OFFENSIVE LINE/RUNNING GAME COACH AARON KROMER
"Obviously (it was) a good win for the New Orleans Saints, for the fans, the ownership and the guys that were in visiting tonight that weren't allowed to be on the sidelines. It's a historic night, Drew Brees breaking Johnny Unitas' record. It's one of the longest standing records in professional sports. Marques Colston breaking Joe Horn's 50 touchdown receptions record. It was just a good night all around.
"I've stood up here for four weeks and talked about the team staying together. I've talked about guys not giving up and getting better. I said we were close; we had to get over the edge. We brought our climbing shoes to walk to climb that mountain and we did it tonight. It's just one game but it's a monkey off our back and it's a good night for a win with all these historic records being broken. I am happy for our team and I am happy for everyone involved, but it's just a start."
(on struggling a little in the third quarter but getting the level back up in the fourth) "Every game has ebb and flow. We didn't come out at halftime as strong as we liked, but we trusted ourselves and we trusted each other to overcome that and play very strong in the fourth quarter to win that game. You look at the touchdowns that we score, but you have to give credit to our defense today getting pressure on the quarterback. He (Philip Rivers) had a hard time standing in there and throwing the football. As the game went on and we watched that last drive, the front four did a wonderful job getting after the quarterback and that is what made a difference in the game."
(on the momentum swing with the roughing the passer call reversing the Drew Brees interception) "There is such a fine line between a successful play and a failure and obviously with the pressure he (Brees) had in his face that is why he threw that ball poorly. He wouldn't do that if he wasn't (under pressure) and the foul obviously caused that ball to be thrown like that. I am proud of the team, the organization and Mr. Benson for just staying strong and understanding that this thing was a slow process to start, but we really feel like we are going to get this thing together. We get a week off next week, get some rest with the bye week and continue this thing moving on."
(on Pierre Thomas injecting life into the team tonight) "Pierre Thomas has a tendency to inject life into a team. You throw him a screen pass and he does a great job of setting up the blocks. You hand the football to him and he will make guys miss and gain yards after the first hit. He has been a good player for us and we have to continue to get him the football."
(on what this win will do moving forward) "We've talked about it for the last three weeks and as we talked with the team we knew we were close. We knew we were close to getting a win and there were little things hurting us. We talked about coming out and playing more physical than the other team today and letting the score happen. When you watch the pass rush at the end of the game and you watch the guys battling up front on both sides of the ball, we play physical and got us a win."
#9 QB DREW BREES
(on his reaction to the record he set this evening) "It's unbelievable. I just tried to take in the moment a little bit after the game, walking around the locker room and sharing that with my teammates, guys that are obviously as big a part of this record as anyone. I think the amazing thing about a record like this is that it spans over the course of, really, four seasons and hopefully we can keep it going for a while. But you talk about the '09 team, '10, '11 and now '12, there are so many people that are a part of this. That is another reason why I felt it so important to have Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis and Joe Vitt in the building as well. They had a chance to share in that moment too. The namesake or the guy that held this record for 52 years, Johnny Unitas, arguably one of the best quarterbacks in this game, really revolutionized the position, everything that he stood for as a player, just a pioneer of this game. It's a tremendous honor. It's humbling. (It is) certainly a record that we all very much appreciate."
(on if it is better with a win?) "No question. I guess you really couldn't have written a better script for tonight, to break the record, to get the win, in the fashion in which we won, really a complete team effort all the way around. (The) Chargers take the ten-point lead and then we come back as an offense, scored two consecutive touchdowns and the defense gets a big turnover and we get the field goal and special teams comes up with the tackle on the kickoff and the defense comes up with a big stop and it was just back and forth, but whoever needed to come up with the play on our side made the play, whether it was offense, defense or special teams and that is a complete team win."
(on the roughing-the-passer call in third quarter that negated a potential interception return for a touchdown and that serving as a turning point) "Well previously to that, they had tipped the ball at the line of scrimmage and therefore it ended up being behind Devery (Henderson) and the Devery tipped it and then they got it so they got seven points. You felt like man momentum had kind of swung in their direction. They scored at the end of the second quarter going into halftime and then they scored again on a turnover. We get the penalty obviously, that negates their interception, then we go down and immediately touchdown and then come right back and then touchdown. Certainly, I think for us that we knew offensively that we needed to make something happen and we were able to rattle off two touchdown drives which really swung the momentum back to our side and we were able to keep it.
(on the second half run-pass balance) "I felt like we really got the tempo going and we just locked in on what we needed to do. Yeah, it was a great mix of the run and the pass and everyone involved, everyone making plays. I'd say that certainly that was the best that we have felt as an offensive probably this whole season."
(on the record-setting touchdown going to Devery Henderson) "Pretty fitting that a guy who's been here and been through so much with this organization (is who it went to). Devery's been here for nine years. He was a part of the '04 and '05 (clubs), the Katrina year, and then coming back in '06 and really been a part of the storybook ever since. He's been a mainstay in that receiving corps, really one of the unsung heroes, I'd say. Obviously, there are certain guys that get a lot of attention in this offense, and typically he's not one of them, but he certainly deserves it. I can't think of a better guy for this to go to.
"Ironically - I didn't think about this until it was just mentioned to me be by Joe Unitas, who I just saw before walking in here – No. 19, Devery Henderson, catches the record-breaking touchdown. (Johnny Unitas wore No. 19 for the Baltimore Colts.)"
(on if he spoke to Sean Payton?) "I did. I just had the chance to see him. It was great to see him. He looks good. Obviously, I felt like this night wouldn't have been the same without him in the building. And Mickey Loomis, and Joe Vitt. To have all those guys (here) and to spend a little time with them, to share in the historic moment, was special."
(on the touchdown that started the streak) "I'm going to say Giants, Jeremy Shockey, 2009. Fire 82 X Banana."
(on Marques Colston and Devery Henderson stepping up with Jimmy Graham and Lance Moore hurt) "It just speaks volumes about those guys, their ability to step it up when obviously they knew we were light with Jimmy being out for that period of time in the second half and obviously Lance being down this game. Those guys stepped up and did tremendous. Marques has been another mainstay in this offense for a long time, him and Devery. Just couldn't be happier for both of them – obviously, Marques setting the Saints receiving touchdown record tonight, passing Joe Horn. Joe Horn would be proud. Joe and Marques had time together, we all did back in '06. Well deserved on Marques Colston."
(on plans for record setting ball) "I haven't gotten that far. (I'm) definitely going to be sending something to the Hall of Fame. More than likely it'll be that ball. Like I said, I haven't thought of it. There's a lot of people I'd like to give a lot of game balls to that were a part of this. Certainly, something that could be enshrined in history for other people to see and share in is also important too. They will definitely be getting something."
(on the significance of the win before the bye week) "I guess there's two ways to look at it. One is … we got this first win, it's the best we've played, we've steadily improved each and every week, even though some of those earlier games didn't result in wins. We feel like we're progressing the way we want to. Now you feel like you're rolling and you just want to go right back to work and go get another one. There's also the mindset that … we're a little banged up, so let's get some guys healthy, let's regroup and let's come back off this bye ready to get on a roll here."
(on if the deep pass was an in-game adjustment or from preparation during the week?) "We knew we were going to do that during the week. That's film study, that's preparation by our coaching staff and our players. You've got a lot of those calls throughout the course of the game and it's really just the right time to call it. It all came together the way it was supposed to – perfect timing, perfect guy running it, perfect defensive look, and we were able to get a big touchdown on a critical third down."
(on his reaction to a congratulatory tweet from Roger Goodell) "Just thank you."
(on the difference between setting this record and the single-season passing yardage record where he passed Dan Marino) "The Marino record, obviously, that's one season, that body of work. Whereas this record has this record has stretched over four seasons. There are so many people that are involved in this, many more. It's not the end of it. Hopefully, we can keep this rolling for a while. Also, when we set the single-season passing mark last year, it was right at the end of the game, a game that was well in hand, we knew we had won. It was easier to kind of celebrate. This one, you're in the first quarter of a very important game. You've just got to reel in your emotions and then get ready to go out there and you've got a lot of football left to play. I didn't get to enjoy this one at that moment as much as the Marino one. I guess we've got the bye week to do that."
(on the character of the team) "We've got great character, great leadership on this team among the players, among the coaches – really a testament to Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis, for building the foundation we have here. You do that because … there are going to be tough times, there is going to be adversity. While you never want to start off 0-4, if you do, you've got the right guys in the locker room to turn that thing around and certainly not turn on each other. That's never something that we would do. We understand we have a little bit of a mountain to climb here. One step at a time, one rock at a time. We got the right people in the locker room, and that makes you feel you always have a chance."
#19 WR DEVERY HENDERSON
(on catching the record breaking touchdown pass from Drew Brees) "It was a great feeling. We knew that we wanted to be a part of it going into this game. I know every guy in the receiving corps would have loved to have caught that ball. Most importantly, Drew got it done. It's a historic compliment to him."
(on being wide open during the historic catch) "It was a double move route. I was so wide open coming out of the route that I hoped he saw me. I knew once he threw it out that I would catch it. When the play was called, I had it in my mind that this could be the play and I could be a part of history. Drew and I connected and it turned out pretty well."
(on the conversation between Drew and himself after the touchdown) "It was a crazy moment at the time. I was too busy trying to get him the touchdown ball. It feels good to be part of it. It was a great accomplishment for him. He deserved the ball, so I was just trying to get him the ball."
#12 WR Marques Colston
(on if he interacted with Joe Horn prior to breaking his club record for career touchdown receptions) "I hadn't spoken to him leading up to the record, but I have a feeling that I will be speaking to him soon. Joe was a guy that took me under his wing. I have a lot of respect for him as a player and as a person. I look forward to speaking to him."
(on tonight's game and where the team is at heading into the bye) "This is the first game of the year where we played complete team football for 60 minutes. It feels really good going into the bye. We didn't think we would be where we are at this point of the season, but it is what it is. We have a great opportunity to get some rest and to go to Tampa Bay and get win number two."
#23 RB PIERRE THOMAS
(on if the offensive players talked about Drew breaking the NFL record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass this week) "You didn't hear too many guys talk about it. Every guy hoped that they got that opportunity. I'm glad Devery (Henderson) got it. Our main focus was to get a win. That was our main focus. We were struggling in the past games and we needed to turn this thing around. We just have to move forward from now."
(on the running game in the second half) "We just have to keep pounding it. Not every play is going to work. Sometimes you get a 10, 15 or 20 yard run and other times you might get a two or three yard run. You just have to keep pounding it. Eventually something will break loose if you keep doing it. I thought I had to do my best to establish that in the second half. In the back of my head, I kept telling myself that nobody was going to take me down. I just wanted to keep my legs going to make something happen. If I can show that to my coaches and my teammates, then maybe that will inspire them. I told our running backs that we have to establish something in the second half. We had to do whatever it takes to establish the run to set up the passing game. We just needed to be more balanced and that's what we did in the second half."
#50 LB CURTIS LOFTON
(on getting his first win as a Saint) "It feels great to get that monkey off that back. It really felt great as a defense to be out on the field to seal the win for us."
(on if they made any halftime adjustments) "No, early on we gave up a couple of big passes. The guys buckled down and did their job. We shut them down in the second half."
(on what he told his teammates during the last drive) "I was telling the guys to bite down. There was 39 seconds left. I told them to give me everything that you got for the last 39 seconds. The defensive line showed up big. Everyone complemented each other. The secondary had great coverage and the defensive line got to the quarterback. You are going to win a lot of games if you can do that."
#41 S ROMAN HARPER
(on his fourth quarter interception) "We won the game, so it makes it a little better. I have to thank Malcolm (Jenkins) because he made a great play on the ball. He was there a little early and just waited on it. He tipped it up and I was there luckily."