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BillyCarpenter1 09-23-2003 12:00 AM

Haslett Monday press conference


Haslett Monday press conference
By Chris Pika, September 22, 2003; 6:10 pm (Updated 9:00 pm)

Saints Coach Jim Haslett held his weekly Monday press conference and spoke about the game at Tennessee and the upcoming battle with Indianapolis this Sunday (7:30 pm CT).

Listen to Coach Haslett's remarks here (RealOne Player required).

Haslett said the team came through the game with just bumps and bruises and gave an injury update. "There is nothing major from the game. Johnathan Sullivan will probably be out this week and Cie Grant will be out this week," he said. "Sedrick Hodge is making good improvement and Dale Carter came in today for the first time. Hopefully, he can start working in three or four weeks."

Haslett described the game this way, "I'll take the (blame for the) loss yesterday," he said. "On the fake punt, they did exactly what we wanted and we didn't coach it up well. They outmaneuvered us and got the first down. We should have coached Melvin Williams better on the muffed punt. We should have told him to get out of the way and block his man. His guy recovered the football. We want Michael Lewis to be the returner. We don't want a defensive lineman returning it. We will take the blame. We will put it on coaching. We have to do a better job of getting our guys in better situations. Tennessee outplayed us, but we still had the chance to win this game. They got three points off the fake punt. We had the chance to at least three points out of the muffed punt because we would have gotten the ball around midfield. They turned around and got seven. Then, we had a dropped pass by one of our receivers that could have been seven. We had a missed opportunity on an interception and the next play resulted in seven. We had opportunities to either take points off or get points. We didn't capitalize on them and two of them were coaching."

QB Aaron Brooks, who completed 15-of-23 passes for 185 yards and one TD played well against the Titans, according to Haslett. "Aaron played well under constant pressure," he said. "He threw the ball well. He ran the ball effectively. He ran the offense OK in tough situations he was put in. We were behind and they were coming after us."

Haslett credited the ball control tactics of the Titans as the key of the game. "Tennessee did a good job of controlling the football game," he said. "That is how they play. They led the NFL in time of possession last year. We knew the kind of game we were getting into. We knew that we would be limited on the number of offensive possessions. We knew what their offense was going to do to our defense. We did a pretty good job of stopping the run until the last drive when Eddie George got about 35 yards on us. They didn't have a lot of big plays and kept the chains moving. We had a lot of missed opportunities."

Consistency is what Haslett and his staff look for from the Saints each week. "We are not consistent," he said. "We are not hitting on all cylinders yet. We have to start having everything click. We haven't put a full game together in three games yet. Every team in this league is good. There is not a bad team. There are some teams that are better than others. Any given day in this league anybody can beat anybody. So, you have to be ready to play at all times. That is probably why there will never be a team that goes 16-0. They are all pretty good football teams who can beat anyone at anytime. We have to be more consistent and we have to hit on all cylinders on offense, defense and special teams."

Haslett said that the way to consistent play is to work at it daily and turn difficult situations into opportunities. "I believe in our football team," he said. "I told our team today that I believe we have a good football team. We have good players. I know the coaches believe in them. They have to start believing in themselves and have to start playing with confidence. We can't just have one thing go wrong to our team and have everything deflate. Things go wrong in the league. That is what this game is based on. You have to turn bad situations into good situations. They ran the fake punt on us. It is a bad situation, but we stopped them and made them kick three points. They shouldn't have gotten three points to begin with, but we made a pretty good defensive stand to hold them to three points. We muffed a punt. We had a bad situation stay bad. They go down and score a touchdown. We should have stopped them. Until we get to that point, you are always going to be up and down. We are just not there yet."

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