Saints Quarterback Drew Brees
Q: How hard will this loss be to swallow?
A: This one will be tough. I think we are all still a little shell shocked as to what happened there at the end. We felt pretty good about our odds of winning once we kicked the field goal. It was just an unfortunate sequence of events.
Q: As far as your second half, it seemed like you were able to rebound there a little bit after those turnovers.
A: We didn't get a whole lot rolling there in the first half, they did a nice job. The interception to Teddy (Ginn Jr.) was forced, and the second one was just unfortunate with the ball tipped at the line of scrimmage, that's bad luck. Prior to that, we scored on the play and we didn't have a guy set, which is unfortunate too, these big opportunities, seven points just disappear and in a game like this every point counts. I can't say enough about the way that we battled there in the second half, we scored on every drive. It's hard to do that, especially against this team, with the number one defense in football right there. So I can't say enough about our guys and this team, just to battle back after being down 17-0.
Q: How quickly do you think you will get over a loss like this? What do you have to say as a senior leader on this team to some of the younger players?
A: We have a tight knit team. A lot of these guys are good friends off of the field, so it's not like the season ends and everybody goes their separate ways, in some cases, but I think for the most part this is a team that really cares about one another and so guys will continue to spend a lot of time with one another. It will sting for a bit, especially as this season goes on over the next couple of weeks, feeling like that could be us, it should be us. I've been around long enough to know that unfortunately these things happen and you guys were there in 2011 in San Francisco, when we felt like we should have had them. But we've been on the winning side of some crazy ones too. Obviously with everything at stake with playoffs, it's win or go home, we battled back. This would have been one for the ages if we would have pulled it off.
Q: Did you ever get over that loss in San Francisco?
A: You have to. When my career is all said and done, I'm sure that I'll look back and say that one, the way that we felt about that team being a Super Bowl contender, as we felt that way about this team, I hope that I'll be a part of a few more teams that I feel that way about too, and we can make a run at it. Unfortunately, sometimes experience is a tough teacher and things happen and you can go one of two ways with it, it can put you in the tank and pull you apart or does it unite you and make you stronger. That's the outlook I'm taking, and I think that's the outlook our entire team is taking. We did some special things this year for a team that was very young and very new with free agent acquisitions and such, I think that we exceeded a lot of expectations from people in this room. I think for us as we went along we felt like we were really building something, and I think that we have a window here where we can really make a run with it, if you continue to have a growth mindset that you are continuing to get better and constantly finding ways to strive forward.
Q: How does this effect you knowing that you are going to be 39 soon?
A: I'm more towards the end of my career than I am the beginning, and I know that. So, I divulge. The season ends and I think that this one will sting, but reflecting on the season itself and what we were able to accomplish, and some of the memories made and relationships that were built, and just the way that this thing came together, it really leaves me excited for the future for Saints football, especially when I think of this window over the next few years and this one is going to sting for a while, but you have to learn from it and hopefully it will make you stronger.
Q: Do you expect to be a part of the window in the future moving forward?
A: I do.
Q: How much do you attribute the first half troubles to the environment and energy?
A: This is a tough environment, there is no question about that. They were ready to go. They had two weeks to prepare and rest, and those fans were ready. We have a history with these guys in the playoffs. Again, it wasn't the first half that we envisioned on either side of the ball, but to overcome that in the second half when we came in here as a group at halftime and said "there aint no mountain high enough" – we can climb this thing, we can get back into this and just watch what we're about to do, and we did that.
Q: What did you say to Marcus Williams after that final play?
A: I saw him in the locker room, and obviously he was pretty upset. But, listen, we are a group, we are a team, and everybody is involved. It is not just one guy. I am sure we are going to turn on the tape and say, "wish we would've done something a little different."
Q: What did you see from Michael Thomas when you guys were down 17-0 and you scored that first touchdown to get things rolling?
A: I have watched Michael Thomas grow every game. Honestly. He continues to impress me just with his desire and fire and passion for the game, his competitiveness. He is fun to be around. He is certainly a guy that, especially in big games like this and in big situations that we encountered bunch this year, I have a ton of confidence in him.
Q: On the final play, from the sideline what was going through your mind?
A: I knew that they were going for a sideline play, and you guys saw.
Q: Can you ever recall being a touchdown walk-off in the final play of any game you have ever played in?
A: Not like that. Not like that. That was probably the craziest thing I have been a part of, and unfortunately the wrong side of it.