Quarterback Drew Brees
Now you've won three of four, do you guys feel like things are starting to come together collectively?
"Yeah, I think that's a good way to put it. I think we've identified some things offensively, defensively that we've been able to kind of fine-tune and establish our identity with. Each game is so different just in regards to how – your keys to victory, where the matchups are, and what you identify as the things that you really need to do well in order to win a game. It can be different from week-to-week. Coming into this game, we felt like we needed to run the ball really effectively. We thought that was going to be one of our keys to victory. 180-some odd yards rushing, Mark Ingram had a huge day. The o-line did a great job. We benefitted from some big plays in the run game, and with that comes time of possession. 38 minutes we possessed the ball, which is obviously a lot. You combine that time of possession with the run game stats, with the turnovers we're able to get, you're going to win a lot of games coming up."
Talk about the third down conversion to Marques Colston. Were you guys staying aggressive regardless of the situation?
"Oh listen, there's no question. When you have the chance to win the game, you want to make the play to win the game. Can't say enough about Marques. Big time players make big time plays in big time games, and he's a big time player. He knew it was coming his way, and it was awesome."
Is that the same mentality you had from the end zone when you flipped the field and got the big play? Some teams may would have run the ball there.
"Yeah, just felt like it was the right time. Go over there and Sean and I are talking and I say, "Let's just run by these guys. Let's just throw a go. We dialed it up and I think Brandon ran up underneath it and obviously that flipped the field. It changes the momentum and just does a lot for you. So yeah, we're going to play aggressive and we know we have the guys to do it."
In that first half when you got the turnovers and you were able to score quickly, did that feel like the Saints football that we haven't seen in stretches?
"Yeah, we obviously talk about a fast start. I don't know if you can start any much faster than that. Obviously that was in part to a couple great defensive stops and two turnovers there, and then we get the fumble on the kickoff return. So bang, bang, bang, all of the sudden it's 20-0. Listen, we know the character make-up of that team on the other side. I think coming into this game, they are 9-1 in games where it's determined by one possession or less. They have a ton of comeback victories. I've seen Andrew Luck do it a number of times. We knew the game was not even close to being over. I think the part that is disappointing for me is despite the yards and everything else, we were only able to get seven points after that. I know we are better than that. Even though we had that lead, some might think you are just kind of playing the odds. We've got to play our brand of football, move the football and score points. We didn't do enough of the in the second half. Thankfully, our defense was playing great, and we were able to get a great team win. You can look back and say maybe we had two other opportunities for points and so then this game is out of reach and doesn't come down to what it came down to, but I feel like the Lord put you in those positions for a reason. We needed to win like that, the way in which we did. Finish on our terms by taking three knees and finishing it out. There's something to be said for that and what that does for your psyche moving forward."
The complementary team wins where everybody has contributed the past few games, do those type of wins feel better?
"They do, they do, because you feel like you earned it. It was complimentary, and everybody was there for one another. I feel like in the locker room afterwards it's offensive guys, defensive guys, special teams, four core guys all embracing. We all had a part in this. We all are relying on one another and there is great trust and confidence in each other and you just know that you will find a way to make a play and win the game. That's a good feeling."
What was your take on the fake field goal?
"When you run a fake and it works, it's awesome. I'll let Luke (McCown) give the whole description of what happened, but I kind of heard that we might be doing it if we got the right look. It's the McCown to Ben Watson connection. Obviously that was a big play because it gets us down there and gets us another set of points. Again, just kind of sends a message to the whole team that we are playing to win. We play aggressive. When we have our opportunities to make plays, we're going to make them."
Do you feel like you have to go sit down on the bench and look upset in case anyone is watching?
"Yeah, I went over and grabbed a drink was sitting there sipping it just like, 'Come on baby, work. Let's go. Let's go.' Sure enough it did."
You said you were glad you had to earn it at the end. I think it was six straight possessions where you punted, what did you run in to?
"I felt like we flipped the field on them a few times. In other words, we get pinned back and we march it to the 50 and then we are punting. That's not a terrible thing when you are punting them back inside their own 20 or perhaps their own 10. At times, that's where you playing the field position game. It's not like we were giving them short fields or felt like we were giving them momentum. They were able to make some big plays. I think for us offensively we just feel like, 'Man, if we can get things going.' Especially we were backed up there a few times and got to midfield and then it's like, 'Alright, this is our chance to go down and get points and score.' We weren't able to do that in the second half after that first possession. First possession of the third quarter we go right down and score, and it's 27-0 at that point. After that, we were outscored 21-0, so that part does not sit well with me or any of our guys. We knew the type of team we were going up against, we knew their ability to come back and so we should have been able to score more points there in the end."
Was getting C.J. Spiller involved early something you guys set out to do this week?
"Yeah, I mean I felt like all of our running backs got a lot of play. Obviously Mark (Ingram) had a huge day running the football. Khiry (Robinson) was very productive when he was in. Then, obviously C.J. (Spiller) both run game and pass game. All of those guys, they have a role. You still don't know whose day it is going to be necessarily. They know they're all going to get their opportunities and then just kind of see how it plays out, but I thought they all did a really nice job today."
Cornerback Brandon Browner
Do you feel like this secondary has rounded into shape?
"It is still early, you know, but I'm very confident in this group. I tell these guys all the time, we've got a real good group. We've got to compete throughout the week, execute the game plan and I think we've got a good shot. This is a real good group. I've been around two good groups, and this group's got a chance."
How would you evaluate Delvin Breaux's play?
"I think he played well. T.Y. (Hilton) only had three catches. Two of the catches Breaux fell down. Breaux has the toughest challenge every week. Breaux is playing lights out. That's part of the game. Like I was telling my guys, I don't know a DB that hasn't given up a ball. I don't know a DB that has not got scored on. That's a part of the game. We've just got to be there for our teammates. When that stuff happens, you've got to hold on. There will be times where we'll give up something, and he has to hold his own."
Talk about how well you guys were playing early on?
"I thought we played well in all aspects. Special teams got a big play. Offense did their thing. We were getting three-and-outs early on and often. I thought we started the game off hot."
Running Back Mark Ingram
On the team:
"We feel like we have the right guys in this locker room, enough talent, the right camaraderie with each other, and it's just about continuing to improve and continuing to get better and continuing to have faith in one another. We'll be okay if we just continue to do that."
How much do you collectively believe things are turning around?
"We're happy about winning on the road, especially. But there are lots of things in this game that we need to improve on. We need to finish better. We haven't played a full game of our best football yet, so we have to continue to strive to do that. We're excited about our wins. We know the type of team we have. We're confident in each other. But we have to continue to improve. We're not where we need to be and where we want to go is championship football. So we have a lot of things to do to put ourselves in that position."
What was the difference in the running game?
"I think we came out with a very diverse running plan. I think our coaching staff did a great job of scheming. I think the offensive line did a tremendous job. There is no way the backfield can have that type of game without the offensive line. They did a great job getting a head on the hat, creating movement up front, creating seams for us to run through and we had to make a guy miss. They can't block 11 guys. They did a great job and deserve all the credit."
It seemed like you had a lot of room at the second level.
"Yeah. When they handle their people up front and we can break through, it's our job to make plays in that situation. When we can make it to the second level it's our job to make plays and make those big runs and those explosive runs happen. So like I said, they deserve all the credit because they were able to get us to the second level, able to get us to that point and those big guys deserve the credit."
Defensive End Cameron Jordan
The play of the team:
"I think our defense as a whole is starting to gel together and do all the right things that we need to do. You can't be happy still that we're at 3-4. We're still on the road to getting right. That being said, our DBs had a great game minus a push off, but you know, we are not going to get that call. That being said, I can't be more proud of the d-line and the way we're playing right now. We've got a whole bunch of young guys. We're dealing with a lot of growing pains but at the same time we're overcoming a lot of different things."
The defense was a big talking point this week trying to get that fixed.
"Right, he made an emphasis like first time under 100 (rush yards) in like 14-15 games. I don't know the exact number but I know he was mad about it. That being said, got to love how we came out in the first half, put 20 on the board and that really carried us on into the second half."
Were those first two-and-a-half quarters the best you guys could play?
"I'd like to say no. I'd like to say we have more in us. The season is not even halfway through yet. We still have another game next week, that's all I know. I'm not even sure who it's against. I won't even start planning until tomorrow. So I'm going to take these 24 hours and I'm going to corral these young bucks. We're going to get right. When we have our nose tackle getting his first sack of the season that's something to be excited about. Now we just have to work on his celebration (laughs)."
Do you have to worry about responding and not getting too high on these wins?
"Oh for sure. You can't be too excited. We're still 3-4. We still have a long way to go. There are some good things that happened in the first half, but again there are still some negative things that happened in the second half. So that's something that we have to control and get under control."
Safety Kenny Vaccaro
After you get a big win on the road, do you start to build some confidence as a team?
"Yeah, I think we're getting better, but at the same time, we can't give up that many second half points. We've got to be real critical of ourselves in these wins just like we were last week. We'll continue to get better like we did."
Do you feel like you guys did a pretty good job of confusing Andrew Luck?
"It wasn't too much confusion. It was more of just locking up. There wasn't too much confusion, to be honest, not really."
Do you think pressure affected him?
"Pressure and hats off to the guys in coverage too. He's holding that ball. There's a reason why he's holding it."
If you look at those two first touchdowns, it looked like Breaux fell down. How does that make you look at things?
"It's one of those things where you wish it didn't happen. I'll take (Delvin) Breaux all day on T.Y. (Hilton). I mean, you look at any of the other plays, he's breaking the pass up. When he's on his feet, he's balling. He's fine. It was a fluke."
Is it something where you take that out and you guys had a pretty good day?
"You can't take it out. It's still in the stat book. It's still yards on the passing yards. We still need to finish."
Can you just talk about the effort overall? It seemed like a whole team effort from the defense.
"Yeah, definitely. I think everybody played well. We're communicating. We're poised, stayed in it the whole time and just played good ball."
Tight end Ben Watson
Talk about the fake field goal that you all put in this week and talk about the execution of that play.
"We've been working on it for a little bit, not too long, and we knew we were going to call it. We got a great opportunity to call it, and I'm just upset that I didn't get in the end zone because the group accounted for that touchdown pass."
It was set up by a catch that was ruled not a catch. Do you even know what a catch is in the NFL anymore?
"I struggled a little bit with that call. Obviously you've got to hold onto the ball the whole way through. But I was out of bounds, had two feet down. I thought it would be overruled, but we got a good play on to the next play and ended up scoring a touchdown."
What kind of confidence does it give you guys to have a coach who believes in you to call that play like that?
"Since I've been here, Sean's (Peyton) always been very aggressive. We know that from him. We know he's going to throw caution to the wind sometimes and just play his game, the game that he wants to call. He has aggressive calls all of the time. Sometimes he'll surprise us, and he'll go for it on fourth down. It is great that a coach has confidence. We just need to execute, which we were fortunate enough to do today. We need to keep that up and execute so that he continues to be aggressive."
I think that was the start of 27-straight points. Did you feel kind of a jolt right there at the fake field goal and think you guys were going to run away with it through the third quarter?
"Football is a game of momentum, obviously. We had great momentum in the first half. When you make big plays like that in special teams, offense, defense – the defense played lights out. They were stopping them. We were moving the ball offensively and scoring touchdowns. Football is a game of momentum. The second half, not so much, we weren't moving the ball offensively. They started coming back and you could see kind of the shift. Fortunately for us, our defense made a big stand and we were able to finish off the game."