Saints Defensive End Cameron Jordan
Q: What was your reaction to the finish of this game?
A: We had them exactly where we wanted them. As a defensive end and player of my caliber, I should have been able to eradicate that play all together. Before that play call, there were a couple of plays that we had to not even make it into a game. It is something I’m going to have to reflect on for the next six months, whatever the offseason is.
Q: Marcus Williams had an incredible season and a turnover in this game and it ends that way.
A: I put that on myself and the D-line. I think we harassed [Case] Keenum. Had I been a half step faster and been able to get off the tight end and the tackle and completely take over that play, is something I put on myself.
Q: Was this the most heart breaking loss you’ve had in your career?
A: At the end of the day, we have to pay attention to the details and pay attention to everything we have put forth to accomplish this season. Clearly it sucks. It is going to be one of the most memorable losses I’ve ever had because this is the most recent loss. I wish we could say that we’re going to learn and get better from this but clearly we have to wait a whole offseason. It’s something that’s going to grind at us. We have to go to sleep knowing that we put everything out onto the field and left it on the field. We had a hell of a second half up until that last series. It is something that I am going to keep on myself.
Q: What changed in the second half?
A: The Vikings had a phenomenal game plan. That first half we took a lot of their punches. It seemed like I could not get their run to come my way. As selfish as it sounds, I want them to run at me. I want to be able to affect the game. I want to be able to get into the backfield and harass the quarterback. The guy made great plays and extended plays and the wide receiving core is exactly who we thought they were. That is where our differential was going to be. It was going to be on me and the D-line. At the end of the day, we were one play short.
Q: Can you describe on that 61-yard pass to Stefon Diggs, the last play of the game, what you saw?
A: I saw a tackle bailing and a guard coming to help. Again, I should have been able to beat that. I should have been able to harass the quarterback enough to where he could not get the ball off, so I am going to put that on myself. You talk about our defense and how young they were. You talk about everything that we’ve accomplished this season. This is something that will stick in everybody’s heads. This is something that will force us to grow. I am never going to laugh about it, but I hope to look back on this and say this is our growing moment.
Q: What do you tell to a young kid like Marcus [Williams]?
A: Everything that I did tell him.
Q: Do you mind telling us what you told him?
A: That is between me and him.
Q: Was there a special halftime message that got you guys back into it?
A: At the end of the day we had to be more physical. I think we matched them in physicality. We can dictate exactly what happened. We turned up another notch in that second half. We made as much noise as we could. We were one play shy, one half step too slow. I’m always going to put that on myself.
Q: Have you ever had a loss like this?
A: I think we lost to the Niners six years back. That being said, we had plenty of opportunities to overcome. We have the abilities to overcome and execute everything that we had to. We talked early on about the penalties that set us back. We talked about reviving the drives and we eliminated that in the second half. Again, as a young team and a team that I am supposed to be the leader of, I put that on myself.
Saints Wide Receiver Ted Ginn Jr.
Q: How good was Drew Brees in that second half?
A: He was awesome. We don’t know the stats or anything from the second half, but we knew what we had to do to be who we wanted to be.
Q: Coach had mentioned that if you play long enough you are going to have wins like that and losses like this, and he said that they would take a while to get over, how much of that is because of what you guys had in your locker room and what you guys felt you could do this year?
A: Well you always know that the team isn’t going to be the same next year, that’s kind of the biggest deal, so you try and get it done with the guys that you have in the locker room right now. We have a handful of guys here that knew what we wanted to do and how we wanted to get it done, whether they were playing or not. You know, hey man you got a loss man, heading into the offseason the only thing you can do is let it go off your back like water, and then you get to this thing again.
Q: While the team might be different, this young core, seeing what you guys were able to do this year, do you feel pretty good about the future?
A: Oh yeah, every young guy that we have here has been accountable, they’re able to do big things, and I’m just eager to see that be directed.
Q: Take me through emotionally how you feel after that game?
A: You know man, its life. I’d be wrong if I said I’m not hurt, but you can’t just fall out. You got to keep your composure, keep who you are, stay who you are, build guys up, and get ready to get back to this thing next year. That’s it.
Q: When that kick that was nailed, did you feel like that was it?
A: Yeah, I felt that, and that’s how it goes.
Q: What do you say to some of the first year guys who felt like it was going to go your way, and then at the last second it didn’t?
A: You just have to keep your head up. Now that you’re in this game, and you know what this game is all about, go back and dot your I’s, cross your T’s, and come back better next year, that’s really it.
Q: Down 17 at someone else’s field, what did it take to get up off the mat, what did you guys say?
A: We looked each other in the face, from one man to another, and said let’s go out here and do what we know we can do, and that’s what we did.
Q: Did it feel pretty good to hear that crowd pretty quiet in the 4th quarter?
A: Oh yeah it did, until the very end.
Saints Cornerback Marshon Lattimore
*Q: Can you take us through the call at the end of the game? *
A: It was, I don’t know, man, it was a zone call. All we had to do to end this game if they catch it is tackle them inbounds, they didn’t have any timeouts. I mean, things happen.
*Q: What do you say to Marcus (Williams) so this doesn’t taint a really good rookie season from both of you? *
A: He just has to keep his head up. You know, I’m not going to say he’s not feeling bad about it. We got his back. We are young and we are trying to come back next year. Marcus (Williams) is a special player, he can’t let this one play, as big as it was, you can’t let that one play turn you against him. He’s been playing great all year and just didn’t get the tackle this time. He’s just got to keep his head up, we got his back 100%.
Saints Safety Marcus Williams
Q: What happened on that last play?
A: There were 10 seconds left. I knew the situation. You have to make sure you make the play.
Q: Were you doing anything different, trying to separate him from the ball instead of wrapping him up after the catch?
A: The play happened how it happened. You all saw it. If the play happened different, I would go attack the ball and make a play.
Q: How do you bounce back from this?
A: You have to overcome it and do not let it beat you down. I am going to take it upon myself to make sure that never happens again.
Saints Linebacker Manti Te’o
*Q: You guys showed a lot of grit and heart to battle back from down 17 in the first half. What did you guys tell each other in the locker room? *
A: We never lost faith in each other. That’s the one thing about this team, no matter what. We know that all the guys in this locker room is all we got and that’s all we need. We believed in each other and went out there showed what we can do. Unfortunately, the first half we didn’t play the way we wanted to but we came out and played Saints football in the second half and we just came up short.
*Q: Can you just take me through the final play to (Stefon) Diggs and just what you guys were looking for and what the call was? *
A: You know, it was just a good play by them. That’s a good play and congrats to them.
*Q: Have you ever been a part of a loss as heartbreaking as this? *
A: I have been a part of some heartbreaking losses, man. They all have a sting. This one stings, um, yeah, I don’t know. It’s really unfortunate but I am proud to be a part of this team. I like the way we played in the second half. We showed a lot of resiliency. We showed a lot of grit. We showed a lot toughness and mental toughness to come back. A lot of people counted us out when it was 17-0 but we didn’t quit and nobody flinched. We went out there in the second half and we just have to finish.
*Q: Did you say anything to Marcus (Williams)? *
A: He’s going to have so many opportunities and he’s going to make so many plays in the future. Everybody makes mistakes; it wasn’t just him. He didn’t lose that game. I could have done a whole lot of things better. I could have made more tackles. I could have run through gaps. I could have done a lot of stuff. It wasn’t Marcus (Williams). Marcus (Williams) is a great player. He’s a young player, and he’s got a bright future ahead of him. He is going to make more great plays than mistakes. I am just excited for the kid. He’s going to come back and get better. He’s already ahead of his time as far as how to play safety and now you add a lot of motivation to that. The sky is the limit for him. I’m glad he’s my safety.
Saints Right Tackle Larry Warford
*Q: You guys showed a lot of grit and determination to get back into it. What did you guys tell each other halftime to be able to make the fight back? *
A: We knew during the first half that we were close and weren’t really far. We were just shooting ourselves in the foot. Mark (Ingram II) would be coming back to the sideline telling us “Hey, it’s close. We are about to hit it.” We came in the locker room and nobody was beating up on each other. Everybody was just encouraging each other. We know that we are close. We came back out and did what we did and fought back. I am just proud of the guys.
*Q: 1:29 left on the clock when Minnesota hit that field goal. Obviously a drive for Brees that he has been in plenty of times. How much confidence did you have going into that type of drive? *
A: Drew (Brees) is one of the greatest of all-time. As a lineman, all you have to think is give him time and he’s going to make something happen and he did. He led us down within range. He’s just so automatic with everything he does. It’s just great to have that type of person in command on the field. We were absolutely confident that we were going to go down there and score.