Wednesday Feb 3. Press Conference
(on trying to live up to the high expectations he entered the NFL with)
It hasnt been everything that I would have liked it to have been. I think in a perfect world I would have wanted everything to happen much quicker. I kind of imagined that Id have a couple Super Bowl rings by now and a couple Pro Bowls. Its a tough league. This is a league of all stars. It hasnt been all bad because Im enjoying it. Im having a great time. Were in the Super Bowl right now and thats something that we should be proud of, being the first Saints team to make it to the Super Bowl. As far as my own personal goals, I know theyll come because Ive always been a firm believer that hard work pays off. Its just taken a little longer than I expected.
(on the pressure of playing in the Super Bowl)
I think once you get into that, putting pressure on yourself, thats when you play your worst. I try to focus on making the most of every opportunity when I get a chance and not trying to seemingly put the team on my back and win the game. This is going to take a complete team effort to win this game and not just one player.
(on being humbled in his first few NFL seasons)
Its definitely been a humbling experience for me. Just on the road weve traveled so far and the hard work its taken to get here, in a perfect world I would have imagined Id already have a couple Super Bowl rings by now. Thats just part of it. Its a hard league, but you appreciate it that much more. I appreciate it so much more now because I understand the workload it took to get here.
(on being healthy)
Its extremely satisfying to be injury free right now and just to be healthy. Im excited and I couldnt be more happy with where I am physically right now. Going into this game, I can just let it loose and not have to worry about injuries or anything like that.
(on dealing with injuries in recent years)
It was tough dealing with injuries. Any time youre not on the field its tough. Its hard to sit there and watch your teammates playing and youre not able to help them. You almost have the sense of maybe youre not giving the organization their moneys worth or living up to your own expectations. Thats just part of it. This is a tough game. Its a physical sport. All you can do is deal with it as it comes and try to bounce back as quickly as possible.
(on if hes a different kind of player than he thought hed be)
I wouldnt say Im a different player. I feel like Ive always been myself. Definitely the thing that is different for me is its been a humbling road just because of the injuries I had to battle and the last two seasons when we didnt make the playoffs. I wouldnt say Im a different player. I would just say its been more of a humbling experience and a learning process for me at the same time.
(on having to adjust to sharing the load)
I shared time in the backfield with LenDale (White) at USC. Its not something Im not accustomed to. Im used to it and we make it work. We have a lot of great players on our offense and I think Coach Payton does a great job of just spreading the ball around to everybody and not really allowing (defensive) coordinators or defenses to focus on one guy.
(on his first impressions of Marques Colston)
When he first came in I knew he was tall and was kind of raw. We all were a little raw. We still had Joe Horn and Donte (Stallworth). I just remember all the hype at the time. Everybody thought Donte and Joe were going to be the starters forever and Colston was one of those guys that just emerged from the shadows. He started playing great and the rest is history. Hes a great player. Hes overcome a lot, too.
(on his contract situation)
Anything is possible. Thats kind of the mindset you have in this league. As for me, I would love nothing more than to be in New Orleans for the rest of my career. Obviously I dont have a crystal ball so well see what happens. As of right now, I just try to focus on whats important and thats winning the Super Bowl. After the season is over, me and my agent will get together and well talk about whatever we need to handle and well go from there. As of right now, I really just try to focus on whats most important: winning the Super Bowl and bringing that back home. Well see what happens after that.