Tracy Porter And The Saints Do It!
The New Orleans Saints have ended their franchise-long futility and finally brought their first Lombardi Trophy back to the Big Easy. Fittingly, the Saints got significant contributions from their explosive offense, their sneaky good special teams, and most importantly perhaps, a big play from their often disrespected defense. The big defensive play came late in the 4th quarter with the Saints leading 24-17. There were about 5 minutes left to play – translation, it was Peyton Manning time. Not so fast said Tracy Porter, the Saints DB who sealed the NFC Championship two weeks ago with his pick of Brett Favre. Porter timed a route perfectly and took Manning’s pass 74 yards for the clinching score.
Porter joined The Dan Patrick Show on Monday to talk about the game sealing play, what he’s thinking and hearing during a play like that, where the football is that he returned to the house, and how the Saints used all the pro-Peyton Manning talk all week as extra motivation to come out and play at a high level.
On the decision by Coach Payton to kick the onside kick to begin the 2nd half:
“Yeah Coach Payton told us coming out that we were going to do the onside kick, and our whole mindset was that we were in it to win it and we were going to pull out all stops. He gave us the heads up that we were going to run it and our guys did a great job of recovering it for us.”
On what he saw on the play where he took Manning’s pass 74 yards for a score:
“No, we went to man-to-man coverage and the formation that the Colts came out in, it was one that we’d been studying the majority of the week, all week with the inverted split and Collie at #1. We knew he was going to motion down and they were going to run a stake route – you know, the point guy Reggie Wayne was in the slot at the time…But once Collie started motioning in, I said okay here comes the stake route. I just stepped inside when he went to make the break to come back in, I was already in front of him and I picked the ball off.”
On if he can hear anything when making a huge play like that on such a big stage:
“I mean I can hear the crowd cheering, the crowd screaming, once I caught the ball I heard the eruption of the crowd and once I got in to the end zone the crowd just started getting louder and louder.”
On where the football is at the moment:
“Well right now the equipment managers have the football, but by the time we get back to New Orleans it will be in my locker. That football’s going in a trophy case right beside my Brett Favre football.”
On all the talk all week about how Peyton Manning was in too much of a groove for the Saints to possibly handle:
“I mean we took that as a chip on our shoulders almost like they were overlooking us like he was just going to have a big day and there was going to be no defense played by us out there. So we took that as another challenge, an added challenge, and Peyton doesn’t have his second Super Bowl. We’re the Super Bowl Champs right now.”