Metairie, La. - The Saints will face five Chicago Bears who attended school in Louisiana and two recent departures from Airline Drive in offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer and left tackle Jermon Bushrod.
The following are coach Sean Payton's comments to the media Wednesday, as transcribed by the New Orleans Saints:
Opening Statement: "With the schedule today, it would be like our normal Wednesday, (but it is) a little different because it is a little bit of a shorter time frame from the Monday night game so our practice time was reduced some and we will just pay attention to that as we go throughout the week."
Can you talk about your relationship with Bears Head Coach Marc Trestman?
"He is someone that I have had the good fortune of knowing ever since I got hired in the NFL in 1997 is when I first met Marc. He has a ton of experience in football at the college and pro level and obviously at the CFL level. He worked with us a year and I am really happy that he received an opportunity. He is someone that is very sharp. He is a proven winner. You saw that as a head coach up in the CFL. He is someone that has very good thoughts offensively and yet, just as important or more importantly leading his staff and has done a great job to start. There are a couple of guys there, Aaron Kromer is there, another guy that was here with us for a bit of time and did a real good job. We were at college together. Those guys have done real well."
Can you talk about how you think Jermon Bushrod is doing?
"I've seen some film. He is doing well. Again, he was a guy that certainly was an important part of what we were able to accomplish here. He is doing well."
What is going right with you guys being able to pick up key turnovers?
"Well the game we just played was our best game in regards to turnover ratio. The team we are playing (Chicago this week) is the top in the league at taking the ball away and they too offensively have capitalized. It's not a new formula and yet every year it is a telling statistic and it will be in this game as well."
Can you talk about how important time of possession is?
"It is much like I said after the game, we feel like it is going to be important in what we do. In the last two games it has been important in closing out games. From a time of possession standpoint we are up at the top right now of understanding how important (the) fourth quarter becomes in finishing but certainly (it is) something that we feel like is important and continue to work on."
How is Charles Brown doing?
"He is doing real well. He played one of his better games last week."
What kind of impact did Marc Trestman make with Jay Cutler this year?
"I would say this, he looks very comfortable with their system. You measure a quarterback with wins and losses and leading his team and scoring points. He has done all of that. He has great arm strength. He has a really good command of what they are doing and they are playing a very good complementary game right now, both offensively and defensively."
Do you notice any changes in his style or awareness?
"You will have to ask him in the conference call."
Can you explain the philosophy behind 'Don't eat the cheese'?
"It's just avoiding the noise of the media. I said it last week, our games are covered more and more than it ever has been and that's a good thing. We try to focus each week on the task at hand and compartmentalize as best as we can. It's a pretty old message."
Does the cheese work better than the mouse traps?
"That's a whole different message. Two different messages."
As far as Chicago's defense, what have you been seeing from them?
"What they do well is run well. They tackle extremely well. They understand what they are doing defensively. They separate the runners and receivers and anyone who has the ball near them (and) they do a great job of forcing fumbles and getting their hands on balls. They lead the league right now (in forced fumbles). They (have) forced 12 fumbles in four games. That is an average of three a game. (Cornerback Charles) Tillman is as good as there has been in our game at forcing fumbles. He has 40 (forced fumbles) right now in his career. They are exceptional at it. It is not by accident. They run well. They have the right players, (such as Lance) Briggs, I could go on and on, but they really play good team defense. They have (done that) there for a long time. That is nothing new. It creates a challenge."
Is it a surprise that they can carry that over from coordinator to coordinator?