Saints LB Curtis Lofton

SportsFootballJonathan VilmaRoman HarperAtlanta FalconsDrew BreesCurtis Lofton

What are your first thoughts here?

“I am excited. They expect a lot of me and I expect a lot of myself too. The reason why I came here is to win a championship and that is what everyone’s expectations are. You just have to keep taking it day by day and getting better. That is the number one goal right now.”


Does it help that you are not the only defensive player learning a new system?

“Yeah, that is kind of beneficial because we are all taking these growing pains at the same time. I am excited. Spags (Steve Spagnuolo) is a great defensive coordinator and I am looking forward to everything that he has.”


How similar are the defenses of where you came from and here?

“They are similar but they are not the same. Spags, I would say he is more aggressive and I like that. He asks a lot of the linebackers. We have to come up to the call.”


What is it like being the same locker room with these guys?

“When I was going through the  process and they said the Saints were interested in me, I only took one visit and that was here. Up in Atlanta, I hated these guys. That is the rivalry, you hate each other. Once I got here, hanging around Coach (Sean) Payton, Mickey (Loomis), Coach (Joe) Vitt, and Coach Spags, it felt right. It was family. Before I made my decision, I called Harp (Roman Harper), I called Will (Smith), and they were very receptive. They talked to me and said ‘Hey, we need you. Come be a part of something great.’”


What have your former teammates said to you?

“The thing about this league is that everyone knows it is a business and you have to take care of yourself and your family. There have been some that called me a traitor, but all in good fun.”


How much did Jonathan Vilma’s possible suspension weigh your decision to come here?

“It didn’t influence me at all. When I signed on here, the first person I called and talked to was Vilma. We talked about playing with each other. He is a great player and there is no replacing a guy like that. We have to step up and fill those shoes.”


Is it weird looking at the offense without Coach Payton and Drew Brees?

“No. I am looking forward to having Brees back and I know they will get it done. All the players are still here. You still have Jimmy Graham, you still have (Darren) Sproles. You still have that big offensive line, all of the guys that I am used to seeing. It is different seeing them without their helmets though, I will say that.”


Did you have a personal individual rival on the Saints when you played with the Falcons?

“We hated each other but at the same time there was a lot of mutual respect. Not really. I just don’t like offensive lineman. I guess you could say any of those guys’ names.”


Did the criticism of you during your free agency have an effect on you?

“When you are a free agent, every weakness you have they are going to look at. If you look at my time in Atlanta, my first year I was a first and second down linebacker. My second year, I played more than 95% of the snaps. The past two years, I played 99% of the snaps. I guess, if you play 99% of the snaps, you couldn’t say that I was a first and second down linebacker.”


Why do these criticisms come out when you are a free agent?

“As much as you don’t want it, it plays in the money. That’s what it comes down to. Every team has their makeup of what they think a player can do and what they think he can’t do. A lot of teams may have said that. A lot of teams didn’t. It is on me to prove those guys wrong. I do have that chip on my shoulder. Everyday I am going to go out and get better and work on my weaknesses.”


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