On the Saints: "It's going to be a big matchup for us. We get a chance to get back and play at home. They've won four out of five. They need a win with how their season started off. We need a win desperately. They can score a lot of points and we know we have to score a lot of points to keep up with them. It's going to be an exciting game. I can't wait to get to Sunday."
On if he thinks they need to score on every offensive possession: "Being a quarterback, you don't want to think that. You still want to go through your reads. Sometimes a sack is the best play. Sometimes a punt is the best play. But you can't do it too many times against these guys. They're a perennial number one, number two, number three in offense every year and they score a lot of points. I don't let myself go into a game thinking, 'you have to score on this drive. You have to score on this drive.' You can get yourself in trouble and get your team in trouble doing that, but I understand what we're up against. I understand that we have to keep up with these guys."
On if the defensive struggles put more pressure on the offense: "Yeah, when the opposing offense is scoring fast and often, it definitely puts a lot of stress on you. You can't get in situations, especially early in the game, especially in the first half, where you just try to fit balls in certain spots because you could be down by seven and right before you know it, if you try to do things like that, you could be down by 14 or 21. You still have to go about your reads, go about the game plan, and when you get to the third and fourth quarter, depending on where you're at with a team like this, things can change. But going into the game, especially in the first half, you still have to run your offense and be efficient and when to say when."
On Marcel Reece: "He's just mister reliable. He's played fullback, he's played tailback, receiver. He's kind of jack of all trades. He can do everything very, very well. Unfortunately, now he's…he was getting kind of hot at receiver and having some big games catching the ball and we were really starting to open things up with him and now he's got to get back in the home position behind the center and play tailback. But I mean he can do it all. We're not going to change our game plan because he's as fullback playing tailback. We're going to go about our business, prepare, and he's going to get the same plays and same plays that Dmac [Darren McFadden] could get if he was in."
On the QB pressure with the running game struggling: "We've actually been pretty successful in the run game, we just haven't been able to stick with it because of the score. Especially in the third and fourth quarter, we've been in situations where you're going to throw three out of four times on a series. But a running game is a quarterback's best friend, but I don't mind throwing it a bunch of times either."
On if they are focusing more on themselves, not the opponent: "Yeah, I mean you don't want to make too big a deal out of your opponent. You still have to execute, you still have to go about your reads, go about your footwork, whatever it is that you're supposed to do at your position, you still need to go about your job. But you also need to be a realist and realize that this is one of the number one offenses in the league and it doesn't matter what defense they play against, they score a lot of points. We need to handle our jobs and execute our jobs, but we also realize what team we're playing at the same time."
On if he sees weaknesses in the Saints defense: "You wouldn't realize it, but I heard there's seven first-round draft picks on the defense. Personnel-wise, there's very good players; there's very good skill, very physically-gifted defensive players. That hasn't translated to a high defensive ranking. They've had some issues and we're not going to come into a game scared at all. We're going to come in and execute our game plan, know that it's a better defense than it looks statistically on paper. They still have four good guys that can rush the passer. They're very experienced on the back end in the secondary and they have very good linebacker corps, one of the better linebacker corps we've faced. We try not to look at stats too much or draft picks or whatever it is. We want to go out and execute the plays we've put in during the game because of what we've seen on film during the week. We need to go out and execute our jobs in that case."
On Drew Brees: "He's just a great quarterback. He's good at it all. He can throw it deep; he can throw it short, intermediate. He understands what defenses are trying to do to him. He checks the ball down when he's supposed to and he takes his shots when he's supposed to. They have big, physical targets. Jimmy Graham is a big guy. Marques Colston is 6'5", looks like a tight end. When guys aren't open, they still make plays on the ball. He throws it up and gives guys 50/50 chances and it seems like every time those guys come down with the ball. He understands the strength of the guys around him and utilizes those guys' strengths."
On Khalif Barnes returning: "Great, he's a leader. He's a great guy in the huddle. He's been around a long time, played a lot of games, played against a lot of great football players. He doesn't get rattled, doesn't get shaken. He's a good football player and we're excited to have him back. He brings a good energy to the huddle and a good energy to the team."
On Saints coach Joe Vitt's background with Carson Palmer going back to high school: "I played with his son. I believed he was coaching for the Rams and his son was a DB and a receiver and I played with him just my freshman year. I think they moved to St. Louis maybe right around that time so I played with him for one year, little Joey Vitt."
On if he threw the ball to Vitt's son a lot: "Yeah, he was a good receiver, very good receiver."
On if he's surprised the Raiders haven't brought in another running back: "No because it's that time of year where there's not a ton of guys that you really want to cut somebody for to bring in. Jeremy [Stewart] has come in and done a great job. Very, very bright guy, obviously a Stanford guy. Picked up protections really, really fast, which in this offense is not easy to do at that position. A guy like Taiwan [Jones], you want on the field. You want to find ways to get him the ball and this time of year, I don't think there's a bunch of guys that are just kind of waiting for an opportunity. We got guys that are very capable and the coaches and players have confidence in."
On the batted balls at the line of scrimmage facing Baltimore: "They did a good job. And looking back at it, they would just kind of take two steps and just stand and jump. I wish if you could go back, you wouldn't' do as much short stuff; you'd throw the ball right over their heads. You'd throw the ball down the field a little more. But they did a good job. Some of that stuff, two or three of them, a guy just throws a hand off and 95 percent of the time he doesn't get a tip. Sometimes you get it, but they did a good job. They weren't rushing the passer. They were just standing at the line of scrimmage and jumping and just waiting for batted balls."
On if teams do that often: "No, they haven't done that. We got in some situations where we spread them out and they were just not going to let me take off and run. They were just going to sit in their gaps and not really rush the passer and they were dropping eight guys sometimes into coverage and sometimes seven. They got us on those."