Photos from the New Orleans Saints vs Cincinnati Bengals game on Sunday, November 16, 2014 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Photos by Micheal C. Hebert. (New Orleans Saints photos)
On series with fourth and goal: "We kept getting closer and closer. I believe that on fourth down, from my vantage point, it looked like it was obviously inside the 1-yard line. You're trying to give them the illusion that you're trying to hurry up and run one up the gut, get everyone committed there, then throw to the outside. I think maybe us hurrying up worked to our disadvantage because the guy is late making his way to the edge. He feels the flow coming out the backfield, so he's able to run. Both guys were really covered we were throwing it to. You're trying to get it (to) the fullback and maybe he sneaks in. Unfortunately we didn't convert there. Obviously that was huge turning point in the game because we had an opportunity to (take the lead) by getting those points so we needed that."
On possibility of Brees running quarterback sneak on fourth and goal: "There's certain elements to it. I'm not sure we were close enough. There's a couple of things we could do but we chose the one I think they were ready for."
On looking at everything they're doing: "Definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. It's not a wholesale change of anything, but certainly there's elements you can maybe change up a little bit in regards to preparation. At the end of the day, you want to create a confident mindset, as confident a mindset as you can each and every game. We are prepared. We are ready. There's nothing that we can see that we are not playing for. So that's the first step."
On if this game threatens optimism: "No, I'm still annoyingly optimistic and confident. This is a tough one to come off especially at home. That's two losses in a row both at home where we feel like we should have the advantage and we play very well. I'm confident we are able to come out this week with an extra day being that it's Monday Night Football (next week vs. Baltimore), and because it's Monday Night Football, to really come out and make a statement as to how we see the rest of our season going."
On possibly winning division despite record: "That is the truth, but we cant escape the reality of where we are right now. You are what your record says you are. We're a 4-6 team right now. I believe we can be much better than that. None of us are happy with that, none of us feel like since we're still in contention that that's good enough. We still have a lot of work to do. I think we've proved to ourselves based upon that Green Bay game, based upon that Carolina game, that man we can be a really good team if we get out there and know what to do, execute, and we do what winning football teams do. Unfortunately these last two weeks, we haven't made enough of those plays, we haven't done some of those things that winning football teams do. We need to be more consistent."
On anything Cincinnati did that was surprising: "No, defensively I think it was everything we thought it would be with a few wrinkles obviously. Nothing that we didn't have adjustments for. I don't think we ran the ball as well as we had hoped or planned. Again it was nothing exotic on their end, they just had a good front, did a good job defending us and we really didn't make any big plays down the field. We were good on third down; we kept drives alive, we converted a lot of them. What it really comes down to is the opportunities we had inside the red zone. We only came up with one touchdown, one field goal, and we got stopped on fourth down. You want touchdowns when you get down there and maybe it changes the complexion of the game a little bit because now it's a one-possession game going down to the wire."
On being a playoff team: "I don't really even think it's necessary to go there, to even speculate or talk about anything past this week. You know as well as I do the state of the division, where everybody's records are. Could we go the playoffs? Yes, we could. But we need to start playing that way."
On punting with 7:00 left down by 3 possessions: "You want to be able to keep drives going no matter the situation and keep getting points especially when you're down by that much you want to make it a game. Yes, it's disappointing."
On having a tough schedule: "Everybody has a tough schedule. Everybody plays each other. There's no gimmes, that's for sure."
On if there was any carryover from last week's emotional game: "No. Every game requires a tremendous amount of energy and focus. So many games go down the wire and games go into overtime as well. We've had three out of our first nine (go to overtime) and that's maybe a little more than usual, but I don't think that played a factor."
On flat energy being a factor: "Everybody's hyped up and ready to roll. There's always energy. Depending on how the game goes, you feed off certain guys making plays. I know when the defense gets a turnover and the offense gets a short field, there's this infusion of energy, it's momentum. That is what momentum is: that infusion of energy and the belief that this our opportunity. Let's make it happen. Confidence. We just have to do more things that give us that energy and that confidence."
On if this was a "what happened?" game: "They played a great game. All three phases they beat us fair and square. It was nothing tricky about it. It was everything we thought they would do, I know at least defensively. Offensively they did a great job of possessing the ball. They were off the charts on third down conversions. They scored touchdowns, made some big plays, ran the ball extremely well. What's funny or really not so funny is usually that's how we beat people. We beat people with that type of efficiency, with that type of tempo, with those big plays, with that run game, with that balance, with momentum, with staying on the field converting third downs. That's usually the way we beat people. All of a sudden the roles are reversed today at home which is unfortunate. We have to find a way to fix it."
On being too conservative to avoid turnovers: "I don't know what the statistics were as far as where we ran, when we ran. It didn't feel any different than what we normally do. We picked our spots, we're committed to the run game certainly. We're going to take our shots as well. Every time we took shots they were in good position. Again, we sustained drives. We were almost as good as they were on third downs, we were eight of 13 and they were nine of 13. We were on the field, we just weren't making touchdowns when we should be getting touchdowns."
On talking to team after game: "I talk to the team a lot. It was just our plan for how we're going to do what we all say we're going to do and what we're committed to doing. We're going to find a way to bring us together and find a way."
On being a leader and preventing guys from panicking: "I don't think anybody's hitting the panic button. We've had an interesting season. We've had some heartbreaking moments, maybe more than usual. I'll be honest, I feel good about our chances and our opportunity we have in front of us. I feel like we have a lot of young guys who are developing and maybe not quite there yet, but they're on their way. I feel like we're learning a lot about how to win. Unfortunately it's because of failure but failure can be the best teacher at times."
On Joe Morgan returning: "I was excited for Joe. I think he'll continue to be incorporated into the game plan. Hopefully we get (Robert) Meachem back at some point soon as well. The more guys you have like that in the lineup the more big play opportunities you have and the more you give a defense to worry about."
Running back MARK INGRAM
On the Bengals stopping the Saints' running attack: "They had a great game plan. They came out and executed. We have to do better. They beat us in all phases, offense, defense, special teams. Players (on our team) have to do better."
On losing momentum by not scoring from the goal line: "Any time you are that close and you can't punch it in it is definitely a loss of momentum. We had chances to bounce back from it, and we just could not capitalize. We couldn't make enough plays to get back into the game."
On the Bengals containing him today: "They did a good job. They did a good job of coming off the ball. They had a good game plan. We are the sixth ranked rush offense, so, obviously, teams are going to come in trying to stop the run. They did a good job of that today."
Nose tackle JOHN JENKINS
On the fans being flat today: "It's just that type of game. It's an emotional game. I know that people tend to act out of emotions. I don't know. I was tuned into the game."
On what everyone will do to get better: "Me, personally, I am going to go into the weight room and I am going to work out, get stronger, try to get faster, and hit the sled. That's the only thing that can do. I can only control what I can do."
Defensive end CAMERON JORDAN
On losing tough games this year: "We've lost four close games. This is something that we have to break down the film and learn what we can from this one and get prepared for whoever our next opponent is."
On struggling to stop the Bengals on third down: "As a D-lineman, I have to look at it from my perspective. I didn't do enough to make the quarterback uncomfortable. (Andy) Dalton did a good job even when we had pressure on him, he did a good job of releasing the ball early. They came in there and got done what they needed to get done. Even on the scrambles, we should have been able to contain him as a D-line. I will take it as my responsibility."
Safety KENNY VACCARO
On how frustrating it is to lose: "It's frustrating, but we put in work every week."
On what the team has to change to correct mistakes: "I know I sound like a broken record. (It's) not change (that is the issue). We just keep doing what we are doing. (We need to) keep preparing. I have not watched the tape. We have to come up with something."
On Andy Dalton: "He was good. We knew he was going to get the ball out in less than two seconds. They executed (as a team)."
On if everything needs to be re-evaluated: "I think everybody individually needs to be critical of themselves. (Everyone should) look yourself in the mirror and get that corrected. I don't think that it is necessarily that we need to change the whole scheme or anything like that. Everybody has to start doing their job."