Metairie, La. - The Saints defense held the Cowboys in check for most of Sunday's game but the unit was burnt by big plays. Overall, middle linebacker Curtis Lofton says he's pleased with the defense's progress. The following is his conversation with the media, as transcribed by the New Orleans Saints:
Did you guys raise Coach Vitt's blood pressure a little at the end yesterday?
"We made things interesting for coach, but maybe it's come down just a little bit."
Other than the last couple minutes of regulation were you pleased with the defensive performance yesterday?
"I thought for most of the game we played great as a defense. We got off the field on third downs and shut down their run game, but one thing we definitely need to improve on is our two minute and no huddle defense, because when you get to the fourth quarter, you can't give up 14 points that quick and it's just disappointing on that fact. But when we got to overtime, we forced a three-and-out and helped our team out."
With the season finale coming up and knowing how the business side of football, what do you think of the prospect that you might be playing with some people for the last time as Saints on Sunday?
"This is a business. Everyone knows that no team is going to be the same year in and year out. It changes, but at the same time you cherish the moments that you have with these guys and the relationships that will continue for years and years and you just go out this last game, have fun and enjoy each other's company."
Do you know about the possibility of the defense giving up the most yards per game in NFL history, is it something you would like to try to avoid or does it even matter?
"I don't really care. I think the main thing for me is that we want to get a win. If we get a win no matter how many yards we give up, we get a win. I take a W any day."
Are there statistics more important than yardage?
"There's a ton of other stats that are way more important, but this year has been very different for me and a lot of the guys giving up the yards and all that stuff. The first four games were tough, but you look at the last seven games, we've played great defense."
Could you take out of your memory bank your favorite personal Christmas memory?
"Yes, I was about ten years old and I wanted this remote control truck. I was begging and begging and I opened up all my presents and I didn't have it. So my grandma had hid it and gave it to me. I got the batteries and was playing with it and I was tired, so I went to take a little nap and my older brother got it and I come back out to play with my remote control truck and one of the tires is off, it's broken. So, that's one of my favorite memories. I loved that truck."
What did you do to your brother?
"He's the older brother. There's not too much the younger brother can do to the older brother, but I gave him my best shot (laughter)."
But you're a big guy?
"When I was growing up I was a little squirt, so I didn't get any muscles until I was in college."
What are your thoughts of going into this last game? How much do you want and expect to play and would anything change personnel wise in this game?
"I think the goal right now for us is to get back to 8-8 and I don't really think there will be too many changes in personnel. Our focus is getting back to 8-8. Hopefully we can win and finish the season the right way."
Why is 8-8 important professionally?
"7-9 or 8-8? I think 8-8 sounds better. For everything we've gone through and every situation that's come up and arisen this entire season to get back to 8-8 I think would be very important for us and get us rolling into next year."
If 8-8 happened would you be able to take pride that you went 8-4 in your last 12 games and turned it around?
"It just goes to show the character of this locker room and coaches with everything we've been through to keep fighting and not give up and just keep pushing and pushing and have a chance to be 8-8, you have to take something from that.
Are you looking forward to a more normal offseason this year?
"I think for me, it will be more comfortable. There were so many questions. I didn't know what position I was going to play. I didn't know who the coach was going to be. All that stuff, I'll know it next year. Not having to deal with all these distractions and that stuff, we'll be good and I'm actually looking forward to it."
With a full season in New Orleans nearly in the books, how does this experience compare to what you experienced in Atlanta and expected?