Saints Head Coach Dennis Allen
I'm disappointed with the way we played today. Particularly in the first half of the game. I've got to find a way to get this team to be more consistent. So that's on me. I'll have to do a better job. I'll take your questions.
Q. What's been the biggest issue with the slow starts on both sides of the ball?
Look, I think the bigger thing really has been our inability on first and second down to do a better job of getting them into third and longer situations. We're allowing too many first and second down conversions, not forcing enough third downs early on in games. We struggled again with quarterback again today. You know, we had some opportunities to get him on the ground. We didn't cash in on those opportunities. We had some guys that were spying him, and he made some plays. But, yeah, look, we have to do a better job. Offensively, I thought we ran the ball early in the game pretty effectively, and then all of a sudden you're chasing points. It becomes a little bit more difficult to do. I think just as a team we've got to do a better job of being more competitive in first half of games. Our guys fought their tails off to give themselves a chance, but can't keep digging yourself into these holes and think you're going to be able to come back all the time.
Q. What happened with Derek?
He was evaluated for a concussion. I can't really talk about it or elaborate on it.
Q. The right shoulder, is that anything to do with his last injury?
We'll look at it, but he was out of the game because he was evaluated for a concussion, so...
Q. Has anybody else done testing on the shoulder because of the concussion?
Listen, I don't know all the answers to that. We'll see where he is at tomorrow.
Q. Why do you think you respond so well when you get behind and then things start flowing on both sides?
I don't really know what the answer is to that. I'm just being honest with you. I don't know what the answer is to that. I would like to think that we could start a little faster, get the momentum going a little bit quicker. I do know our guys never feel like they're out of it. I do know they're going to continue to fight and battle. But, like I said, we can't keep digging ourselves into these holes, especially against a good football team.
Q. What did Jameis bring to the offense when he went in?
I thought Jameis did some good things in the game. Got a couple of explosive plays. We were able to score a couple of touchdowns, a couple of two-point conversions. I thought there was some good things that he did in terms of in the passing game. It's obviously a tough situation to come into when you're down that many points, and the team really kind of knows that you're going to have to throw the ball. So I thought under all those circumstances, I thought he did a good job. I thought Chris (Olave) and A.T. (Perry) made some nice plays for him. There were probably a couple of opportunities that I thought that we could have cashed in on, but I thought overall I was pleased with what he was able to do under those circumstances.
Q. Was it enough to evaluate that position after a bye week as far as the starter?
Well, we'll see where Derek is at. I don't think we're -- well, I know we're not in a competition there. I thought Jameis did some good things, but Derek Carr is our starting quarterback.
Q. Did Michael Thomas get hurt on that first hit?
Yes. Yeah. Yeah, he has a knee injury.
Q. What did T.J. Hockenson do in especially the first half that kind of gave you all trouble?
Well, look, he is an exceptional route runner. So he ran some good routes and got open. We struggled to be able to cover him today. I'll go back and look at the tape and see if there's some things that maybe we could have done differently, but he obviously was a major factor in the game.
Q. On the impact of Mike leaving game early…
It impacted some things that we were wanting to do. I thought overall I thought A.T. Perry came in and performed well, but I think any time you lose a guy of Mike's magnitude, it affects what you're doing.
Q. Do you feel like overall that you have regressed this season?
Progressed or regressed?
I don't think we're playing as well as we're capable of playing, you know. So, yeah, I don't think we're playing as well as we're capable of playing. I think we need to play better.
Q. As for Hockenson, was he doing a lot of zone better stuff?
I think he beat us in zone. He beat us in man. He beat us on a few things.
Q. Is there anything you can say about -- I know we're going down a list of injuries. Is there anything you can say about Lattimore and what happened to him?
He has an ankle, so Mike Thomas -- any issues really coming out of the game really is Mike with the knee and Lattimore with the ankle, and then obviously Carr is in the concussion protocol.
Q. What's the focus for the players going into the bye week? What was your message?
The focus for the players is to get away, get their minds off of football for just a little bit, kind of reset again. Get their bodies healthy, so there's a lot of rehab that's going to be going on over this next week to try to get guys healthy and get back. Then us as coaches, we've got to look at how we can put some better plans together to give our guys more opportunities to be successful.
Q. Do you feel like it comes at a good time?
Yeah, look, you play a game like this, yeah, you kind of want to reset a little bit. Yeah, I don't know if it comes at a good time or not. We'll evaluate kind of this tape and see what we can do better, and then we have to get ready for Atlanta.
Q. Can you live with the interceptions at the end with Jameis just because of the situation you all are in, or do you want to not make those kinds of decisions?
Look, without seeing the whole thing, I'll probably reserve judgment on that. Again, when you're in those situations and you are kind of in a little bit of desperation mode, sometimes those things happen.
Q. You had a lot of success with Taysom the last few weeks, but he only had one rush today. Was that a product of getting down so quickly?
Yeah, yeah. I think when you get down like that so early in the game, it really limits a lot of the things that you want to try to be able to accomplish in a game. So we have to be better defensively of keeping the score down in the early part of the game, so what we have is our game plan going in offensively. You kind of get out of it probably by the early part of the second quarter just because you're now chasing points.
Q. The sort of boost in production the second half on the offensive side, did that come down more to execution, or did you all find a different way to attack?
Yeah, I think probably a little bit of both. We had a couple of thoughts coming out of halftime of things that we liked. I thought our guys executed those things a little bit better, and some of the tempo stuff, again, was pretty good for us.
Q. Would you say similarly kind of from a defensive side as well, as far as slowing them down?
I think that was a lot more about getting our eyes in the right spot and our execution more so than it was kind of a change in philosophy or calls or whatever.
Q. Do you have a comment about what happened with Mike on Friday night?
Saints Quarterback Jameis Winston
Q. When you came in, what allowed you to spark the offense?
I mean, that was just us as a whole. When we are able to execute and do the things that we were capable of doing, we get good results.
Q. About the fourth and three play, were you going to get rid of the ball? What was the plan on that particular one? Is that the play call or did you just have to get rid of the ball?
It was a run-pass option. I'm not sure what play. I think it was third and three, if I'm not mistaken, because I think we converted on the fourth down, the fourth and one, the next play. I really don't know which play you're talking about.
Q. On pushing the ball down field, was that kind of a game plan?
We were in obvious passing situations, and we had to push the ball down the field. I just commend the guys for just continuing to fight. We never gave up, and we gave it all we got.
Q. What was working with your connection with Chris Olave?
Chris is just an unbelievable receiver. When you give him opportunities, he does great things.
Q. Can you talk about the play with A.T. Perry?
It's just A.T. Wanted his first touchdown so bad that he goes up top and makes a great play. Sometimes the best play in football is the scramble drill. Me and A.T., we're working every Tuesday. Letting him know when you get a one-on-one opportunity, go up there and make a play.
Q. What did you see on that play as it unfolded?
I saw him in the corner of the end zone by himself, and as I let it go, I saw #7 (Murphy Jr.) break on it, so I just gave him a ball that only he can get to.
Q. Can you speak to -- there were a couple of plays where Rashid Shaheed just went all out and gave it everything. Can you speak a little bit to his --
We have a great group of guys. We just have to get it together. Rashid, Chris, Mike, A.T.; our tight end group with Juwan, Taysom and Foster. We have guys that can really go. We just have to continue to develop, continue to get better, and execute.
Q. Can you speak to the mentality that you have when you lost Derek Carr and Mike Thomas during the game and just kind of going on without them?
It's always next-man-up mentality, and everybody out there is grateful for their opportunities. Those guys, they took advantage of it. We just didn't end up on the winning side.
Q. What was your mindset when you entered the game?
I'm grateful every time I get out there. I just want to finish.
Q. Can you talk about how the team regroups?
Man, we're so close. We're so close. You just saw really in the first half it showed all how we were so close to converting, and things were open, and we just needed one extra second, or we needed the ball to be right here or a little bit more. I think we got it, man. Obviously, you want to go with a win heading into the bye week, but this is a time where we're all going to dig deep and look inside of ourselves and come out on top. I believe this team has the will to persevere. I believe this is a resilient team. I believe we have some resilient coaches. Now it's time to go do that.
Q. Can you walk us through the second interception?
The second one. I was trying to give Rashid Shaheed a chance down the field. In that case take what the defense gives you. We had a chance to tie up the game, and that's what I said. We just have to finish. I have the to finish.
Q. And the first one?
The first one I just gave Chris (Olave) a chance. I had some pressure up the middle. At the end of the day, it don't really matter. When you don't win, those get escalated, but when you win, you know, you can move on and find a way to get better. Myself, I'll continue to be studious and continue to give it all I've got when I'm out there. So I'm grateful that I had the opportunity, and I'll continue to get better and finish stronger.
Q. Did you feel like -- you played in Green Bay. Was this an improvement on that game? How do you feel kind of just after everything?
I only can focus on right now, and right now we didn't finish, so that's the biggest thing. Really next it's going into the bye week and continuing to prepare, continuing to find ways to build on the positives and eliminate the negatives.
Q. We don't know the status of Derek Carr going forward and his injury. How comfortable are you leading this team?
If I'm given the opportunity, I promise you I'll be doing my best to execute, stay disciplined, and give my team all I've got. We've got a great group of guys, so I know any and everybody will be ready.
Q. If that were to happen, how impactful is having this bye week in between your next start?
I don't like going into bye weeks losing, so we definitely are going to have to just sit on this bye week and evaluate how we can get better. I think that's going to be our main focus.
Q. You guys treated kind of the last 20 minutes of the game like it was got to go now. Was that by design? Is that what the defense was presenting? I think there's only one run play maybe --
We were in obvious passing situations until we got down by one score, so I mean, that's what was given, so we've got to go out there and execute. We have to be grateful. Any time we're on the field, we have to go out and put our best on film.
Q. Obviously that worked for the first two touchdown drives where it got the offense going. It's one of those hindsight things, you know. Throwing deep on third and three and things like that. In any hindsight, do you wish that those drives had been --
We're going to check it out and get back to them. Right now I'm not able to visualize what we could have done. It's a lot of could have, should have, would have. However, we need to finish, and we will finish. So right now it's about eliminating the negatives and building on the positives, and we have a lot of positives out there. So we have to do that, and we will.
Q. What did you like about being able to get Chris and A.T. those chances?
Well, I mean, they're just great players. Chris is an amazing player. A.T. is a great young player. Rashid Shaheed is an unbelievable player. Lynn (Bowden Jr.) even got out there and got a catch.
I think we have an amazing group of guys, man, and we just have to find ways to continue to get better. I believe we're gelling together as a team. This one just was unfortunate. So we have to get back in the drawing board, come closer together as a team, and build off this.
Saints Wide Receiver A.T. Perry
Q. What did you see on that touchdown catch?
I saw the corner run away from me. It was a two-invert. They were playing the whole time on the field. When I saw the corner run away from me and Jameis [Winston] rolled right, I waved my hand to say I was open, and he threw the ball, and the ball was in the air.
Q. Tough situation in a loss, but what was it like to get your first NFL touchdown?
Feels great. When Mike [Michael Thomas] went down, I was the next man up. I made sure I was detailed and doing what I was supposed to do, so when I get my chance, I can take advantage of that opportunity.
Q. I know you've been fighting to get on the field. Mike [Michael Thomas] goes down and you had the opportunity to step up. How do you feel like you took advantage?
I was confident. Week in and week out, I make sure I study the plays. Just making sure I stay on top of everything.
Q. What did you make of the way Jameis [Winston] threw the ball across? Do most quarterbacks make that throw?
That was crazy, I didn't think he would throw it. Once I saw the ball in the air, I thought I had to go make a play. That was great by him, a great pass, and a great spot.
Q. Is there something about him that lets it fly or what do you make of that?
I would say that. Just putting the ball in the air and most importantly making sure we do our job.
Saints Defensive Tackle Malcolm Roach
Q. Why did you guys have such a hard time today with Joshua Dobbs?
Keeping him in the pocket. He does a great job of when the play breaks down, when it comes to backyard football. It's kind of like you get to the point where we are just trying to go get him and he elusive, he's a great runner. He did a great job, extended plays and once he extended those plays he ended up with a positive fight. We just have to do a better job, being disciplined in our rush lanes and keeping him in the pocket. Also knowing that these guys are going to make plays, we can't let them continue to make plays. We have to be able to move onto the next one. Go to working and play hard.
Q. You mentioned the rush lanes, but the four working together as one, you think that might be the issue as well?
At the end of the day it's still about going out there and playing. End of the day they could call a call and it might be a bad call, but we still have to go to work because we are the players out there playing. You have to go out there and make plays. It's a mindset that we have to have. A mindset of going out there and giving it our all and playing hard for our brothers, and doing our job as best as we can. The crazy thing is, is when we do it, it's a sight to see. We have to find a way to do it for four quarters, do it every play and to be consistent. That's out biggest challenge right now, I feel as a defense and as a d-line.
Q. What did you guys do while in the end of the game when you were able to start to kind of slowing him down and getting them off of the field?
They started running more traditional runs. I feel like that's something that is one of our strengths. Defending the traditional run, handing the ball off and getting our block shedding blocks, making plays. We did a good job of clawing back and making plays. At the end of the day it's all about making one more play, and we didn't, they made more plays than we did today.
Q. Does this one hurt a little more seeing that Jameis Winston was almost one play away from getting it there?
Yeah, like I just said it's about making plays and Jameis did a great job of coming in, emergency, not knowing that he's about to come in the game. He did a great job of rallying the troops, and doing a great job of giving us hope, we had a chance. In this league that is all you can ask for is a chance. Once we get that chance we have to go make the plays, and today unfortunately today we didn't make the plays.
Q. How did you see the offense respond when Derek Carr went down and Jameis had to come in?
They did a great job. When they get to that point where we are in survival mode we have to go to work and the offense was in survival mode and there wasn't anything we could do but go up from that point. As a team we did a great job of giving ourself a chance today. And like I said when it got to that point, at the end of the day they made more plays than we made, and we have to find a way to make more plays.
Q. I see you getting emotional, what are the feelings right now, when you guys are five for five and you guys feel like you could be in a better spot?
You get emotional when you see these guys in this locker room come to work every day. Every day you put in the work. We know we put in the work, and work our tails off and not get the results. Anything you do in like and you don't see the results, its tough, because you know what you are working for, you know what you are working towards. But it's also life and you have to compare. You have to take the wins with the losses. Last week we were having a great time, we won. It's a part of life, the ups and downs. It's all about how many times we can get up and keep fighting. How many times we keep on giving ourself a chance to go to work. And the thing about the football season, you don't get too many opportunities. You only get what, seventeen of them. It's guaranteed. We still have opportunities to go out there and the reason you feel so bad is because you put in so much work. You would think we are the worst team, at the end of the day we are sitting here .500 going into the bye week. This first half of the season has been a rocky roll. We didn't hit it the way we wanted to, but that's the ups and downs. It's about how many times we can get back up, keep going to work. I know the guys in this locker room are going to continue to work every day, continue to put our best foot forward, continue to attack, attack this field with energy, and continue to give our all out there. We'll be better.
Saints Safety Tyrann Mathieu
Q. When Jameis Winston got that first touchdown did you kind of feel that start to shift a little bit? It seemed like the whole team kind of started playing a little bit better.
Anytime you are able to make a play, offensively, defensively, special teams, it's a morale boost for the team.
Q. Going into the bye week, what's your assessment of where the defense needs to improve?
I think we have done a lot of good things professionally, obviously taking the ball away. We have to find a way to take the ball away on the first drive. The first half of the game we have to not put ourselves in the position of clawing and scratching and fighting hoping to pull it out the second half.
Q. Is that part of the frustration?
Yeah it is frustrating. Like I mentioned a couple minutes ago, you feel our preparation was good this week. Obviously, we had an expectation of what we were going to expect for today, and we got it right. I think from there it's all about players and executing, snap-in and snap-out.
Q. What did T.J. Hockenson do in the first half?
He caught a lot of balls that's for sure. I mean, he's a great player. He is a big body target. He's a smart tight end and I think Dobbs (Joshua Dobbs) was able to find him more often that we would've liked.
Saints Offensive Tackle Ryan Ramczyk
Q. Are the penalties what you notice as far as killing momentum?
We were running the ball well, we were getting chunks. You get a holding penalty, you get a false start, and those are drive-killers. They put you behind the chains and it puts you in a tough position. We have to clean that up because we are not going to win football games doing that.
Q. Can you talk about Jameis [Winston] being able to come in? You guys were down big when he got in the game, getting you guys to the position to potentially tie this game.
We have a lot of faith in Jameis [Winston] as our quarterback. He stepped in there and did a great job. He is a well-prepared quarterback, and he did everything he could to get us back into this thing.
Q. What do you feel is the key to getting a quicker start?
I don't know, I don't have an answer for you. As I said, I feel we are well-prepared, ready to execute, and ready to go. I don't know what it is that could give us that start.
Q. Do you feel, going into the bye week, especially being 5-5, this is a good time for not only physically recovering but some mental recovery too?
I think so. Bye week falls at a good time when we're halfway through the season. It's a time to step away for a couple of days to reset your body and mind. Get away from it, regroup, and come back swinging.
Q. You guys are professionals and never make excuses, but Mike T. [Michael Thomas] got hurt on that first play, did that hurt some of what you guys had planned in this game?
Yeah, Mike is a hell of a player, you guys know that.