New Orleans, La. - Before appearing on Sunday's FOX 8 Final Play, Jonathan Vilma addressed the general media after his eight tackle, one interception for touchdown performance closed the chapter on the most unique season a player has ever endured.
The following are Vilma's comments, as transcribed by the New Orleans Saints:
"It was very disappointing to lose the way we lost today. I'm disappointed in my team, the way we lost composure in the end. That's uncharacteristic of us. That starts with the leadership, that starts with the captains. I should have found a way to get my team under control. Unfortunately, that cost us. That cost us big."
(on inconsistency on defense) "Exactly how you said it – (we played) inconsistent. Some games we play lights out. Other games, we'll give up 44 points, (and) who knows how many yards. You can't win like in that in the league and it shows."
(on allowing most yards in NFL history) "You get what you deserve. You don't play good defense, that's what's going to happen. Be a man and suck it up."
(on if defense impacted by off-field issues?) "Personally, of course. It's draining, but it's not an excuse. You've got a job to do on Sundays and we have to prepare during the week. Speaking for myself, that's not an excuse. It was draining, having to fly right after a game just to go up to (Washington) D.C. and sit in for hours on hearings and things like that. As far as the rest of the defense, I would hope that it didn't affect the rest of the guys. I really tried to make it a point not to make it their issue. It was my issue, mine and Will (Smith)'s, so I really hope it didn't affect them on Sundays."
(on Sean Payton's return and starting the offseason fresh) "I think it's great. I'm not a part of the management side, but I think it's great that we have a foundation now to start with the offseason. We don't know where everyone else is going to end up, but we know that Sean's going to be here. I assume the rest of the (coaching) staff will be here; that depends on what Sean does when he gets back. We have some continuity now going into the offseason."
(on looking forward to a normal season) "Yes, very much so. I can't wait to finally take my mind off everything and get back to our winning ways."
(on the issues that required him to be in court and at hearings) "The major issue was getting back on the field. I'm on the field, that's over and done with. The rest of that stuff, I'm not going to worry myself over it. I have a day job to do. I'm not going to worry about what happens with that. Whatever the judge decides, she decides. If we move forward, we move forward. Outside of that, I have no control, so it doesn't bother me at all."