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New Orleans Saints players talk about loss to Texans

Saints dropped 16-9 decision in second preseason game


Has it been a long camp?
"Three weeks without seeing the family, it is tough, but we got some good work in. It is time to see the family now."

Talk about the good work you did tonight.
"Slight work. Just something for the amount of rest that I had. I saw they were running the ball a little bit on my side, so I had to make some tackles. I felt pretty good tonight. It was mostly to see the younger guys compete, but I felt pretty good."

The secondary moving forward. You got two more weeks before the season is here, where do you think you are?
"I would say about a C . Every time a receiver catches a pass is a minus in my book. I think we got about a C , so we need to get better for next week."

Anything specific that you are focusing this close to the season?
"Staying together, gelling together. Making sure that everybody is on the same page. We are going to work."

Do you get hyped up to go against someone like DeAndre Hopkins?
"Anytime I get to go against an elite receiver, pro-bowl receiver. Is amazing. I get to showcase my talent just a little bit more. "


Can you pinpoint the offensive struggles tonight?
"First of all, I've got to give them a lot of credit. They're a really good defensive team, especially defensive front. I felt like they were able to get some pretty good pressure on us for most of the night, which forces you to have to get through things a little bit quicker and maybe lessens your opportunities for big plays. When you've got to take those small chunks, we just had too many bad things happen with negative plays, penalties, a turnover. If I just went drive by drive; the first drive, we get that pass play down the middle. It'd be great if we could hang on to it. Another safety makes a nice play, nice hit, but if we hang on to that, there we are first-and-10 inside their red zone with some momentum. The second drive, we had crossed the 50 and were on our way to drive there. That's when the interception happened. It's one of those anticipation type throws for Michael Thomas as he's passing the linebacker. Unfortunately, they ran into each other, so the ball is coming out of my hand as they are running into each other and their corner is right there to catch it, which is unfortunate because that is the first time anything like that has happened on that play. I'd say we've run that play about a thousand times. A mental error on the next drive that causes then the sack with one of the routes. You go step by step with every one of those drives as to why it stopped, why it didn't continue or why there was a turnover. The good thing is I know we can fix all of those things. The unfortunate thing is it showed up in three consecutive possessions tonight, so I'm not very happy about it."

What's the most encouraging thing you've seen in these first two games that leads you to think the season will be good?
"We've got some young players who are really playing well and really growing leaps and bounds with every opportunity, every practice, every week, so that's great to see as you begin to think about how we are going to be able to game plan with some of these guys, the role they can play on this team both offensively and defensively. That's encouraging."

Are there any specific young players you can point out?
"There's probably too many to mention, and I'd hate to leave one out. But really look at just about every position, skill position offensively, defensively in the backfield there are some young corners that are really coming along. That's great to see."

Coach Payton said WR Brandon Coleman has had a pedestrian camp so far. He's had a lot of ups and downs. Just talk about his performance and how it has been an up-and-down career for him. He hasn't gotten to that point, and we're waiting for something big from him like in last year's Arizona game.
"Brandon (Coleman) is still a young player. Felt like last year, going from his year one to year two, he might have been the most improved player and really kind of solidified his spot on the team last year in that receiving corps. Getting quite a significant amount of playing time. I think as we go through OTAs, and then preseason, everything else, there is a lot of growing still to do for all of us. And yeah, he's one of those guys, of course. Any young player, especially in those years one, two, three, four, you want to see those strides and those increases. And, listen, I think there are some things he's done well, and I certainly think he would say there are some things he could do better. I say that for myself too, so we're all in that boat right now."


How do you feel about your performance tonight?
"It was so-so. I left a lot of plays out there."

What happened on some of those plays you left out there?
"I just have to finish them. I have to hold on to the ball."

How do you feel about the camp you've been having?
"I'm trying to put myself in a good position to compete every day and give the coaches something to judge based on the film that I put out there in practice and the game. So, I just have to keep giving my best effort."

That play when you got open deep and the safety came over, what happened?
"I have to make the catch."


What did you see out of Brock Osweiler?
"He is a good quarterback. The way they ran their offense, you expected a lot of stuff. We had a game plan on them, we were seeing a lot of the things we were seeing on the drawing practice. We were kind of prepared."

What you think you have to do in order to lock down your spot?
"Just keep going out and doing what I been doing. Competing is at all-time high, I am a rookie no more. I just got to step up and make plays like I am a starter. With these guys encouraging us and encouraging each other just to do better."

Do you feel like there is an opportunity now with the couple of things that were shaken up on the cornerback position?
"I feel that it is an opportunity for not just me, but for the other guys. We are competing at an all-time time high. I feel that somebody just has to step-up and do the job."


After a disruptive practice on Thursday and a disruptive game tonight, how do you feel about where you are right now?
"Really, I feel great; I just have to be more consistent. When I was out there on third down, I didn't get too many good rushes toward the end. I just have to keep pushing, get in better shape and just keep going."

How does DT Sheldon Rankins' injury change the outlook for the early part of the season?
"You know, that's part of the game. Things like that happen, and I just have to pick it up and just keep moving forward."

Do you feel like the defensive line as a group played pretty well?
"Oh, yeah. That's something we're going to harp on as a d-line this year is going out, knocking the line of scrimmage back, getting after the o-line, then getting after their quarterback when the pass comes."

Are you trying to focus on quickness in this camp?
"No, because I'm just trying to stop the run on first and second down. Really, I'm just getting in better shape and being more consistent out there, when I'm out there each and every play."

How do you carry this performance over into the regular season?
"Keep working my butt off, get in the film room, see what I messed up on, as far as my (missed assignments) and technique-wise. Just get better each and every day in practice and the game's going to come a lot easier."


How do you feel about your performance tonight?
"I mean, I really didn't have a lot of stats. I had a really boring day, but that's good for a corner when you have a boring day. I feel I did some good things, but also some things I need to work on still."

Are the young defensive backs comfortable?
"Yeah, we're very comfortable. With the help of older guys like Cortland Finnegan, Delvin Breaux and Roman Harper just staying on us and staying in our ear, it's actually helping us develop as young players."

Overall how do you compare the defense tonight compared to last week? Do you feel you did better this week than last week?
"Yes, I think we did. Like I said, we still have a lot of things to work on, of course, but we came out, we competed, kind of won on third down. But at the same time, we have a lot of things to work on. We have to keep going up, keep going up, keep going up."

What more can the defense do to get some takeaways?
"We just have to catch them when we get them. We're going to get our opportunities. A three-and-out is the same as a turnover for us, so if we're getting a three-and-out, or we're getting a turnover, or we're getting our hand on a ball, as long as we're competing, we're going to keep moving up. I'm happy where we're at right now."


What went through your mind walking into the field being from Houston?
"It was a childhood dream of mine to be able to play in front of my home crowd. It is something that been dreaming about for a long time. I just try to take play by play, I knew my energy was going to be all amp up. I was trying to cool down before the game and just go back to the play book and understand what my fundamentals were. It was a very exciting day. Unfortunately, we did not come up with the win and that hurts. I know there is a lot of room for improvement."

How difficult is the Saints offense compare to University of California's offense?
"When I first got to the University of California under the Tedford era it was a very similar playbook. I am thankful to have him and that coaching staff to be able to teach me and give a foundation for when I got to the NFL it was not something foreign to me. With the new staff there it would have been very hard to transition from that offense to the NFL. I am very glad I was able to have Coach [Jeff] Tedford and crew to coach me up. Now it is something that is really easy for me to pick up, it took a little while to get use it. Now it is like the back of my hand."

What are you going to work on in order to secure your spot on the team?
"I am just taking it day by day. I got to do what I got to do to find a way into the 53 men. I have to keep pushing myself. I am not there yet, I got the ball a lot of times tonight. I got to make one of them break and get into the end zone somehow to help this team, I did not do it. We will go back and watch film, look at the man in the mirror, and figure out a way to get better for next week."

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