of this game. The turnover at the second quarter right before halftime was significant. Certainly the turnover at the end of the game prior to overtime was significant. And then we made enough plays in overtime to win the game. Pierre Thomas' kick return was big, for him to jump in that role, which is normally been where Courtney's played, and get us good field position. And we make just enough plays to give our kicker a chance to win the game and he does. All of that ended up being pretty special.
Did you tell Hartley anything before his kick?
"He went out the first time, and I just said go hit it. Then the timeout was called. You try to anticipate those moments. And during the course of the week last week I had said something to him at one point in regards to you know when it comes time for you to hit a game‑winning kick, what do you want me to tell you? So you want to go through it a little bit with him. I just told him "you belong here to hit this kick". "I don't know if he heard me. I said there is a little tiny fleur de lis up there between the uprights. Why don't you try to hit that fleur de lis, and he hit it solid and true. It was obviously a big kick for him and he had plenty of leg."
It looks like both you and Garrett really leaned on John Carney during the final moments of the game. Can you talk about their relationship. Even though Carney is not kicking anymore, is it really important to have him by your side?
"John's done a great job. I turn around and he's got a towel around his waist in the coaches' locker room anymore. Carney now, coach's hat on, whistle around his neck. John's got a great temperament, and a calming affect around people in general. That is one of his big strengths. I think that served him well as a kicker, and it's serving us well now as a guy that is consulting and helping a young player, just from day to day warm‑up to practice, to this is how you do it. And certainly to have a guy like John Karney in your ear during the work week, on the sidelines. I don't think I've ever seen John blip up or blip down. It's always just been the same, and I think that's a good thing."
People talk about your offense and what it does and points to the records. Did your defense kind of establish its identity last night for everybody to see?
"I think what they did was they kind of to some degree it was a little bit of what they've done all season. If you look at the takeaway numbers throughout the course of the year, it's been amazing. The amount of touchdowns we've scored defensively in a game where the first drive they went ahead 7‑0. We were able to answer and come back and tie it. There were a couple more touchdowns exchanged. They just kept battling. But had their pursuit to the football and their obsession with getting the turnovers paid dividends last night that ended up really being the difference in winning and losing."
What about the pressure they put on Brett Favre? And the hits they got on him?
"No question. I think that has anytime you're able to do that there's a long‑term effect that that begins to have that has on the quarterback. You begin to look at the football. They rushed us pretty well. And we handled that. Both quarterbacks got hit. Both quarterbacks knew that it was going to be a physical game. And it was amazing to be a part of. Really. Just to watch it, and watch the number of great athletes on both sides of the ball, young and old. Just to watch them compete. It was something else."
Can you talk about Reggie Bush's ability to stay focused, having the fumble on the punt return, staying focused to get the touchdown? Can you talk about how he's come full circle?
"I think he understood just the ball security issue there. Our defense bailed us out without any points before we went in at halftime. So we knew we were going to get the ball back in the second half. We had 50‑something seconds left. We decided to run some handoffs and both of them were with Reggie. And we were in our spread set in the hopes that maybe we split one of them for a big gain. Then we shift from being conservative there to trying to get in field goal range. Yet I knew we started with the ball to get the second half and I didn't want to turn this thing back over on our own wherever we were at. It was inside our 20. So we ended up running out the clock and got the ball back to start the second half. But he understands how to recover and come off a mistake. And I think our players in general have handled that and that turned out to be our only turnover. "
You were with Jeremy Shockey in New York for a time. Talk about that experience of going through and winning the super bowl. He said he was happy for the team, but it was just hard for him. What do you think it means for him to get the opportunity to get back to the Super Bowl again?
"I think certainly there is a competitive side to him that makes him unique and different. I think the one thing is this additional time for him to get healthy and he was close to 100%, yet because of the amount of practice time he missed, wanted to be careful. I didn't want to play him too much. So he got some quality snaps and yet we went more with Dave Thomas. I think this additional week will help him because there weren't any setbacks in his case with his knee. His toe's fine. So I think the competitive side of Jeremy Shockey is something especially when you take a handful of these guys that are going back to a city where they played college football at and, you know, we're going to practice at Miami, the University of Miami's facility, the Hurricane's facility. That is unique."
Is it the emotional aspect for him though?
"I think it's certainly a goal of his to get back in this game and to be a participant rather than to have to watch it as tough as that is. But people forget how important he was to that team the year they won the Super Bowl. When you go back to look at the early two‑thirds of the season that year before his injury. He had a lot of big plays. It's just hard, I'm sure, for any player when you can't finish the season and then you see the team that you've played for having success, and you can't be a part of that. I think that is difficult for any player."
What observations can you tell us about what you saw and heard when you left the dome last night?
"Well, there was just so much emotion. You know, when you finish with the locker room aspect, you just try to find your family. My son's concern is the confetti's going to keep us from being able to play catch on the field. That was his concern. It was just good to hug them and be around the family and enjoy the time. There never seems to be enough of it. But when you're able to get a win like that and you have the people closest to you to be a part of it, and so many of us had family in and friends in. You know, for them to have a chance to be part of t I think it makes it really special. Obviously the same goes for this upcoming game."
Last night was there any sort of congratulatory posters? Anything that your neighbors put on your lawn?
1/25/10: Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
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