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Monday Notebook

Posted Oct 11, 2010

Saints talk about turnover ratio, anxious to get back on practice field.

MONDAY NOTEBOOK

A day after falling at the Arizona Cardinals by a 30-20 score, the Saints met with the media and discussed improving all three phases, with a focus on limiting turnovers and penalties.

GREER SETS THE TONE: DB Jabari Greer, who had 26-yard interception return against the Cardinals, said the entire team looks to set a “good tone” to start the practice week on Wednesday. The seven-year veteran said the team is eager to get back on the practice field to correct their mistakes and prevent penalties.

“I think we have the right mindset and set of guys to get back on the practice field and fix our mistakes,” said Greer. “We have to regroup and improve all areas to get back to the level we are use to playing at.”

TURNOVERS A FOCAL POINT: The Saints relinquished four turnovers to the Cardinals on Sunday and only forced one (Greer’s interception on the first drive of the game.) Last season, the Saints finished third in the NFL in turnover differential at 11. The Saints rank 16th in the league this season at –1 (eight take-ways, nine giveaways.) Players on both sides of the ball said improving that number will be a focal point this week in practice.

“We were in the game, but at the end of the day we couldn’t get the win,” said S Roman Harper. “We had our opportunities to put this team away early and we didn’t execute. They ended up winning the game off turnovers and some misfortunes by us but that is how you win games in the NFL – turnovers.”

OT Jon Stinchcomb said the black and gold are well aware that the most important statistical category is the turnover ratio.

“I think our defense did a great job of creating some lose ball situations but unfortunately they fell back in (Arizona’s) hands,” said Stinchcomb. “As an offense, we have to do a much better job of protecting the football. We look at the stats every week and percentages show that no stat is more important than the turnovers.”

SMITH UPDATE: DE Will Smith sat out of Sunday’s game against the Cardinals with a groin injury. The defensive captain said he hopes to play against the Buccaneers on Sunday but will have to wait and see how the week transpires.

“It was definitely bizarre to miss the game due to injury because it doesn’t happen often,” said Smith. “Coach thought it was best that I not play and we will test it out this week. I definitely want to be out there but we have to see how everything goes.”