Tuesday Feb 2. Press Conference
(on playing in the Super Bowl back in Miami)
Its obviously a great a great feeling anytime that you put in a lot of hard work. Your dream is always to play in a game like this and to be back in this city, where a lot of hard work got me where I am today, is very gratifying and humbling.
(on the atmosphere back in New Orleans)
The fans are much deserving. They had some tough times with disasters and some rough days with their football operations. They are very good fans and are much deserving of us, not only being at this game, but expecting us to win the game.
(on the example of the teams resilience this year against the Miami Dolphins during the regular season)
We were down by a pretty big margin at halftime and no one really thought that we were out. Ive said this before, Ive been on ball clubs that would have been like, Were down by a lot of points and well play it safe. We went out and finished the game. We had a slogan in the offseason to finish and we get the perfect opportunity to have the ending of our word, [which is to] finish.
(on practicing back at the University of Miami)
I havent gone back there yet. Yesterday it was raining, so we had to go up all the way to Davie, Fla. We went to the UM, and I got made fun of by all of my teammates about the locker room. They didnt get a chance to see the weight room or the outdoor facility. They saw the six national championships on the wall, so that speaks for itself. But going being back there was something special.
(on both him and LB Jonathan Vilma being drafted by New York teams and now playing together in Super Bowl XLIV)
Jonathan and I are real close. I played with him at UM. He got drafted by the Jets and I got drafted by the Giants, but he got traded and I got traded and it seems to be all working out.
(on the opportunities that he might have in the Saints game plan)
"The game plan will be cut down tomorrow. I dont want to give you any premeditated Nostradamus. We put in some of the game plan earlier in the week and its very basic stuff. Were playing a very good football team, we know that. Were definitely going to have to play our best football to try to win it.
(on the origin of the pregame chant that QB Drew Brees uses to fire up the team)
Thats something that he came up with when he had the chance to go to a couple of USO tours and spend a lot of time with the Marines. Obviously when we play a game, they always compare it to a life or death situation. Its not war, its not life or death, in comparison to what those guys [go through in] Afghanistan. I think he got that from the Marines, we kind of followed it and it was a great chant to help us go 13-0. Everyone is in this thing together and everyone gives their own speech before a game and its a very close team.
(on his relationship with late New York Giants owner Wellington Mara)
We had a connection. He and my grandfather were about the same age and wed always talk about little things. Just the things that hes done for that organization, for the NFL, for us as a team to be in a situation like this. He did a lot for this league and I dont think a lot of people realize what he did for the NFL.
(on how hed like the New York fans to remember him before being traded to the Saints)
Ill leave that to them. I love all of the fans up north and everything. I can see why they were bitter about the situation. They came and saw every Sunday how much hard work I put in every game. They remember me by the plays that I made, the hard work, never being arrested or doing anything stupid, or any off-the-field issues. Hopefully they can respect the fact that I take this game very seriously. I have no wife or kids and all I really do is football. All I think about is football, and when Im done with football Ill probably start a family but Im not quite there yet.
(on the Colts defense and possible matchup problems)
They do a good job. They have some good safeties and are obviously missing [S] Bob Sanders, but they play a very simple defense. They get a lot of pressure from their front four so you have to be able to hold up that front four in order to be able to give the quarterback that three-foot space in front of him to step up and throw the ball. I understand the weapons that they have on defense and Im sure they understand the weapons that we have on offense.
(on being on another Super Bowl team)
I actually have a leg thats not broken, so that helps me out. Im active, thats another thing. Just a whole new system, its definitely a unique system, a unique offense. [Head coach] Sean Payton is a mad scientist when it comes to route concepts, so you can bet that hes going to have his best game plan for this game.
(on the leaders on the Saints team)
I think the obvious leaders on this team are [QB] Drew [Brees] and multiple people on this team. Its not just one person that they try to point out and make a leader on this team. Everyone has their arm in this. Everyones connected to the arms, the hands, so I think that just being out there and talking to the guys on the sidelines, always being active, even if Im not playing in the games, and giving messages from what I see from a standpoint from the sidelines when theyre playing [is special].
(on his thoughts leading up to the Super Bowl)
I dont know. A lot of old memories might come back, I cant really tell you. I dont know. Ive never been at the tunnel of the Super Bowl, but I know that the team that were facing has been to the Super Bowl before and they are experienced. Theyre staying at the same hotel, they have the same setup as theyve had when they were down here last time and doing the same things. We know that we have to play our best game. We know we have to do the right things, and thats not missing any meetings, being on time, not going out partying or doing stupid stuff to get yourself in trouble. I think that everyone knows how important that is leading up to the game because that can distract the whole team, and thats the last thing that this team needs.
(on the personal significance of playing in the Super Bowl)
You want to play in it. Its something that coaches have always harped on you as a kid and in college about maybe one day [playing]. You hear stories about, I was at a Super Bowl or part of a Super Bowl team. Thirty years from now, this is something that we can take, which is very special, and all of us that are on this team can talk about this 20 to 30 years from now. Weve had coaches that have been in this league for 30 years that havent even been in a Super Bowl yet and we know how much is at stake and how much they want it as much as we do. I can promise you that its going to be fun.
(on what a championship would mean to the city of New Orleans)
A lot, the fans are very deserving and expect us to win this game. Just being here is not satisfying for them. They want us to win in a true fashion. Were playing and expecting to win [this] game and it would be great for the city to bring back tourism to the city of New Orleans and any kind of money into that city because of the rough times that theyve been through. Its a good feeling to be part of that.