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Drew Brees talks about the Cardinals game

Quotes from Drew Brees' postgame interview

On offensive struggles:

"Obviously, I want to go back and look at the film and see where there might have been some missed opportunities. I can think of one. We had that screen where I thought it was well executed. We had two on two, and we just couldn't quite get through there. We got stopped there. Otherwise, I think that's a touchdown. When you look at the overall efficiency, one of four, that's not good enough. On the flip side, they were three-for-three, so that's obviously the difference in the game. I think overall, we played that game the way we wanted to and once we got into the third quarter, I felt like we didn't take advantage of some opportunities that we had. I felt like our defense got them off the field a few times. We had some opportunities, but we were going down and just getting field goals and not touchdowns. That was our opportunity to take command, take control, take the lead and go forward from there. We had a couple big plays. For the most part, it felt like we were moving the ball pretty methodically. I felt like we rushed for more yards than we did. The stat sheet says 54 yards rushing on 20 carries. It felt like it was more than that. It felt like we had a good balance. I didn't feel like I threw it 48 times or whatever it was. First game of the season, we understand we're mixing and matching personnel, balancing run to pass, taking opportunities to take shots. We can get better at all those things. I feel like we executed well. It just didn't feel like we really made any game-changing type of plays or momentum-shifting plays. Yeah, we had the one to Willie Snead, which was a great individual play for him. Mark Ingram, he was awesome at a time where we needed it. But then, we were down there with a chance to score with a two-point conversion to tie the game. Big opportunity for us, but then we go one, two, three with nothing. That was disappointing. I think that was a turning point in the game."

On the Cardinals defense taking away the deep pass:

"Yeah, we called a few and didn't get the best looks when we did. We always come into games with a lot of options to call. The times where we did, they just weren't there."

On the Cardinals dictating pace of the game:

"We came into the game knowing they have a good front. They're a big, thick, physical three-four defense. At times, it'll be tough to run the football, but we're going to continue to do that. We're not going to abandon it. I didn't think we abandoned it at all, and yet, you look at the stat sheet and you only ran it 20 times. It didn't feel like that. We really felt like we were trying to push the ball upfront. I felt like our offensive line did a great job. It felt like we sustained quite a few drives, but then you look at third downs seven of 18. Forget the percentage of 39 or 40 percent. It's just the fact that you missed 11 of them. The result is you kick four field goals. That's a tough way to leave the game knowing that you left some points out there."

On if he tried to persuade Sean Payton to go for it on fourth down with two minutes left:

"Yeah, there was a big discussion. You feel like okay, here's the scenario. We punt it, we stop them, use our timeouts, we get the ball back with 1:03. If we miss that, pretty much the game is over. It was one of those tough ones. There was certainly a big part of me that wanted to go for it. We both agreed at the end of the day to punt."

On learning who to go to in the red zone with new personnel:

"We've got some guys who have no game experience, like Brandon Coleman, Willie Snead and (Brandin) Cooks is only in his second year. There's a rhythm and a groove that you find once you have the opportunity to be out there a few times and get a feel for how guys fit in, where they fit in, how to substitute. We have multiple formations, personnel groups and that kind of thing. Certainly, you want to have opportunities for all of these guys too. They can all make plays. Brandon Coleman makes a phenomenal play on that touchdown. Willie Snead makes a phenomenal play on the pass play to get us down in scoring range down at the other end. All of these guys can do some things. Let's find ways to utilize them, and there's a balance to it."

On if he's involved in discussions on fourth down:

"Absolutely. We had the two-minute warning, so we had the chance to talk about it. Again, you're kind of weighing your percentages a little bit. If we don't get it, then there's a chance they score and this thing is really out of hand. They ended up doing that anyway, so that's why I say go for it in hindsight. It's a difficult decision because you're weighing these options with timeouts, time and the clock is against you at that point. There have been games that I can think of and they get it. Then, there are games where they don't get it and they lose."

On the overall takeaway from the game:

"They're a good football team and this is a tough place to play. I feel like, for the most part, we executed our game plan. We controlled the clock. We won time of possession. It's situational football is what it comes down to and third down efficiency. When you're seven-of-18, that's not good enough. When you're one-of-four in the red zone, that's not good enough. Offensively, we have got to be better. We're still right there with a two-minute drive inside our own five to go down and potentially win the game. Just imagine how good we can be if we can clean up some of this other stuff."

On the biggest regret in the red zone:

"We were trying to piece together some of those drives. Some of them, it wasn't like we were inside the five. All of these stops were happening in and around the 20. It may show up as a red zone play, but it's still a long field goal. We have to look at the film and kind of see where we can get some more mileage out of this or that. That'll be a group discussion."

On trusting Mark Ingram as a receiver:

"Oh yeah. He had that huge play down the sideline. That was a great effort by him and Brandon Coleman to block that guy down the field. I have a lot of trust in Mark. I think a lot more opportunities will come his way in the passing game as well as we kind of diversify everything that we're doing."

Photos from the New Orleans Saints vs Arizona Cardinals game at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday, September 14, 2015. Photos by Michael C. Hebert. (New Orleans Saints photos)

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