Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks talks with head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints before the 2011 NFC wild-card playoff game at Qwest Field on January 8, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton

(On their approach in preparing a game plan to play against the Seahawks...) “Well to some degree, it would be similar to playing divisional games. Where it’s not unusual… we played a game this year with Carolina, then went on the road to Seattle and turned around and played Carolina the next week. So I think that you look at that tape, you study it closely, I think you still you look at the recent games and then all the way to the start of the season and even last year in your preparation.”

(On what made him believe that Rob Ryan was the right fit as the Saints defensive coordinator...) “Well I didn’t know Rob [Ryan] and really hadn’t met him. It was after talking with a handful of people, his passion for the game is contagious with the players, he works great with the rest of the staff. All of those things that you value as a head coach and I think the process was a good one for us and you learn a little bit more when you start researching someone like that and it ended up working out great for us.”

(On how the Seahawks has stopped the production of Jimmy Graham...) “Well each week, there’s certainly areas of the field and situations where you try to feature a player like Jimmy [Graham] and Seattle has done an outstanding job on a number of good players. But I think the main thing is recognizing how they’re taking him away. There’s some things that Seattle does a very good job with, just within in their base scheme and how they play their coverages. They’re very active in the secondary, they do a great job of applying pressure on the quarterback and you put those two things together and it becomes very challenging.”

(On what the Seahawks did that made it a challenge for the Saints offense to be successful...) “Listen, they did a ton of things well. They rushed the passer, they stopped the run, they covered the routes down the field. You name it.”

(On Richard Sherman...) “Well I think he’s very instinctual, I think he works hard in his preparation. So I think he’s smart and you can see that in his play. I think he’s got outstanding ball skills; he’s got the size, the length, obviously the confidence. So you get a unique combination of a lot of things that you would look for in a corner and he possesses those.”

(On the importance of if a man goes down, the next man steps up philosophy...) “Well it’s kind of our league. With the rosters, the way they are, there’s going to be attrition when you look at a 16 game week schedule and you hope that you stay healthier than most and you hope that you are able to keep most of your starters intact. We’ve had a handful of injuries defensively, a few on offense and I think the key is developing the younger players, developing your back up players throughout the work week and some of that is more challenging with the way you practice and some of the tempos you have, but it’s none the less, it’s still important.”

(On the keys to improving the Saints' running game...) “Well some of it is opponent-based and again I think up front, our guys have done a very good job. Last week, the situation, the type of game we were in, I thought the backs run hard. I thought that at the point of attack, we did a very good job.”

(On the issues he faced at CenturyLink...) “Well there’s probably four or five of these stadiums that really challenge you with communication, they challenge you with crowd noise because it’s kind of like August down here in New Orleans. At some point, it’s as hot as can be and we don’t need to know the exact temperature. So it’s loud and fortunately, we have one of those environments as well. But, you really have to be meticulous, focus all the attention to detail to minimize the plays we were just discussing.”

(On if he has any concerns for the Saints secondary...) “How concerned am I? Yeah we didn’t report any injuries today. So I think this. I think those guys on the back end will be ready to play and I think their focus last week and what we were able to accomplish last week was good enough to get a win and certainly as a coach, you are concerned every week just about your preparation and the match-ups. But I think they’re doing well.”


New Orleans Saints LB Curtis Lofton

(On how the Saints will change of the outcome of the game...) “I think that there’s a lot of things that we can do. I think number one, don’t turn the ball over, get turnovers, get pressure on the quarterback, keep him in the pocket, don’t let him scramble and make big plays, stop the run game and be efficient in the red zone. So I feel like there’s a ton of improvement and that’s what we’re looking to do.”

(On what the Saints take away from their last match-up against the Seahawks...) “I think that we just got to execute. I feel like we had great calls called but we didn’t execute and they out-executed us in the first game. So coming into this game, we just got to execute and play our style of football.”

(On how the Saints have been able to play at a high level after experiencing many injuries to the Saints’ starting lineup...) “Well I mean it’s been tough but here, we have the next man up. Everyone prepares like they’ll eventually be the starter and when someone goes down, then the next guy steps up, plays great, and becomes a key part for us. So losing those guys hurt us, but at the same time we had to move on. We’ll miss Parys [Haralson], but we have other guys that will step up in his role and play good for us.”

(On what it’s like playing for Rob Ryan...) “It’s two different approaches. Spags [Steve Spagnuolo] had a different kind of system and [Rob] Ryan runs a different system. They’re very complex, but I think Rob’s [Ryan] personality fits more with the group we have now and Rob instills confidence in us and I think that’s been the biggest thing for us that’s changed. We’re a confident bunch and we feel like we can play with anybody.”

(On the Saints' defense never knowing what to expect based on Rob Ryan’s approach in preparation for games...) “For me, when I watch film, I kind of see some things that I know is going to be called and then Rob [Ryan], he’s always wanting to have something exotic and fun for the players because I feel like it causes other teams that I have to worry about, you never know what they’re going to be in.”

(On the Saints' versatility in playing different styles of defense...) “Well I think that’s just an added element to our defense. We can pressure, we can drop back into coverage. So we can do both and it just depends on what we’re taking into the game plan. We can blitz or we can drop back into coverage. So I feel like as the offensive coordinator and opposing quarterbacks, you’ve got to be prepared for both.”

(On the challenges the Saints faced when they played the Seahawks the last time...) “Well just on the defensive side, there’s a few things that went wrong. We let Russell [Wilson] make big plays with his legs. We were confused, we left guys open, we didn’t tackle their screens. So there were numerous things that we could’ve done. But that’s all in the past. We’re looking forward and it’s another big challenge for us, but we’ll be up for it.”

(On if there is a visible effect on the Saints after winning a road game…)  “Well I mean we’ve always been a confident bunch. We don’t really care about what everyone says about us on the road. But last week, any time you get a win on the road during the playoffs, that’s huge. In fact, getting a win at any time during the playoffs, that’s huge. So we’re feeling good and looking forward to this week.”