HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON
On the difficulty of the situation today, given the lack of available players:
"I think it's kind of where we are at, to some degree, a little bit as a league. It seemed like, obviously, a lot went on the last week and a half. I thought that our defense battled. We did some positive things in the kicking game. In fairness to Ian (Book), it's impossible to evaluate his play. Hopefully, we can get a little help here, get some guys back, and be ready to go next week."
On if there were any discussions with the National Football League office about postponing tonight's game due to the lack of players available:
"No, look, I'm not involved in that; that would be Mickey (Loomis), Dennis (Lauscha), or Mrs. B (Gayle Benson). My job is to really focus and prepare, get the players ready to go. That is something that, pretty soon your energy gets wasted. Obviously, we didn't do a good enough job tonight. It's frustrating. I'm sure it was frustrating to watch."
On not being able to evaluate Ian Book's performance:
"I don't think (it was) preparation (that was the issue). I think that he prepared well. I think that it's one of the challenges that, sometimes, it can take place, even in the later part of preseason games, where you want to try to evaluate, especially at the quarterback position; but, just keeping him upright tonight was a challenge. I'm sure that there are some plays that we will look at and he'll look at. The first interception is a throw that he'll want back. It's a tough position for him to be in."
On if he can recall a game as difficult as this one as a play-caller:
"Hopefully, you forget those games so you can't recall them. Look, our jobs are to give our players a chance in the gameplan, the best chance possible. We are not making any excuses. There were a number of things offensively that didn't sit well, I'm sure, with all of us as coaches. Nonetheless, this is a game that we are going to want to quickly get behind us. We have a short week and two important games coming up, two division games that are going to be important relative to the NFC (seeding)."
On how Ian Book will mentally handle tonight's game:
"He is competitive and tough. He is going to be fine. He'll be frustrated like all of us with some plays. Certainly, it's not going to define his growth or his career or what he does. It was one of those kind of perfect storms. We are all anxious to see him. And, yet, it was just a tough spot for him to be in. I think he is smart enough to understand that."
On the play of the defense:
"I thought they competed. I thought they did a good job. The first set of points was the turnover. At halftime the score was low. I thought they did well. They had some short fields (to defend). Certainly they played well enough for us to be in this game, which we were for a good majority of it. I thought that they battled."
On if it is hard to learn about the team on a night like tonight due to so many missing players:
"I think we understand (the situation). Look, we had two players today getting fitted for equipment in the locker room in the equipment room that had just arrived. I think that we have a good idea of what this team is capable of doing. Hopefully, we can get some guys back here this week and be ready to go for next week's game."
On what is the biggest challenge with starting a new quarterback on short notice:
"It's not him getting ready with a few days notice (that is an issue). It's being able to have some efficiency being able to have some efficiency running the ball when he's in there, being able to protect a little bit longer when he's in there. He handled the workweek and understanding what to do. Look, there were some tempo issues in and out of the huddle, but I think it is just having enough where he can have some success. I think that was the bigger challenge for him this week."
SAINTS QUARTERBACK Lil'Jordan Humphrey
On the mindset going into this game:
"The mindset going in was know your job and do you job. You just go out there and play to the best of your ability. If you mess up, then mess up at 100 miles per hour. I feel like for the most part that we did that."
On what's this season been like:
"That's the game of football. You are going to have adversity to push through to get the outcome that you want."
On the mindset of the team moving forward:
"It hurts to lose a game, any game. We have a game Sunday. We have to wash this one out. We have to build on the good that we have. We just have to get ready for next week to get the win."
On how Ian Book handled himself:
"I feel like he handled it well. Perfect. I feel like a lot of people in that situation would be wide eyed. He was poised. He made some mistakes, but that happens. It is what it is. He played well to me."
LINEBACKER Zack Baun
On what the week was like:
"We can't seem to get away from adversity. As the week went on, you kind of expected more guys to test positive. You just have to roll with the punches and it's next man up. I got my opportunity and tried to make the most of it."
On when he knew Kwon Alexander was not going to play:
"I found out that Kwon wasn't playing yesterday. It was short notice for me, but I was preparing like I was going to be the starter the whole time. Your role changes quickly especially this day and age with Covid and everything else going on. You have to be ready."
On the defense playing well and not getting the desired result
"All we can do is to control what we can control on the defensive side. We hope the offense produces. We are just focused on the defense and what we do."
On if they were anticipating other guys ending up on the Covid list as the week progressed:
On how this week was different compared to last year:
"With Covid, you always know that it is lingering around. Last year we were prepared like we were going to be the next man up. It can happen at any time. We saw that last year with multiple teams. It just so happened that it wasn't us last year. It was us this time and it was really next man up. We just fight adversity. That's how it goes."
QUARTERBACK Ian Book
"It's tough playing these last two years with COVID. It's just something we have to do now. We try to get those guys back as soon as we can and get better as a team. It hits the teams in different weeks. It hit us this week but we're all here to play football so we have to be ready."
"Personally I have a lot to get better at. Excited to watch the film and get back at the drawing board. We go on the sideline and look at the IPads, there are things in my mind that I already want back. It was good to be out there. I'm evaluating it. It's bad. We didn't score a touchdown. We can't win a game that way."
"We thought they were going to come out and a play a lot of man and they played zone. They never saw me play, wanted to test my arm and make me throw in certain zones. It was a smart tactic. There were some times they took away some shorter routes I was trying to hit and I just need to move to the next level. There were definitely some of them I could have gotten. There are some other things too, but definitely that first."
"We had that play (pick six). We had a cover zero beater and were going to work one side of the field versus anything else. They came up in a look that we thought were going to be zero and had a few cover zero checks. They came up in it, thought it was zero, I was going to try and work L.J. (Humphrey). I left it inside and they had that same look but bluffed out and had the corner sit, so I left it inside. I can still complete that or not even throw it since it looks like zero. They got me. They left a gap in between the corner and the safety that I could have left a whole shot."
"I have to (move on from it), especially at this league and this position. That's a terrible feeling, having a pick six in your debut. I've thrown one pick six in my life so that sucks, that was my second one. That's not what you want. I don't have a good answer for you on that one. You need to forget about it and I did. It was a nightmare, went to the sideline and completely got it out of my mind. I forgot about it."