Q and A With Saints linebacker Scott Fujita
After missing two games with a staph infection, linebacker Scott Fujita had a season-high 10 tackles against the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday, but his effort was not enough to prevent the Saints from losing for the first time. In the locker room, he talked about the Saints’ recent defensive struggles, what went wrong in a game they almost stole at the end and the importance of getting injured cornerback Jabari Greer back in the lineup.
What was the feeling like during the Saints’ fourth-quarter comeback attempt?
“We never doubted that we would win the game, even at the top of the fourth quarter when we were down 21. We were looking around and everybody still felt like we’d win the game. We had our shots, but defensively we couldn’t get off the field on that third-and-7 (Cowboys conversion at the start of their final drive). That’s a play we’ve been making all season long. Today we just didn’t make it. You’ve got to give the Cowboys credit. They came up with a big play and had a real good plan for us.”
Were you surprised the offense didn’t get it done when it got the ball back with two minutes left?
“They just ran out of time. There really wasn’t a whole lot of time left for them to work with. They had no timeouts. They’ve created a lot of magic all season long. Sometimes you just run out of magic, and we ran out of time.”
Is it in any way a positive to no longer have the pressure of being undefeated?
“No. We like to have pressure. We never even really talked about the pressure of going undefeated. We talked about the pressure each week of winning the next game because that’s the big game and the only one you can play that week. We all wanted a perfect season. We didn’t talk about it much, but deep down you want that. We’re still in a position to do a lot of good things, so we just have to move on and get better.”
Why were Tony Romo and the Dallas offense so successful, particularly in the first half?
“They just had a sharp game plan for us. They came out and did a lot of different things formation-wise. They were sharp. Romo’s a good player. We did get some pressure and got after him a little bit, but the receivers played well. They just had a good plan.”
The defense has started slowly the last few weeks. How much of a concern is that?
“Obviously there’s a lot of things we can clean up, and that’s something we need to talk about. The last few weeks we’ve started slow and finished games really strong, and today was kind of another one of those games. That’s something we have to look at and work on. Early in the season we started games with a bang and finished well, so we have to get back to that.”
Was that third-and-seven conversion by Dallas the pivotal moment of the game?
“To me that was the play of the game that we didn’t make. We make that, with the way our offense is rolling, we’re probably headed to overtime. Again, that’s one of those plays typically we have been making, and today we didn’t. Give them credit, and now we just have to move on.”
Can you learn more in a loss than a win sometimes?
“I don’t think so, not with this team. This team is mature enough to always look at themselves critically. I know I do. I know a lot of other guys do, so when you come in, win, lose or draw, you’re just trying to get better. You’re always trying to clean up the things that didn’t go well for you. This week we’ll have more things to clean up on that usual, and we’ll do that.”
Is the key goal now to maintain the No. 1 seed in the NFC?
“That’s what we’re fighting for now. The perfect season, that’s over, so now it’s about getting home field throughout the playoffs. That’s big. If we get that, that’s a good situation to be in.”
Are you at all concerned about the team starting to get worn down?
“We’re actually starting to get guys back and healthy. It’s been a struggle fighting through some injuries, but it’s part of the game. We’ve had to do it the last couple of seasons. Once we start to get some of these guys back, I feel good about the position we’re in.”
How important is it to get Jabari Greer back
“He was playing as good as any corner in the league before he got hurt. Especially the kind of defense we play is really tailor made for the kind of player he is. I can’t wait to get him back. I know he’s eager to get back and I’m sure he’s going to do everything he can to get back as quickly as possible.”
Are offenses doing anything different the last few weeks to hurt this defense?
“They are just executing better. Without looking at the film, I thought they had a really good plan. They came out and especially in the first 15 minutes attacked us well. It took some time for us to settle down and get into a groove.
Re: Q and A With Saints linebacker Scott Fujita
Ok Fujita knows whats up...so lets hope the coaches do as well and get this team ready and make adjustments when we need to. We have been good at that all season long..
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