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Opposing View: Panthers vs. Saints

On coming off gut-wrenching losses and if it is good to get back on the field quickly: "Man, I guess. I would agree with you having seen the way their game ended and the way our game ended. It's challenging enough as it is in our League and when you go through a game like that and you're in a position where you feel like you can win the game and then it slips away there's that feeling of always wanting to get back on the field and it's just somewhat ironic that both teams had those type of losses and we're playing on Thursday."

On how emotional the game of football is having won against the Panthers in the final seconds and then losing to Denver in the last minute: "I think teams in our League, we see it when we're just at the stadiums and you look up at the scoreboard and someone is up and then the next thing you know they're down one. I just think teams around the League are talented enough to come up with a couple plays that can shift the course of a game and you spend a lot of time on your 2-minute offense at defense at the end of half and at the end of games. But that's that one common denominator throughout the League: there's playmakers, there's guys that can make a play on defense – get a sack, get an interception – and there's guys, obviously, on the other side of the ball and so every weekend it seems to occur."

On if he has had a chance to scout Panthers cornerbacks Daryl Worley and James Bradberry: "Yeah, we saw them and scouted them prior to our game and there was a transition obviously for Carolina coming into our game so we saw them a little in our game and then we've seen enough film on both those players. They've had a handful of guys play in the nickel position and of course they can play Shaq (Thompson). When we played we got a lot of a bigger nickel package if you will. So, you take a crash course really this week with as much film as you can on Monday, Tuesday and even Wednesday and then you get on a plane and get ready to go."

On if facing Drew Brees would be a challenge for any young NFL cornerback: "Well, it was kind of interesting because in the last game I think the combined youth in both secondaries when you look at (Saints defensive backs Ken) Crawley and (De'Vante) Harris at that time were playing for us, as well as Carolina. You had a lot of guys covering passes that were either in their first or second year and so the transition time in our League is fairly rapid and fairly quick. Those guys are playing with confidence, you can see it, and I think coming off the bye they're playing outstanding defense. Their pressure on the quarterback has increased, they're getting the production there from the rush. So I certainly recognize when you get young guys playing and yet it's not just a one-on-one game. It's a team game and they've done a good job I think of adapting quickly to their role and it's changed some just like it has here."

With the NFC South closely contested when does he start talking about "must-win" games? "I think typically when I hear a "must-win" game it's that game that if you win you are still alive and if you lose you're eliminated. So it's a term that used I think by the media a little bit more frequently than I would use it."

That said, the importance of this game: "Division games are always important and I think that you're always looking to play well in your division. I think it matters a lot. I think that we kind of take that approach whether it's Tampa Bay, Atlanta and then certainly Carolina on a quick week. I think it's important, you want to get that taste out of your mouth that have from the game you just played."

On when he realized he had something in wide receiver Willie Snead:"Oh, I think there was a training camp two years ago where he really showed himself, stepped up a little bit in the inter-squad practices with New England. You saw him, not only as a receiver, you saw him doing some things in the kicking game and it just caught your attention. He's smart and so when you watch him play, rarely does he fool the quarterback. And what I mean by that is there's adjustments that are made by coverage – sometimes zone, sometimes man – and he reacts appropriately almost always, and that's a good thing for a receiver."

Saints wide receiver Willie Snead IV

On how anxious he is to get back on the field after the Saints loss to the Broncos: "Pretty anxious. It's kind of a good thing that it's a short week because we have to get over that game pretty quick and move on to the Panthers, which is a divisional game and is pretty important to us."

On what he would say if the reporters called him Honeycomb? "Cam Newton! (laughs) Cam Newton gave me that name when I was back in Carolina on the practice squad."

On if the nickname had to do with his hair: "Yes it did. I had little gold tips back then. How did y'all find out about this?"

If the nickname has stuck: "Ever since I left Carolina, it stayed in Carolina."

On how he felt about the nickname at the time:"I thought it was pretty funny. He caught me off guard when he said it because I was there for like a week. He was like, "You know what you look like? You look like a honeycomb off the cereal box." I started cracking up and it kind of stuck so I kind of took it because it's Cam Newton. I thought he was a pretty cool dude so you know I just let it ride."

On if he eats Honeycomb cereal for breakfast: "Sometimes, but I'm more of a Fruity Pebbles guy myself."

On what he learned during his time at Carolina:"I really just took in the environment of the Carolina Panthers and how they ran things. How to be a professional and learning from different guys. At the time, Jerricho Cotchery was a receiver they had. Jason Avant and all those guys. I was just taking everything that I could get. Ricky Proehl is  the wide receiver coach there and I was always spending time with him because he was the guy that I was pretty much learning all my routes from and just learning technique things  and just trying to be a better receiver. Most of the time I was there, I wasn't really learning plays, I was learning plays at the same time but I was learning more like technique and stuff and just trying to make the defense better at the same time."

On Cam Newton calling him a "duper" practice squad player, meaning he was one of the top players on the Scout Team: "That's what he said? Really? Yeah, I mean every day I came in with my head down and humbled and just ready to go. So I did take practice squad seriously because I felt like I was going against Luke Kuechly, Josh Norman, (Thomas) Davis on the other side. I was going against those guys and I just wanted to give them the best look. Every day was a game for me and that's how I treated practice every day, like it was a game."

On if he thought his football career might not work out after Carolina waived him: "You know, that thought did pass through my mind like once or twice because it was like after Thanksgiving and I wasn't receiving any calls anymore. I was starting to get down on myself but I just feel like my mom told me, you've just got to be patient. Because when I got cut, Carolina was like if nobody picks you off waivers we'll probably bring you back after the season. You know the Saints picked me up and it's been history ever since. I did have a doubt in my mind but once I got that call from the Saints, I knew that's where I was supposed to be have a good career."

On if he thinks he is fortunate to play with Drew Brees: "Very fortunate and very grateful to be able to be in his presence every day and just be able to learn from him. How to be a professional and how to do things the right way and just how to win games. He's the best at doing that. He's the best at being a professional and I just try to mimic his steps and how he does things. I can't take it for granted because he's only playing the game for a couple more years so every day is a blessing to play with Drew Brees and I'm glad to be here. I wouldn't want to be with any other quarterback."

On how he found his stride in New Orleans after thinking his career might be over: "It's just all about the opportunities that I received from Coach (Sean) Payton and the Saints and Drew trusting me in his offense, just giving me more and more opportunities each and every week. Last year was a great stepping stone for me. I was able to learn and be able to experience the NFL game and the speed and how things are done so this year it's been a little easier transition. I'm just starting to get better and better every week, trying to stay healthy and do all the little things right so as my career goes along, I'll be able to help younger guys coming along. My career is going but there is still a story to be written."

On urgency in the division after heartbreaking losses for the Saints and Panthers: "It's still anybody's game to be honest. Falcons lost last week, we lost, Carolina lost so it's pretty much up in the air. We just have to make sure we win these divisional games, the ones that are important. We're not down. We could be more up but at the same time we just have to come in here with a professional attitude every day, same mindset and just win these games that are important. This is one of those games where It's a Thursday night game, it's a divisional game at Carolina, we lost there last year so we have to drop this last loss and move on and just get ready to win this game and win big because it's a statement for us. We want to make a statement this game to the rest of the division and show everybody that we're for real and we're not just going in and out of games thinking that it can go either way. We should be winning more but at the end of the day, it's the NFL and things happen."

View photos of the Panthers' week of practice leading up to their Thursday Night game against the Saints.

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