NEW ORLEANS SAINTS VS. CAROLINA PANTHERSSUNDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2016 SAINTS QUARTERBACK #9 DREW BREES
On getting another battle-tested win:
"These are defining wins, and these are ones that you can draw from as the season goes along, and really get a lot of strength from. It also gives you great confidence and poise for when those situations arise in the future, because you've been there before. We've played five games, and we've had five games just like that. The first three didn't go our way, and that's why, when we were sitting there at 0-3 and on our way to San Diego, we felt like we were ready for these types of games and that we were just one play away from taking one of these games. We just needed one of them to go our way, and sure enough, we were able to come away with one in San Diego. I would say that the difference between today's victory and the other one was just our mindset, because we had been there before and we knew what it was going to take to win this game. We knew this was going to be an all-day sucker, even when we went up 21-0. We know what they are capable of on that side of the ball, and they are a prideful group, so we just kept plugging away and we were able to come up with the last opportunity to make something happen."
On going heavy a lot opening up the defense:
"It's just one of the personnel groups that we are able to utilize. We put a lot of personnel groups out there. It gives everyone an opportunity to make something happen, and it forces defenses to have to prepare for that. Some weeks might be heavier in that direction than others, but it's a nice package to have."
On the long touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks:
"Yeah, which one? (Laughs) I hope I can say that after every press conference. I just felt like the opportunity was there, and he ran a great route and I had great pass protection, especially from John Kuhn. He stepped up and had to take a linebacker in the A-gap, and he did a phenomenal job there. That's what allowed me to step up and put that down the field to Brandin [Cooks], and listen, if you can hit him in stride, I don't think there's anyone that can catch him."
On Panthers' injured secondary possibly giving Drew shots down the field:
"You just play the game and play what you see. You don't want to get overly aggressive, and in some cases, you have young guys in the secondary who will want to play conservative and want to keep everything in front of him, so you just have to play what you see and react accordingly."
On Coby Fleener's role today:
"He was in a great spot today. On that goal line play, you can say that when you do unexpected things, not only is it unexpected you, but it's unexpected for the defense. That one worked out just the way we planned, which was great. On the passing play, Coby [Fleener] did exactly what he was supposed to do. We had a little bit of a mix up somewhere else, however. So, I'm throwing the ball to Coby [Fleener] just the way I wanted to, and all of a sudden I just feel this congregation of bodies and I'm wondering,'Why are all these bodies making their way into the middle of the field?' That wasn't right, but it kind of created this natural pick, and all of a sudden all of these bodies are in this melee and hear comes Coby [Fleener] coming down with it and taking it the distance, which worked out nicely."
On importance of spreading the wealth:
* *"It makes the defense wonder who they are going to key on if you are able to spread it around to that many guys. I have to give credit to our coaching staff, who do an incredible job coming up with the game plan that we come into every game with. Obviously, our guys have the ability to understand that opportunities are coming, and that helps a lot."
On Wil Lutz hitting the game-winner:
* *"That was the plan. There's always that balance of getting down there quickly and utilizing the clock appropriately, all while putting yourself in a position to win the game. We had a good chance to do that tonight, and we were successful today."
On if he thought they had given Wil Lutz a good enough shot to win it:
"Yes. He's got a big leg, but I think he strokes it from 50 yards just like he strokes it from 30 yards, so we felt good about it."
On having more 400-yard passing games than anyone in NFL history:
"I do not know what to make of that. I guess it's a record for you guys to talk about. I think it's more so stats like scoring 41 points and being really good at third down while making some big plays in the passing game and having 10 different receivers catch the ball. I'd say probably most of those games were that way, and so that's just good execution for us offensively, and guys just made the plays tonight."
On getting a win at home becoming a rarity here:
"We have had our moments. It used to be that coming to the Dome for an opposing team was a tough deal. We would get out on people and we would stay out on them, and I want those days to come back. All we can worry about as far as our team is just focusing on the next game and the next opportunity, and we want to be on this trajectory, which I feel like we are. Each and every week, you just want to be getting a little bit better, and your mindset is just toughening and sharpening every week. You're going to have a lot of games like this where you've got to find a way to win it at the end, and it'll be back and forth, and you've got find a way to make the play. Obviously, I think when we had our best teams here, and the opposing teams came to the Dome, they knew they were in for it."
On the hit to his face late in the game:
"It wasn't that hard, but it just looked like he straight punched me in the mouth. That's what it felt like and that's what it looked like on the JumboTron, but I'll take the 15 yards every time, and we got the touchdown anyways, so we are all good."
On if 21-0 early lead can be attributed to feeling fresh off the bye week:
"That's what the bye week is for, to get guys healthy and to get away for a bit and get recharged, and then you can come out ready to go. That was what our intent was, and obviously we jumped out to a 21-0 start, but we knew it was going to be an all-day deal, and sure enough, it was."
On the importance of teaching younger players to keep their foot on the gas after going up big early:
"You know the nature of this league, and we've been in situations where, all of a sudden, we are down 14-0 or we are down double digits, and the mindset is just keeping it on one play at a time and one drive at a time. We've come back from plenty of those deficits as well, so I think we just know that in this game, so many times it comes down to that fourth quarter. Depending on the flow of the game and who's got the momentum, maybe it causes you to be more aggressive or more conservative or whatever it may be in certain situations, but you've always got to keep your foot on the gas and be aggressive on both sides of the ball."