NEW ORLEANS SAINTS HEAD COACH DENNIS ALLEN
(Opening statement) "It was a good team win. All three phases contributed to the win. I thought some
of our veteran players stepped up and played really well in the game. I was proud of our guys to
come out and play the way they did today. Now, we have to get ready on a short week to fly out to
L.A. and play against the Rams."
On if this is the best the team has looked across this season: "I thought our guys played well,
offensively, defensively and the kicking game, I thought all three phases. There have been a couple
other games – New England, whatever—where I feel like we put a complete game together. I do feel
like this was a complete game for our team."
On playing the entire game with the lead: "It was good. To be able to play with a lead for the entire
game, that was good for our team. Our team's battled adversity and had to play from behind. For this
game to start off with the lead, I thought that was good for our team. In third down, we were 6-of-11.
They were 2-of-16 on third down. I thought that was a big factor in the game. Our red zone offense,
again, we were two-of-two down there in the red area. Some things we said we need to get better at
and improve on, we've done that."
On what clicked this week to have a complete game: "We have a good veteran group, and they
understand what's at stake. They had a good week of practice and went out and played well. I
thought some guys had to step up—Landon Young having to step up to replace Ryan Ramczyk.
Overall, I thought the protection was really good. I don't know if I'm going to get any questions about
the quarterback [Derek Carr] this week, but I thought the quarterback played really well. Make sure
we get that on record. It was an effective game in all three phases."
On if this is the best game Carr has played all season: "Probably statistically. 218 yards. No one's
jumping off the table with 218 yards but three touchdowns, no interceptions. I thought the protection,
again, was outstanding in the game and gave (Carr) some opportunities to get the ball down the field.
134 (134.8) quarterback rating. I thought he played well, and the players around him played well."
(On the pass rush today) "Without really getting the chance to look at the tape, it is hard for me to say
exactly. I thought our guys did a good job of understanding rush-lane integrity and how we had to
rush this quarterback [Tommy DeVito]. When we did get him off the spot, guys were able to finish and
get him on the group. I think that's really been the biggest difference when you look at the last two
weeks. We've been able to finish much better on the quarterback when we've been able to get him off
the spot. Certainly, this was probably our best day in terms of being able to get after the quarterback
and being able to finish on the quarterback.
On if plan and approach changed this week: "We had a significant amount of pressure. We had
some four-man rush. We mixed our packages up just a little bit. Look, I thought we did some things
on first and second down too where were able to affect the quarterback a little bit. I think on the back
end, our guys for the most part-- They had a couple of plays in the last two-minute drive where the
quarterback [DeVito] kind of extended a little bit and was able to find some guys late down the field.
Overall, our ability to eliminate shots down the field was really good for us defensively."
On if rhythm exists on defense: "I think momentum is a real thing. Confidence breeds confidence.
When you go out there and make some plays you become more confident. Then, you tend to make
more plays, which makes you more confident. I thought both sides of the ball had a little bit of that
On the criticism of Carr: "I just think it's unfair, my personal opinion. I know everybody's got the right
to their own opinion. I thought (Carr) played really well in this game. Just like with everything else
when you play that position, you are going to get your fair share of criticism. When someone plays
really well, we need to recognize that he played well."
On if the team played with a sense of urgency from start to finish: "Yeah, I did. It was a good game
On Alontae Taylor's personal foul penalty: "I really did not ask. I didn't agree with the call. I was more
expressing my feelings than asking what they saw on the call. It was a big play in the game though,
really. When you really look at it, that's a big play."
On Carr's toughness: "I think he is mentally and physically tough, I do. I thought he stepped up today
and made some plays and some throws. Obviously, it was not perfect. There are some plays that
could have been better. I thought some guys made some plays for him, too. There are 11 guys on the
field on every single play and nobody does it by themselves. I thought the protection was really good
in the game. I thought guys made some plays down the field when they had opportunities too. I
thought Derek was doing a good job of getting through his reads and getting the ball to the right
On the young receivers' play: "That's part of what this league is. Young guys are going to have to
step up and make plays. I think on the long yardage situation with A.T. Perry being able to catch the
ball – Again, that doesn't happen if you don't have good protection because it takes a little bit of time
to get down the field—I thought he ran a good route, came back to the ball, caught it, was able to get
north and south and advance it and was able to get the first down, which was a big play."
On how close Chris Olave was to playing: "My plan was see where (Olave) was at this morning. If he
felt good enough, I was going to get him out on the field and work him out. As he got here this
morning, I don't think he felt like he was going to be able to go out and do the things he needed to do
to be effective. Particularly with us playing a Thursday night game, trying to get him healthy and get
him back in for that game went into that decision a little bit."
On if the lack of practice went into the decision for Olave not to play: "I wouldn't say that we're going
to try to make a habit of guys not practicing and then getting out there on the field and playing, but I
felt like if he was able to go and he was able to provide something for us, even in a limited role, he
was the option I thought gave us the best chance to win."
On getting the tight ends involved: "Generally, when you face a team that's got a lot of exotic looks
and things of that nature, it kind of calms down a little bit when you put a bigger grouping on the field.
I think that was part of the game plan to see what we were getting. As we got into the game, I felt like
there were some things we could do to have some success."
On Juwan Johnson and Jimmy Graham: "I thought it was awesome to see him (Johnson) go and
make that play. Obviously, the goal line play down there to Jimmy (Graham) from the half-yard line
was a big play. I thought our tight ends stepped up and played well in the game.
On the defense not allowing a touchdown: "We've played better the last two weeks. You're really
only as good as your last outing. We need to go back and make whatever the corrections are that we
need to make from this game and get ready for a really good LA Rams team."
On Keith Kirkwood: "He is a guy that – he has kind of been up, he has been down, he has been back
up. He comes to work every single day and works his tail off. He's appreciative of every opportunity
he receives. For him to get an opportunity to go out there and make some plays is good to see"
SAFETY TYRANN MATHIEU
On if the defensive effort was as good as it's been all season: "Yeah, I thought we did a great job in
the run game, and then obviously the coverage and pass rush working together was great. We could
have had a turnover or two, but overall, it was a great defensive game."
On if any momentum has been built in the past two weeks: "We are still a confident team and a
confident group. When you get to the back end of the season, you want to be able to play well and
win games. A lot of times it doesn't matter how you win it, just that you get wins."
On how the defensive rush helped the secondary today: "Those guys up front are really able to
control the game. I also think we have a lot of guys on the back end that make it tough for any
offense. If we play like the way we played today, we will be ready for whatever is in front of us."
On how good Demario Davis has been: "He is one of our best players and one of our best leaders.
We feed off of his energy, and he was really fired up today."
On how him and Jordan Howden work well together: "I think we work really well together. We both
do most of the same things, and he is still learning and growing. He is going to be great in this league
for a long time, and it is really cool to have someone like that next to you."
On Paulson Adebo: "Debo is a good player. He is smart, physical, active, and I think he is going to
make a lot of plays in this league. He is the guy that we count on to hold up outside, and he has been
doing a great job of that."
RUNNING BACK ALVIN KAMARA
On 1,000 scrimmage yards every year he has been in the league: "I feel great. It feels good to still be
able to go out there and be productive. I don't feel any older than when I came in the league. "
On the team win today: "I think we played a complete game today. Special teams gunned them
inside the 10 (yard line). The defense played amazing with Demario (Davis) and Tanoh (Kpassagnon)
going out there and doing their thing. Then the offense, Derek (Carr) went out there and played great.
We were able to come out with a big win."
On Derek Carr's impressive game: "He was focused. He was extremely focused all week on the win
and it showed. He really played a smooth game and did not try and force anything. That was one of
his best games throwing the ball."
On the offensive identity building: "These past two weeks have been good to go and put a stamp on
the game. We put together a lot of positive yards, plays, and drives which help us score in the red
zone and execute. We are definitely still building because we have more room to grow."
On playing with a sizeable lead in the fourth quarter: "Anytime you go into the fourth with a lead like
that it makes the game easy. You don't want to back off too much, but you still control the flow and
take the game."
DEFENSIVE END TANOH KPASSAGNON
On if he thought the breakthrough was coming: "I definitely saw it coming. We have wanted results
the past couple of weeks, and now we got them."
On what the difference was for mobile QBs this game: "We have gotten pressure on quarterbacks,
but we just kept tapping that rock. Eventually it is going to break, and today it broke. We were really
able to finish today."
On Dennis Allen's scheme and chemistry with his defensive line: "We have gotten really comfortable
with each other because it was basically a brand new defensive line. Our chemistry has been
building, and we just keep on tapping that rock."
On stopping the run today: "Yeah. It is something we have been working on to try and get to the
quarterback more. It is really why we got so many pressures and sacks today because we pumped
the brakes on the running back."
On Zach Baun and what he brings: "He is fast and athletic. It is a really cool thing to see in practice,
and he is finally getting his opportunity to get pressures."
QUARTERBACK DEREK CARR
On the offense being spread out today: "This game was really split with targets and guys' numbers
being called. With Chris Olave down, it was a game that everyone had to contribute. He is a great
player and he is hard to replace, but everyone else's workload gets bumped up. I'm really proud of
the guys that stepped up. It wasn't perfect, but they were running their routes, getting open, and they
were efficient. When they needed to be where I was throwing, they were there. This is what I've
always dreamed of."
On how important this game was for the offense: "It was the validation of the positivity we have been
bringing (to work everyday). We don't just show up on Sunday and play a game together. There is a
lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. The last three weeks in the red zone, we have been so
much better. We went 50% on third down today on that defense, and that's definitely improvement.
This performance is what we have earned."
On how this game felt for him personally: "It felt good, it really did. You always want to put your best
foot forward no matter what you do. The hard work pays off, and as a team and an offense, it makes
you happy. I just want to win here."
On how the protection was today: "It was unbelievable. I knew I was going to be tired after this one.
The amount of personnel groups and checks you have to make against this defense is crazy. Ram
(Ryan Ramczyk) is down, Landon (Young) stepped in, and Max (Garcia) went to the jumbo spot.
There were so many moving parts, and I'm really proud of everyone. They did a fantastic job. "
What he saw on the second touchdown pass to Juwan Johnson: "They were playing invert. I tried to
pump and look him off over to Rashid (Shaheed), and it was great design by RC (Ronald Curry) and
Pete (Carmichael). They put that route there because they knew that we would have a hole there.
Very rarely does it happen like it does in practice but this time it did.