QUARTERBACK DREW BREES
(On bouncing back after a loss last week)
"Against a Tampa Bay Buc team that's been playing really, really well. I think this says a lot about our team. I said it from the very beginning, I felt like we had the right type of guys. We got great character. We unfortunately had some things not go our way this year and we made some mistakes along the way that prevented us from winning games that we felt like we should've had good opportunities in. You live and learn and any time you have a young team, sometimes you have to go through those growing pains. But guys have always come back to work with a lot of enthusiasm and great effort throughout the work week, and in practice and preparation and that really translated on the field today. All the way around, it was really a great team win. Every phase came up with some big plays and we did the things today that are winning football – protected the football, running the ball effectively, defense doing a great job, giving us a short field a time or two, finishing drives, doing good on third down, just all those things that are considered winning football."
(On running back Tim Hightower)
"Listen, there's not a guy in the locker room that's happier right now for a guy than we all are for Tim. As much as Mark Ingram meant to this team, and obviously for him to be gone for the season now, somebody needed to step up. Tim has traveled a really interesting road – really being out of football for a while, with what a lot of people thought was a career-ending knee injury. He continued to fight, and believe and battle his way back and was with us throughout camp. Then we had to release him and then brought him back a few weeks ago, and he's really done a great job whenever he's gotten the opportunity, and today he knew he was going to be the work horse and he really came through for us – 28 carries, 85 yards, they were hard yards, he had to earn every bit of that, he did a great job."
(On passing Dan Marino for fourth place on the NFL's career touchdown list)
"It's humbling, it's an honor to have been able to play the game this long and have the opportunities that I had both in San Diego and in New Orleans. It makes me reflect, just for a short period, just about all the teams I've had a chance to play with, and coaches and players and just a lot of the guys that have been a part of those. There are so many people that are a part of that. Interesting thing is, my first NFL game ever – pre-season game back in 2001 when I was a rookie – was down in Miami, at the stadium there, at the time it was Joe Robbie [Stadium]. I remember going out to the field, pregame, and looking up at their ring of honor and sure enough there's Dan Marino's name and he had only been retired for about two years maybe, but it had his name, all the years he played and it had a couple of his records. It had his total yardage, the touchdowns, and maybe the completions – all of which he owned those records at the time – and I remember looking up there and thinking those are astronomical, those are impossible. How would somebody ever reach those numbers? So that part of it just makes me look back and realize how lucky I am, and how grateful I am to have this opportunity. Hopefully we've got a few more of these in the future."
(On the receiving corps coming together)
"Willie Snead had a big day today, came with some big catches. [Benjamin] Watson had a great day, Marques [Colston] – Mr. Reliable – had two big touchdown catches, and Brandin [Cooks] as always. Brandon Colemon and [Brandin] Cooks, all of them feel like, throughout the course of a game you never know who's going to get the opportunities and come up with the big catches, and we had a lot of third down opportunities here and I felt like everybody was catching balls on third down, in critical moments to make big plays and keep the chains rolling. So that was big on the part of all those guys to come together and work together as a group like that."
(On wide receiver Marques Colston)
"He's one of the most unselfish players I've ever played with, one of the greatest teammates I've ever had, one of the most dependable, most reliable people I've ever played with. I consider myself lucky to have had, so far, these 10 years with him. He never ceases to amaze me just some of the big plays he has the ability to make. Yeah, he caught two touchdowns, but how about that third down catch late in the game at a critical time when we're trying to keep a drive going and eat up the clock and potentially flip the field? Man, that was a huge play in that game. So he continues to do all the things that make him Marques Colston."
WIDE RECEIVER WILLIE SNEAD
(On the offense's performance)
"We were able to run the ball really well, we were able to throw on first down, and we were in sync all day. It was a really good day."
(On the four wide receiver formation)
"It was just a change-up. We have really good receivers and really reliable guys. So for us to be in there with four wide receivers, it just shows that we're versatile and everybody can play different spots."
(On attacking Tampa Bay's defense along the sidelines)
"We were just trying to take what they gave us at the time. They were running a lot of Cover 2. Like I said, we were just taking what they gave us. Drew [Brees] was on point, everybody was on point, and we were just able to execute the offense today."
(On having a big game after coming off injury)
"I just wanted to come out here and come out strong. I just sat out last week and that hurt. So, I just wanted to come out here and contribute as much as I can, and have a great game.
DEFENSIVE END CAMERON JORDAN
(On the defense's performance against the run)
"Except for that one where they were backed up with first-and-30 and they ended up completing that, other than that I think we did a phenomenal job of putting pressure on the kid (Jameis Winston), making him release a little bit earlier then he wanted to, and I think our DBs played pretty good today. I'm just excited about the win."
(On if the defense is showing consistency)
"Without a doubt. Anytime you can keep your foot on the gas pedal for four quarters, that's what you're looking for. We took off at the beginning of the game and we never looked back, and that's something I can be proud of."
(On the difference maker for the defense today)
"I think Kyle Wilson was aggressive and strong today. He got some calls thrown at him early, which didn't make any sense to us because he was just playing aggressive football, if you can't play aggressive on defense then I don't know what we're here for. With that being said, we beat our penalties out, we got a couple early on, and we overcame that. We got some pressure on the quarterback, and made some great plays. We were in the backfield a little bit. A lot of young guys stepped up. Kevin Williams is great at recognizing a whole bunch of what they got and he's just a true vet. We're just going on from there."
(On cornerback Damian Swann's injury)
"It's his rookie year and he has a lot of good things going for him. I don't know what's going on but I'm sure we'll get the report in the next couple of days, and we'll deal with it then. With that being said, I hope it's nothing too strenuous so he can come back as fast as he can, and we can move on from there."
CORNERBACK DELVIN BREAUX
(On how it feels to win after losing four straight games)
"It's just like the coach told us, we are playing for jobs. I think we are out of [the playoffs], but I don't know. But the fact that these guys are coming and competing each and every day – we knew it was going to swing eventually and today was a day that we got everything swinging for us. It was awesome."
(On what New Orleans has done to control Tampa Bay wide receivers Mike Evans)
"We studied a lot of tape on him and we know his tendencies and we all get together and study his tendencies, because that is their big-threat player and I think we did a pretty good job with keeping him contained and keeping him to the side and not letting him go over the top."
(On the mood in the New Orleans locker room being very upbeat)
"Yeah, because it's a win and every guy in this room had a part in it and that's great – that's an amazing feeling. Especially Tim Hightower. I think about what he's been through and to come out there and carry the load like he did today, I'm proud of him for not giving up and helping us get this win, seal this win."
DEFENSIVE TACKLE KEVIN WILLIAMS
(On if he had the chance to process that he just played his 200th game)
"I really didn't think about it that much. I don't know – I told my wife. It's a lot of games, but I don't know. My teammates talk about it more than I did. I don't know. I just go play. Somehow it's gotten to 200."
(On what this game meant for the defense)
"I mean it was a huge step for us. We still can't give up those penalties. We had some good moments and some bad ones to but you saw some steps being made in the right direction and we played a pretty good run defense, pretty good pass defense. I think the two drives we got back to some old ways with drawing penalties and silly stuff, but we have to eliminate that and I think we put a complete game together."
(On the defense is moving in the right direction)
"Well we can't get any worse, I can tell you that (laughing). I mean, we have to buckle up and I think guys took the challenge on we have been trying to improve and it's paying off for us every week."
(On how he feels playing so much and if it is wearing on him)
"It's tiring during the week, but Sunday is what you're playing for. That is always your reward and that's how I looked at it playing in the league. I mean, you do all this hard work during the week to get to Sunday and you dig down no matter what – I know I do – to try to be out there at your best and try to play and be at your correct spot and helping the team."
*RUNNING BACK TIM HIGHTOWER *
(On whether he expected such a heavy workload today and what he did to prepare for it)
"You know, I don't know what I expected. I just made sure my body was ready, made sure I was hydrated. It was pretty humid out there today. I just had to make sure I was prepared. I didn't know what was going to happen. I just wanted to make sure I was ready."
(On what it meant for the team to look to him for increased help and usage down the stretch)
"It's awesome. You can't ask for a better situation to be put in. You train all offseason, you work hard –that's what you want. If you're a competitor, you want the ball in your hands and you want the team to be counting on you in the most critical situations on the road. When [Head Coach Sean Payton] called my number the last few drives, it just shows the confidence he put on our o-line and that he has in us, and just being able to deliver. When you get that opportunity, it felt great."
(On scoring his first touchdown since the 2011 season)
"A long, long time. When this is all said and done, I'm sure I'll stop and think about it, and really kind of appreciate what it feels like. It's been a long time, and it just goes to show that even with this team, you know, our coach talked last night and we've been working hard all year, and just hadn't went our way, but you keep fighting. No matter what happens to you in life, you keep fighting. That's what I did and that's what this team did. To be able to be a part of this team and get a win here on the road in our division, it just feels great."
(On when the last time he got a game ball was)
"I can't remember, man [laughing]. You're making me feel like an old man. I'm not trying to think back that far. I'm just thankful for it and appreciative for it."
(On his thought process when the team went back to the locker room at the end of the game)
"I was just so excited and so proud of this team. Again, I've been on teams where you're at that mark, and you know, it easy for guys just to pack it in. It's easy for guys to say, you know, 'My checks are still cashing, we've got three games left, I don't want to go into the offseason hurt,' and it's easy for guys to pack it in, but we didn't. Defensively, offensively, special teams – we didn't. Every single man came to work every single week. No matter who went down, the next guy stepped up, we persevered. I felt that. My heart went out for every single one of these guys. I respect and love every single one of these guys in this locker room. I just wanted to make sure I let them know that, how appreciative I was of my teammates today."
*WIDE RECEIVER MARQUES COLSTON *
(On if this is the complete game this offense was looking for)
"This is a good team win. We were able to get out to a fast start. Saw some adversity, some of it self-inflicted with penalties, but we were able to overcome it and get a good team win."
(On scoring two touchdowns today)
"It just felt good to get this offense going. Build and score on that opening drive and just really start the game on a really good note."
(On being able to bounce back against Tampa Bay after a tough loss last week)
"Really, it's just been what this team has really been about all year. We haven't gotten the bounces we'd like and some of the results that we'd like, but it's a group that comes to work week-in and week-out and prepares to win a game."
(On how the team has fought this season)
"We knew the kind of guys that we have in this locker room, and just to have the hard work show up in the win column for us, it's just huge for us. We'll just enjoy this and really get back to work, get ready and try to string two together for next week."