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New Orleans Saints players on loss to Giants

Transcripts of postgame interviews of Kenny Vaccaro, Jairus Byrd, Sterling Moore and Mark Ingram

S Kenny Vaccaro

Postgame at Giants, September 16, 2016

Q: Overall assessment of defensive performance…

A: We played pretty well, but not good enough until the end. Our game plan was to not give up any deep shots. Those started to come alive a little bit at the end. We just gotta finish the game – find a way to finish on that slant that I was on. Gotta find a way to get the ball out. You don't necessarily blame it on a certain play because you can't do that, but at the same time, it's our job to finish in the fourth quarter.

Q: Two losses by 4 points – how tough is that to swallow?

A: That's how this league is, though.  It's not college when people get blown out week to week. It's gonna get close, it's gonna go down to the fourth quarter, and the team that perseveres more is gonna win.

Q: You went out for a bit, are you okay?

A: Yeah, I'll be fine. I just had something going on with my ankle. The x-rays are negative.

Q: You guys played well, then PJ Williams goes out and you got other guys coming in. You guys were pretty resilient –

A: Yeah, I just don't think we were resilient at the end. But we've got young guys out there, just understanding situations, what the offense is trying to do, understanding your skillset and just finishing plays. [Ken Crawley] finishes that play every day in practice. I've seen him pick it off every time. I've seen it – I've seen it in camp three, four times. It was just unfortunate.

Q: Two losses by 4 points, how close was it?

A: I don't necessarily know the answer to that. We're just not doing enough to win. I mean, like I told him, every game is close in this league. It's not like college where it's gonna be a blowout and the game is over at halftime. It's gonna come down to the end of the game and one team has to pull ahead.

Q: How hard is it watching what happened to PJ?

A: I mean, I've been there. I've had concussions before. It's tough, man, but that's what this league is. We put our bodies on the line and we take a risk because we love the game.

Q: After the defense forced three turnovers, you forced one. How much emphasis is on that?

A: We try to take away the deep shot and get the ball as much as possible and I think we executed that in the second half, we just weren't able to finish in the final three minutes of the game.

Q: It seems like the secondary – you've had a lot of changes – but the young guys stepped up. We've seen it last week and this week too.

A: Yeah, definitely. That's one of the best receiving corps in the league. Sterling [Shepard] came in and played well, PJ was playing well before he got hurt, so it's unfortunate.

Q: Is it tough – (question unknown):

A: That's just the way this league is, that's just the cards we're dealt. You can sit here and complain if you want, but that's just the way it is. We just gotta keep rolling. Nobody cares, we just need to get wins.

Q: Ken Crawley has been just inches from making plays there at the end. What do you tell him?

A: It's a game of inches for me on the third down slant, the freaking ball was two inches from the ground. It's not just him. It's everybody. Each play is going to come down to who wants it most. I thought that was a great example of just fighting. I've seen him make that play a thousand times – picked it off four times in camp. So I just told him, 'head up, make that play next time.'

Q: What's kind of the mentality now, I know you didn't want to start 0-2, but just staying positive?

A: I mean we'll watch the tape, I'm sure we'll find positives on the defensive side of the ball. But yeah, stay out of the white noise – no need to panic right now. The whole city is probably panicked right now. We're together as a team and I'm just looking forward to watching film and getting corrected.

FS Jairus Byrd

Postgame at Giants, September 18, 2016

*Q: Yeah, and speaking of those small, small plays making a difference and two straight weeks of that. How close do you feel this team is to getting over that line? *

A: We're close, it's just about finish.  You know, we preach "finish" all the time and I think that that's what it's come down to at the end of these past two games is "finish".  I mean I think it's evident - you know, you're lying to yourself  if you don't see the difference, you know what I'm saying,  in our defense and  what we're trying to do. I think people see the direction that we're trying to head and now it's about finish. So we've got to finish.

Q: How does this team feel at this point?  I mean you are so close- it's a matter of inches,  it's a matter of plays. With things ending the way it has in the last two weeks, where is this team's head?

A: Where are we headed?

Q: No, where is the team's head, how do you feel?

A: I mean we're staying positive. I mean, listen, it's only two games in the season and we have a lot of games left, so I mean, you know, guys are staying positive and we're going to go watch the film and make the corrections that we need to make and we're going to keep our heads high and continue to play. You know, we've got to play with a swagger, confidence and you know that's not going to stop.

Q: Two losses, total of four points.   How close is this team to getting a win?

A: I feel like we're close. Like I mentioned before, that's what it's going to come down to. I know it sounds cliché, but that's what it come down to these last two weeks is just finish. Once we get that corrected, the ball swings in our direction.

CB Sterling Moore

Postgame at Giants, September 18, 2016

On how well the defense did today

A: Playing defense fairly well. Keep the ball in front of us, not allow the deep ball. Kind of just frustrate them, because that's not what they want to do. They want to eventually go deep and for the most part, we kept them at bay. I think we did very well in our game plan, we executed very well.

Q: What does it say about the character and mentality of the younger guys? What does it say about the group as a whole?

A: Guys can come in and step up. Obviously, Crawley came in and stepped up, Vonn Bell played really well. It's tough for young guys not to get frustrated when you have a game plan like that. You know they are going to hit you with their short stuff, keep hitting you with      that short stuff. So their completion percentage might see high in that aspect of it; and guys not getting frustrated was the key.

Q: How difficult was it after seeing P.J. Williams go down the way he did?

A: The first play was difficult, but after that you have to be out there, when everyone's competing. It's part of the game, it's very unfortunate and we obviously hope he's well. But you can't play with that on your mind, because you're going to play scared. So it's one of those things where you know it's a possibility but you can't go out there thinking about it. 

Q: You had three takeaways but didn't get the win; is that frustrating?

A: Not for us on defense because we played our game. We executed flawlessly for the most part. Except for a couple plays here and there. Obviously the goal was the come and get takeaways, it's takeaway week, and we did our part. There are going to be games where the offense has to carry us and there are going to games where we have to carry them. So we know that and we're not going to get frustrated if they can't score at times or things like that because it's hand and hand.

Q: What did you think of the pass interference call?

A: I didn't like it. It's was one of those things where he is trying to pull himself through and he does it a lot and kind of gets away with it at times. Someone mentioned it to the ref, so it is what it is.

Q: What is attitude of the team? You lost the first two but you were certainly competitive.

A: Our attitude is that we can go out there and compete with anybody. They have a three-headed monster out there on offense in the passing game, and for the most part we held them at bay. Like I said, we're not going to get frustrated because we're 0-2. We know what we can do, we know the type of performance we had on defense today kind of showed that. We can go out there with anybody, no matter what talent level they have, no matter how young we are on defense. So we're going to get frustrated, we're going to go back to work and keep grinding. 

RB Mark Ingram

Postgame at Giants, September 18, 2016

Q: What is your takeaway from today?

A: Improve from here. We have lots of things that we can be encouraged about, but there are a number of things that we have to continue to improve on to be able to close out these games. 

Q: You had 13 runs, how do you guys get that part of the game going?

A: I feel like my offensive linemen are doing a great job in the run game. We just have to call them and execute them. We have the coach's confidence where we can go out there and be effective in the run game. I had a run today where I should have made a guy miss, it would have gone for big, but he clipped my foot and that's a game changing play right there. We just have to improve at it and get the confidence to call them.

Q: Is it frustrating with two close losses, where you could have obviously won both games?

A: Yeah. It's the story of our team the past few years, being able to close out these close games. We have to be able to close them out. A majority of all your games in the NFL are going to come down to one possession games, so you have to be able to close them out. 

Q: How frustrating is it to have the explosive offense that you had last week and then come out here and not do it again?

A: Just have to get better. Of course, we didn't play to the best of our abilities and how we normally play, but we just have to continue to improve. 

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