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Perry Fewell Press Conference, 11.25.11

Q: Lots of weapons from the Saints.
A: Too many. It's going to be a big challenge for us. They are playing at a high level, playing at their place. Drew Brees is extremely efficient in his offense. They have a lot of weapons to go to.

Q: Your young linebackers covering Graham, Sproles...
A: That's a tough matchup for us. Our young linebackers have to grow up real fast. We've been emphasizing that to them all this week. The speed of the play, the speed of the game, the way we think and the way we approach them, we have to play at a very fast and high level of football in order to be successful.

Q: How important is the pass rush in terms of disrupting Drew Brees?
A: If we don't do that, then we minimize our opportunity to win. The front four is vitally important. We've said to them, ‘Hey, if we're going to be successful in this ballgame, you have to come through for us.'

Q: Why has the pass rush been less effective the last couple of weeks?
A: I can't put my finger on it, but I do think we can return [to that form] and we can rush these guys. They have a good offensive line, don't get me wrong. They have a good, solid offense, period. There's really no weak links on that offense, but we just have to watch the occasion and our d-line has to come through for us.

Q: What was the mentality of your group after the last series against the Eagles?
A: Everybody was ticked off. I won't say that we weren't ticked off. We pressured probably eight of the ten times. We were that close, but we didn't make the plays. They made the plays. They executed their offense and we didn't execute and we didn't get off the field on third down. They converted too many third downs on us. We were definitely ticked off. That's not typical of what we've been like. We've got work to do.

Q: DeSean Jackson was fined for flipping the ball at you. How much were you bothered by that?
A: When that incident happened I just thought that it was a hotly contested game at that moment and I just thought he made an error in judgment. He was just excited about the catch and I think he probably just did it by mistake. I don't think he did anything intentionally. It shocked me. I was surprised by it, but it wasn't about me and it wasn't about him at that time. It was about me getting the next call off and let's play a football game.

Q: Did he say anything to you?
A: No, he didn't say anything. Like I said, I just think he got caught up in the moment and he just flipped the ball toward me.

Q: What did you see out of Herzlich?
A: First, I was really proud of him because we put him in a position to go out and really play in his first pro football game as a starter. Against a good run team, I thought Mark was physical. I thought he was commanding in the huddle. I thought he was decisive in his reads. I thought he gained a lot of respect from his teammates by the way he played that football game. Obviously, there are some things that he was to work on and he will work on in that pass game. But I was very pleased with how he played the run and how he fit the run and how he commanded our defense.

Q: Was Deon Grant wearing the helmet with the mic?
A: Yes.

Q: Will that continue?
A: Yes.

Q: Why did you choose Deon?
A: He's going to be on the field more because of the different packages that we run. He's on the field, being able to communicate more than our other linebackers. Based upon who the person that's on the field the most, we can have the fluid line of communication with that person.

Q: Brees is on a record pace this year. Is he doing anything differently?
A: I haven't played him since 2009. From me watching him over the years, he's been with the same quarterback coach, he's been with the same coordinator, he's in the same offense. He knows that offense to a science. He knows exactly where he's going with the football when he takes the snap. He doesn't hold the football very long. He's making quick, decisive reads. I think that bodes well for him.

Q: With Coe out, will Prince assume some more responsibility?
A: Prince will assume more responsibility. There's no doubt about it.

Q: Do you think he's ready for that?
A: He's got to be. He has no choice. That's what we told him, ‘hey, you've got to be ready.' I'll give Prince a lot of credit. When he went in for that first play, he wasn't actually supposed to go in at that point in time. Antrel Rolle was dinged on the play and we were going to put in Coe. At that point in time, Coe had been dinged a little bit too and Prince had his helmet on, he was ready to go. Prince took off and went on the field, got the defensive call and went and played the call. So he was ready. We didn't tell him he had to be ready, he was ready to go. So this week I know he'll be ready because he's gotten more practice reps and as I told you guys over the last couple of weeks, he's done things in practice every week to get us excited.

Q: How would his responsibility change with Coe being out?
A: We don't really know that, how his responsibilities will change. I'll just say this. I'm glad to have him in the fold now and I'm glad that he's playing more reps for us. The guy can make plays and that bodes well for us.