Quarterback Drew Brees
On how he feels physically:
"I feel as good throwing the ball as I did in a long time. Everybody deals with issues throughout the season. I had that injury in the preseason with the oblique, and I had something during the season that I was battling. At times, maybe I got away from my fundamentals and mechanics. I was kind of trying to survive at times, trying to manufacture a little bit, and manufacture power, because it wasn't coming from the places where it should. By doing that, you begin to overcompensate and do certain things that cause bad habits. I was definitely in that place towards the end of last season; I definitely wasn't feeling my best. That's no excuse, because everybody is battling stuff throughout the season, but this offseason, I definitely went back to the basics with some of those mechanics to make sure that I was doing things the right way."
On what an oblique strain does to his throwing motion as a quarterback and his throwing motion:
"You throw with your core as a quarterback. People comment, a lot of times that he's a good quarterback because he has a strong arm. It really has nothing to do with your actual arm; it's the way that you are able to generate power. There are certain elements in the way that you use your body to generate strength that allow you to create the type of power that you need. Anytime you have a core injury, which the oblique is, in my opinion; that hurts a part of the rotational element that you use to load up and create power when you throw the ball. For a while there, I didn't have that, and as I was working back from that injury, in order to protect that, I would overcompensate in other ways and develop bad habits, which worked for a short period of time, but then other things started going downhill, and you just start to get away from the good habits and consistency that go with your mechanics."
On sending a message by coming out firing in the first half:
"It was time to kick things up a notch. I say that applies for every week during the preseason. I would expect next week to be even better than this week, and so on and so forth. That's what the preseason is for. I think that you understand that, in the beginning of training camp, you're going to be working through some things. You're installing a lot of information, offense and defense to guys. We've got young guys that are having to step into multiple positions, trying to find their role, and their heads are swimming a little bit. At some point, you begin to refine, fine tune, and begin to put guys into roles that you feel like they will be in during the season, and how that is going to put them in the best position to succeed, which will therefore put our team in the best position to succeed. As you get to that point, which we are definitely at that point, you want to start playing better and better, and I'm feeling like the pieces are in place. Now it's time to execute, and execute well. There's no more room for excuses. The excuse of it being so early in camp that we can get it figured out later on is not really a factor anymore. The season is just around the corner, and we want to make sure at our best once it does come."
On Benjamin Watson's progression and performance since this offseason:
"It is funny to say progressed, because he's a 12-year veteran. He is as complete a tight end as there is. He's a guy who obviously, when we had Jimmy Graham last year, complemented us so well last year. He can do so many things, and he played a bit of a different role last year, because Jimmy was the feature in a lot of ways in the passing game. Now Ben has the opportunity to show all the things that he can do in the passing game, which is a lot. He is extremely effective, he gets open, and catches the ball extremely well. He's very intelligent, very smart, and very consistent. He can do all of the other things well that a tight end needs to do. His position is one of the hardest ones to play in football. You have to do so much. You have to run block, pass block, run routes, stretch the field a little bit, be very sure-handed, play a lot of snaps in a lot of different areas; you are just required to do a lot. He is as complete a tight end as there is."
Center MAX UNGER
On the offensive efficiency tonight:
"Our offense is a work in progress, but I thought tonight we did what we set out to do."
On the defense getting early three and outs:
"The defense got us some good field position early on and we were able to take advantage of that."
On the most important thing they did tonight as a unit:
"We got the tempo going, protected the quarterback and ran the ball. We should do those things all of the time. Our tempo really showed early. It was something that we were harping on during training camp. I think that it was a big factor and went pretty well."
Linebacker DAVID HAWTHORNE
On the practices with the Patriots:
"It was good work. We got to see their offense, which is really good. I thought that we got better being able to practice with them. I don't know if it contributed to how we started tonight or not, but we felt like we came out ready and prepared tonight as a defense."
On getting the ball back to the offense quickly in the first half:
"It's always a positive to play complementary football. The more that we can get the ball in the offense's hands is a positive. I think that we did a good job of that tonight."
Tackle TERRON ARMSTEAD
On how the joint practices helped in the game with the first run it:
"We had a great week of work with them. They are the defending Super Bowl Champs. Those guys are well-coached. They are smart, disciplined and communicate well. There is a lot of talent on that team. We just tried to come out and play our football. I think that we did a great job of executing."
On what they got out of tonight's game:
"We started fast. Drew (Brees) brought the tempo. He is so efficient in how he runs the offense. We started fast and we have something to build on for next week."
Linebacker HAU'OLI KIKAHA
On forcing three and outs early:
"We did well while we were out there. It was awesome."
On improving this week:
"I got broken in last week. I felt a little more comfortable out there. I just need to focus on making plays and doing my job."
On making early plays:
"It only happened because the rest of the guys were doing their job as well, so it opened it up for me. When you make plays early, it helps you settle down. Any player can tell you that."
Running back KHIRY ROBINSON
On if he is pleased with his efforts tonight:
"We still have a lot of work to do. We were able to gain a lot of yards, but each week we have to get better."
On the jump he's making this preseason:
"I'm just trying to gain trust with the team and with the coaches, so I can help this team win more games."
Receiver BRANDIN COOKS
On starting fast this week:
"I think that's something that we talked about all week. We wanted to come out and start out fast."
On his touchdown reception:
"It was just a great play call. Drew (Brees) put the ball where it needs to be. All I have to do is catch the ball. He did all of the hard work. I did the easy part."
On coming back from last year's injury:
"That injury has made me hungrier. It was definitely a hard offseason. I worked my tail off to come back. I want to shock the world. That's the ultimate plan."
Defensive end CAMERON JORDAN
On tonight being a good step forward for this defense:
"Yes. I think we are doing a lot of good things, and that we are headed in the right direction. Luckily, it's the preseason, and we have some things to clear up, so we will do so."
On young guys' growth:
"We are doing a lot of great things. (Hau'oli) Kikaha is coming along strong; he played pretty much the first half with us. Stephone is doing a great job. I'm really liking Tyeler Davison and his role. John Jenkins is coming into his own role. I'm liking where this defense is headed."
On how the first team defense played:
"Getting stops and three and outs are definitely beneficial towards our defensive line, and toward the defense as a whole, especially knowing that we still have Kenny (Vaccaro), Jairus (Byrd), BB (Brandon Browner), Keenan (Lewis), (Delvin) Breaux, and many others out. I can keep on going apparently, but guys stepped up, made some great plays, and, that being said, I think our defense is headed in the right direction. We've still got a long way to go."
On difficulty of gauging defense with so many guys out:
"For sure, but at the same time, it's getting a lot of younger guys some repetitions that are probably much needed. We've got another two preseason games, and we are going to just try and progress every game."
On Hau'oli Kikaha's performance and growth:
"Every day, we are striving to get better. Kikaha is headed in the direction that the team wants him to go in. He did great tonight, and we still have (Kasim) Edebali who can be a dominate sam back (sam linebacker) for us. We've got a lot of young guys on our defense, and at this time, I'm pretty excited about where we are headed."
On his game:
"Two preseason games in; of course, pressures are cool, but sacks are always better. That being said, we played Tom Brady pretty well, and that's saying a lot right now."
Safety Rafael Bush
On the team's defensive performance:
"I think we came out, matched their intensity, and created some turnovers. We flied around well today."
On the focus being coming out with intensity early tonight:
"You always want to make corrections from last week, and I think we did those things. I think our focus was there; I think our intensity was there; we were into the game, and I think, as a whole, we did a good job."
On Tom Brady's three possessions resulting in punts:
"It is a starting point, but I feel like we still have a long way to go. That's always good when you can have a Hall of Fame quarterback go through three three-and-outs like that. We'll take that, and we'll try and get better from the film tomorrow."
On defensive growth and development:
"I still think we have a long way to go, and we have some key guys that are out right now. I like the way guys are playing. They are coming in, making plays, and stepping up, so I'm excited."