Co-Host of WWL's "SportsTalk with Bobby Hebert & Deke Bellavia," Weekdays 4-8PM
Vitt: Turnovers, back-up players, are among keys to victory
by Deke Bellavia,posted Nov 20 2012 1:18PM
On this week's WWL Saints Coaches Show, Assistant Head Coach Joe Vitt told Bobby Hebert and myself that the Saints' success so far in winning the turnover battler is absolutely one of the main keys to victory.
"Turnovers are key in our wins," Vitt said of being on the plus side of giveaways-takeaways. "It's a game-changer. You're about 85% probable to win the game...all of a sudden, you're playing with house money."
Vitt went on to outline some amazing turnover stats.
"We've only lost one football game since 2006 where we turned the ball over and still lost the game. When we win the turnover battle, we've only lost six games since 2006."
He also noted the combo of winning the turnover battle and a defensive pick-six was a huge factor in the blowout win over the Raiders.
"Now, if you're +2 in the turnover ratio, and you can score on defense, and you've got the return game going like we did, it's an awful tough combination to beat."
Coach Vitt noted that backup players like cornerback Elbert Mack have answered the call to step up and fill some huge shoes.
"Well, Elbert Mack actually beat Corey White and Johnny Patrick out for the nickel position this week, and Elbert did an outstanding job for us," Vitt said. "He played in our sub package, and came close at the end of the game of making an unbelievable play. He's a veteran corner, understands formation recognition, knows how to play within the framework of the defense...And with a guy like Elbert, he knows what he can and what he can't do vs. certain wide receivers."
And, Vitt also continues to have high praise for veterans, like receiver Marques Colston.
"I've been with Marques from day 1 when he came here from Hofstra...Marques is a very humble, humble man. He's very quiet, he's to himself...but that doesn't mean he's not a great teammate. He's teammates absolutely respect him and adore him, for his body of work on the field and the type of man he is off the field."
The Coach said Colston's skill set includes being able take hit after hit and still perform at the highest level.
"I don't know if I've seen a receiver take more big hits over the last five years, because he's a big-bodied guy, and has a lot of surface area, and still hang onto the ball. Any time it's crunch time, when we've got to make a play, Drew feels very comfortable with Marques going up and making an acrobatic catch and coming down with the ball. He's just an amazing wide receiver, and I put him in the same category as a lot of guys around here: Marques Colston is a great player, but he's an even better person."