FLOWERY BRANCH — Apparently, New Orleans interim head coach Joe Vitt is into sorcery or something.
During his teleconference with the Atlanta media, he kept referring to a crystal ball and the fact that he doesn’t own one.
So, some of the media types are taking up a collection and we’ll try to deliver Coach Vitt a crystal ball on Sunday.
Here’s how it happened:
Me: Can y’all make a run?
Joe Vitt: “Hey look, I don’t have a crystal ball.”
A little later, 790The Zone’s Chris Dimino asked:
“Does this team have a 7-1 run in them?”
Vitt: “Again, I don’t have a crystal ball.”
He did go on to explain why he doesn’t have a crystal ball.
“I think once you start trying to answer those questions and you say those type of things you are a fool in this league,” Vitt said. “You guys, trying to get sound bite or whatever, I don’t know, but you guys are all veteran writers and you’re with a football team down there that’s an elite team; the best team in the league. The only way you try to turn a ship around is that you have to play better. You have to coach better and you have to take one day and one week at a time.”
Vitt loves Matt Ryan and thinks Mark Ingram is an elite running back.
Here’s what the affable Vitt had to say on some other topics:
ON THE FALCONS: “Quite frankly, this is the biggest challenge that we’ve had all year long.”
ON QB MATT RYAN: “Matt Ryan, in my opinion in the MVP of the league so far this year. We know about the wide receivers in (Roddy) White and (Julio) Jones. They are big targets that can run and make the acrobatic catch.”
ON THE RIVALRY: “The players on both of these teams know each other very well. These games have been highly competitive. Six of the last eight times we’ve play, the game has come down to a one possession game. There have been overtimes games involved. I think two of the last four times we played, so . . . . these games are usually tight and hard fought.”
ON GETTING THE GM BACK FROM SUSPENSION: “It’s certainly great to get Mickey (Loomis) back in the building. Every player, every coach, everybody in this building missed Mickey. Mickey has been a big part of our success around here and he’s our leader around here. But hey listen, Mickey is not going to be able to tackle anybody. He’s not going to be able to catch any balls. He’s not going to be able to throw the ball. …while it’s good to have Mickey back, he can’t play anymore.”
ON SEAN PAYTON’S CONTRACTUAL STATUS: “Really, the subject hasn’t been brought up around here. That’s number one. Number two, the only thing I can promise you is this, is that our football team and our football players love Sean Payton. Sean loves this team and these players. This city loves Sean and Sean loves this city. I anticipate and I would bet my life that Sean is going to be here for a long time to come. At some point in time, we’re going to have that stability and our head coach will return to our football team.”
ON HIS THREE RUNNING BACKS: “We’ve liked all three running backs since we acquired them. Pierre has done a phenomenal job since he’s been with us since 07. Pierre has great balance. He’s a great screen back. He can catch the ball out of the backfield. We know that Chris Ivory is one of those guys who can run with power and can make you miss. Mark Ingram, we believe is an elite back, who after having some offseason surgery is starting to come around.
“For the first time this past week, we really dedicated ourselves to finding a role for these guys and (did some) game-planning to their strengths. To be quite frank, they were under utilized early in the season. I think that we have settled into a package where we can get all three of those guys those touches and their looks and be positive with it. Moving forward, these are three backs that we feel blessed to have. They all can get positive yards. They bring some uniqueness to the table. While they are all productive and kind of the same, they all have a little niche. So moving forward, we just have to make sure that we keep them involved in the offense.”
ON IF THEY PLAN TO BLITZ RYAN AS MUCH AS THEY DID MICHAEL VICK: “It’s a whole different ball game. We had to close down the edges against Michael Vick. Really, Matt is more of a pocket type passer. We want to absolutely disrupt the pocket and not let Matt set his feet and get a clean look down the field. But I’ll tell you this again, I’m not going to sit here and tell you what we are going to do and what we’re going to attempt to do. Every week in the National Football League there are different challenges.
“Matt, we know, is tough. He’s smart and he’s accurate. He’s really blossomed under Dirk Koetter and this offense. He knows where he wants to go with the ball with his pre-snap read and he rarely makes a mistake when the ball is in his hands. We are well aware of his skill level. But for my take, he’s the MVP of the league right now and we’re not only going to have to have a good rush to disrupt his rhythm, but we’re going to have to have the best coverage that we’ve had all year long.”
ON IF HE’S WORRIED ABOUT A REVENGE FACTOR AFTER THE SAINTS LEFT BREES IN THE GAME LAST SEASON TO GET A PASSING RECORD: “It wasn’t our intent to run the score up. I was our intent to get the record out of the way so that we could move on to new business, but I think (Falcons coach) Mike (Smith) knows Sean well enough and Sean knows Mike well enough that that’s not what we are in the business of, embarrassing people and running scores up. That’s not what we do.”
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