Monday, September 19, 2011


What do you call these guys? They beat the latest edition of "Monsters of the Midway" 30-13.
They sacked the Chicago Bears' Jay Cutler six times. They hit him a dozen times.
"We're not monsters," said Saints safety Roman Harper, who's only 6 feet 1 and a mere 200 pounds. "We like to hit people, but we do it in a strategic way."

He said it with a smile.
Are you more like assassins?
"I don't know if that fits," Harper said. "We like to blitz. Do assassins know how to blitz? We blitz a lot, but we blitz with a plan -- and I guess we'll keep on blitzing till the cows come home."
On Sunday at the Superdome, the cows came home.
The Bears would not have scored a touchdown had Harper not been flagged for roughing Cutler on a bad third-down call.
The final score should have been 30-6.
The official tossed the flag, according to New Orleans Coach Sean Payton, because he felt Harper "continued contact," which happened to be a poor explanation that, in a way, explained the story of this football game.
With Saints quarterback Drew Brees picking his spots in a workmanlike three-touchdown afternoon, with an aggressive defense lending a helping hand, the Saints became a 1-1 ballclub in a physical way that should have pleased the coach and his defensive coordinator.
A game up for grabs going into the fourth quarter was largely a chess match between Gregg Williams and Mike Martz, the man in charge of the Bears' offense.
"The offense helped us, Drew hit that bomb to Devery (Henderson) to give us the lead," Harper said, "then Turk (McBride) forces a fumble -- and Drew turns that into a touchdown, then we're up by 10 again. When they had to keep putting the ball in the air, we felt they were playing into our hands. Sure, we had to worry about Matt Forté catching the ball, but we didn't have to worry about him running it. We could keep playing all-out aggressive. We love flying around out there."
There was a back-to-back-to-back moment in the fourth quarter that best told the story of the Saints' non-stop aggressiveness to the bitter end.
With the Bears down by 17 points after Brees hit Darren Sproles for the final points, the Saints find themselves backed up on their 2-yard-line facing a fourth-and-16.
Thomas Morstead knocks a punt 59 yards, backing the Bears to their 39-yard line.
On first down, Junior Galette roars in from the edge to sack Cutler.
On second down, Malcolm Jenkins plants Forté in the carpet after catching a pass for 1 yard.
On third down, it's Jenkins again knocking the ball loose from Dane Sanzenbacher for an incompletion.
"We really did a good job in turning the intensity up," Galette said. "We knew we didn't play like we know how to play last week and that had a way putting us in one of those prove-it modes. We took it all to heart."
McBride looked back on Sunday as "one of those complete team wins."
"Offense, defense, special teams, they all stepped up big, which is what you have to do," he said. "I know I felt charged up when I forced that turnover because it put the defense in position to score, and they did. When it comes to punting that football, you can't say enough for Tom. It's the kind of victory everyone on the team can feel good about."
Cornerback Jabari Greer echoed those sentiments.
"Our safeties and linebackers played outstanding," he said. "That's what allowed us to keep pressuring. It was one of those games you had pure joy and a lot of fun. Where you played physical against a physical team and made things happen."
As you read Payton's postgame vibes, you realized the physicality of New Orleans' victory was particularly special.
He especially enjoyed the 47 percent third-down conversions (8-for-17) and the 118 rushing yards for an offense which always will be battling for balance, on a team that has moved passing yards into the stratosphere.
Payton will spend the week telling us about the areas he would like to be more consistent in (perhaps in converting third-and-1), but he had to be encouraged in beating the Bears for the first time and the way it was done, with a "perfect" 79-yard touchdown play mixed in with six sacks and only one turnover.
As for next week's opponent, the Houston Texans, his pep talk already is finished.
All he has to do is show the team the first half of the preseason game at Houston.
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