ATLANTA FALCONS VS. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016
SAINTS QUARTERBACK DREW BREES
(On where he thinks the game got away from the Saints):
"If you just look at the game, in its totality, some of the critical statistics, we said going into this game third down percentage would be a key statistic. It is something if typically we can win, we win the game. We were in the 53% or something, they were in the 40th percentile so that is winning football. Red zone efficiency; we were four of five, they were five of seven. Our percentage was better. Obviously they were down there maybe a little bit more. Time of possession; this is a team that typically possesses the ball. When they win time of possession, they win games. We won time of possession in this game. So all three of those very critical stats are winning football, but here is what is not winning football. When you have a fumble on a punt return that gives them the ball in a momentum situation at the beginning of the game and we just stopped them on defense and they are able to convert that into a touchdown. Then we're down inside their red zone and we get the tipped interception that goes back to the house and it's a fourteen-point swing. So, that's how we lost."
(On holding veterans and rookies accountable):
"It's accountability. It is about accountability and veteran guys need to have it, young guys need to have it. We all need to have it. We all need to look in the mirror and say what can I do to help this team get better? What can I do to better to help this team? Bottom line is there's no magic formula, there's no magic offensive play or defensive scheme that's going to win you a game. It is about each guy just doing what their coached to do, doing it to the best of their ability. There are going to be mistakes made at times, but let's not be a team that is going to beat themselves by doing the things we know will get you beat. We were vice to the turnovers. Bottom line, it didn't have to do with anything else because we won pretty much every other category, when you look at anything else because those were costly."
(On the interception):
* *"We had a play where Mike Thomas was coming underneath and was one of these kind of quick-hitter, in between the zone defense and the nickelback did a nice job of seeing it and jumping it and they were both going for the ball and it just ended up getting tipped up to a linebacker that's making his way over there so it's one of those that usually goes to the ground, but in this case, it got tipped up and he was right there to make the play."
(On the show of unity prior to kickoff):
"Violence and what's happening in our country is a serious issue and we felt like an appropriate way to show our unity and bring attention to that was by doing that, making that circle together. Everybody lock arms and take a moment of silence to pray, to be in thought, meditation, whatever you want to do, just to show, yes, this is a serious issue and this is something that we would like to give it attention, after the national anthem in a way that shows that we're all in this together."
(On if he is losing his 'eternal optimist' spirit):
"No. (Laughs). Honestly, that's in my DNA so that is not going anywhere. I only know one way and that is to go back to work and whatever's happening now is here for a reason. It's here to make you stronger or it's here to sharpen you up a little bit, toughen you up a little bit and bring a team together in a way that will serve you in a positive way down the road. I've been through enough of these, we've got a lot of veteran guys on our team that have been through enough adversity in situations like these to know better. It's our job to make sure that the young guys know that as well."
(On lack of success of turning things around after past 0-3 starts in his career):
"We're not saying it's easy, but at some point it turns. We don't know when that's going to be. Hope it's this week. That's why you go out and get the type of guys that we have in the locker room. You don't get guys that are going to turn on one another or cash in if times get tough. You go out and get tough, competitive guys that love the game of football, love to compete, love to play for one another. Look at any team throughout the course of a year, any team that has gone on and done great things. There are moments of adversity. There are moments and times where it would have been easy to throw it in or not approach it in a positive way and I feel like we have the right type of guys to turn this thing around and when we do, look out."
(On his thought process when seeing the Atlanta Falcons score five touchdowns in a row):
"My mentality in a football game is the same. I really don't look at the scoreboard until the end of the game. You have to understand situations, but my mentality, every time we step on the field is we're going to go get points. We are going to be efficient, both run and pass. We're going to convert third-downs. We're going to take care of the football and we're going to go down there and get points. So it doesn't matter what the team scores on the other side because it doesn't change my mentality at all until maybe you get to the fourth quarter and all of a sudden it's, ok here's the time that's left so maybe we need to be a little more aggressive or whatever that might be, but up until that moment, we're just executing our offense and we expect to score points every time we touch it."
(On the job of the offensive line tonight):
"I thought the line did a terrific job, especially in Terron (Armstead)'s absence. I thought Andrus Peat did a really great job against a really good pass rush team. They are rotating guys in and out a lot so they're guys were staying fresh and our guys were just grinding. (The Falcons) Threw a lot of five-man protections where they just had to battle. They saw a lot of gains, a lot of stunts up front. I felt they handled it extremely well so I was really proud of them. Those guys are a tough group. I love them."
(On progress of Coby Fleener):
"I do (feel good about). I said to him in the locker room after the game, a lot of the things that we've been working on, thinking about, studying, happened tonight. It happened the way that we've been talking about and I think that's when the lightbulb begins to come on because we had that limited time together in the offseason and through preseason and to this point so we 're still growing. We're still growing big time, but I think there were things that happened out here tonight that are the way that I envisioned. It's the way that we envisioned. It is the way we've been talking about. It's the way that I've communicated it to him. We've been working on it in practice and when those things begin to happen, the trust factor and the confidence factor just continues to go up."