We had goals going into the game. We had great respect for Oakland, they have been drafting at the top of the league for a long time. They have some outstanding football players. I think the first drive of the game was a great way for us to start. We had been away for three weeks. We got back home, we knew about playing at home and getting the crowd in the game. We really wanted to excite our fans. We wanted to enjoy the fan reaction to a little bit of success. The crowd would get in the game, we would play inspired, our inspiration would inspire the fans, and their excitement and enthusiasm would inspire us. We were able to do that right off the bat and then had a couple of things happen which were really good for us. One of them at point blank range, established a lead for ourselves. A lot of people played and lots of people made outstanding contributions. Our defense only had 44 snaps, our offense had 65. We got outstanding plays, not only from Eli, but from Manningham, Steve Smith and from Bradshaw. Our defensive people played. We got the ball out any number of times with Terrell (Thomas), with Tuck, and people were able to pressure the quarterback, knock the ball out and give us field position. One of the real interesting things I thought was not only were we knocking the ball out, but we were recovering the ball. That has been an issue, sometimes in the past we have created the fumble, but we have not been able to come up with the ball. Yesterday we were able to do that and I was pleased with that. David Carr came in. Not enough was said about what he did yesterday. He came into the ball game and he had prepared all week. Certainly as a veteran quarterback and a pro he understood the role he would play provided that Eli did not play. Eli came back later in the week and took most of the snaps. David had an opportunity, even in the first half, to play, to move our team down the field in a two minute drill. He got us in the end zone with his legs one time and made a couple of plays with the pass and with the run. So, it was good. It was good to have him on the field and our offensive team rally and support him and bring confidence. There were other good signs as well. I thought the three punt returns of Sinorice Moss, he had a bunch of them, and we didn’t end up with the average we would have liked, but three of them were outstanding, with a long of 16. That was very good in terms of what we have been accomplishing there. I thought our kickoff coverage was outstanding. We had (Jonathan) Goff cover and tackle. He had three tackles. Gerris Wilkinson played well, did a nice job, had a couple of tackles. He got to play from scrimmage so that was a good sign indeed. Lots of people played and contributed; that’s the way we wanted it. Eli was able to start the game, get us off to a real good start and we were able to get him out and get him rested. Hopefully that will pay off for us in terms of our practice this week.
Q. Tynes made his field goals yesterday, but did you feel he kicked to your satisfaction?
A. Yeah, I thought he did, with the exception of one extra point. I have to find out from Lawrence, Jeff and probably Zak what that issue was. I don’t know; the ball wasn’t struck and didn’t go through the way you would expect it to go through. It wasn’t high and it didn’t have the normal end over end. So I do want to ask about that, but I thought when called upon, Lawrence did a good job. He had some good kickoffs. He had one that wasn’t pretty to the eye, but tied the opponent up. That is something we continue to evaluate. He did a good job. Stepped up and made his field goals, made his extra points.
Q. Is there such thing as an ideal backup quarterback and if so, is David Carr it?
A. I am not sure if there is. But, I know that he is a gifted athlete. He gives us a little bit of style change from Eli because he does have the ability to run. It is not always a design, it is not the designed quarterback draw, it is not the designed perimeter move the pocket play. You sometimes create that, you don’t ask him to do that, it’s not first and foremost. Throwing the ball, he does have a progression that he follows just like any other quarterback but as you saw yesterday in a key situation there on third down he took it down and ran for a first down. Was a really outstanding contribution to be able to do that. For the opponent to look at and see that, he can’t defend every aspect of our team the same way.
Q. Do you still feel like you have to look at kickers?
A. All you want is the best. Lawrence is capable of that. Whatever the issues have been we would like to think we are working on eliminating them. I think as you go along here, we have played five games and you certainly need to be able to depend and rely on certain aspects of our game, especially when they are in that very makeable range. That is what we strive to do. As I said yesterday, our coverage teams picked it up. We had three inside the twenty, probably could have had five, we were in position to do that. That is a big, huge plus for us to be able to make progress along that line. Same as progressing with the field goals. We are trying to make sure that everything is in place. We do our due diligence on the players around the league because you are always trying to stock up your priorities in terms of who you would bring in if you need players and we will continue to do that. We always will. In an area where you need to exercise some concern, we did that, and Lawrence performed well yesterday and I am hoping he will continue to.
Q. To be clear, are you bringing in any guys this week to kick?
A. Not at this point in time, no.
Q. It appears that you may have gotten through a game for the first time this season without any significant injuries. Is that accurate?
A. I hesitate to say anything because last week we had no idea and we ended up with two surgeries. As of this morning we appear to have the guys who have practiced, everyone who is on the list, with the exception of the Boley, Canty, Ross group, should be able to practice. Bryan Kehl is slated to be able to start to practice. Eli is hopefully going to be in position where he can practice. C.C. Brown hurt his shoulder on that return. I think he is going to be okay. So, we will see with regard to how we go. I think as far as anything shocking or new today, I don’t believe there is anything to report.
Q. The secondary seems to be one of the best groups of your team. Is it a function of the defense as a whole or is there something special going on there?
A. I would like to think there is something special going on, but I do think it is a team game. I do think that we play good team defense. I think part of the team defense is the pressure on the quarterback. That has gotten better as we have gone along. We can all say there is some benefit going on there. People are going to take their shots on first down with play action or what have you. But the pressure that is exerted in the so called passing downs has certainly helped us. They are in position, they are defending well, they are in position, they are in the right spot.
Q. How do you think Terrell Thomas has responded to his challenges?
A. He has done a good job. He had a pressure, a forced fumble yesterday, made some tackles. Pretty much high production. Obviously there are always things that can be done better, but I do think he has played solid football for us. He has played solid football for a long time. Aaron Ross’ injury situation did develop during training camp. Terrell has had a ton of snaps and has responded well.
Q. Is Ahmad Bradshaw reading blocks much better this year?
A. No doubt. A week ago I think he showed that. He is more aware, he is more in tune, he certainly does understand the protections and he does move in and he is physical.
Q. With his production do you want to get him the ball more?
A. I think 11 carries for 110 yards is good. I am just kidding. We will see how that goes. We do have issues since he practices basically once a week but they are trying to do a little bit more than that. We haven’t received any clearance. We feel like there is a chance to give him some more snaps, but we will see just how that distribution goes. I think yesterday, being able to get Gartrell in there, with Brandon getting any number of carries and doing a good job of catching the ball coming out of the backfield and doing a nice job of pass protection, I think we have a pretty good mix developing. As I said a week ago, if we can get Danny Ware back healthy I think not only will it help in terms of our rotation and our availability, but it will help our special teams as well.
Q. When you look at the fact that you guys have been able to jump out to leads and hang onto them, is that something that you look for?
A. I don’t sit there the way you people do. When we were on the road there was a lot being said about being on the road. I think our concern is always with our team. How is our team doing? How is our team responding? I think what has happened is from week to week there are different challenges. We have presented those challegnges to our team. The response by and large has been good. There have been some things obviously that are not as good as others but that takes place with any team. As long as our focus, our attitude is good, we are getting maximum effort, they are doing a nice job of helping each other practice. As long as those things are taking place and we can address our areas of concern and get the kind of effort we have been getting to improve in those areas, then my concern is always what I say is with our team.
Q. Does that message remain consistent this week or do you emphasize at all that the quality of opponents clearly steps up in the next few weeks?
A. We give every opponent its due. No matter what the situation is with a particular team when we prepare for them and when I introduce that team on Wednesday morning they will be given their due. Therefore, what has been accomplished with a 4-0 team, they are certainly going to be recognized and our players will understand why that team is 4-0. They certainly will have the opportunity to study and as we say, put them under the microscope and be able to understand what makes this particular team so successful. There is no question that particular team and the statistical ranking and consistency and for example defensively they are playing so much more aggressive and accomplishing so much more. That will all be laid out and our players will have great respect for this team. The Saints are a good team.
Q. Thoughts about going against Jeremy Shockey?
A. Jeremy Shockey is an excellent football player. He was an outstanding player here. When I first came here, I don’t think that the world was aware as they should have been of the quality of the player he was, in terms of the all-around player. I thought he was an outstanding blocker. We all know about his vertical abilities and the seams and all the other things he does so well. Jeremy Shockey is a heck of a football player.
Q. When he left and once Tiki was gone, did Eli have to step forward as a leader?
A. There is no question. More than that, the number of years and the maturity factor for not only Eli, but the younger guys in our locker room. It had become obvious to them that now they were in position, if we were going to go forward, then strong leadership had to step forward. That was going to come from the younger group of guys.
Q. How does Boss look, will he be ready to practice?
A. Well, we will see. I don’t really have a clear notion on that right now. I think he has made good progress but we’re going to have to see how that goes. I think he is going to be worked out tomorrow and we will know more.
Q. How did Darcy Johnson play?
A. He played pretty good. I was confident that he would and I think he did.