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Postgame quotes: Coach Dennis Allen, Andy Dalton, Wil Lutz, Tyrann Mathieu, Latavius Murray

Players met with the media following loss to Vikings

New Orleans Saints Coach Dennis Allen

Frustrating way to end that game. We had our chances. Thought our guys battled back after the second half. Thought we made too many mistakes in the first half, which put us behind.

But I thought our guys battled and competed. We still have to find a way to not hurt ourselves with penalties and the turnovers, and that's got to change. So we've got to figure that out.

Q. You talked about four weeks in a row. How do you fix the turnovers and the penalties?

Well, look, I think we have to make a point of emphasis about it. I think we also have to look at who is doing what and where. I wasn't a fan of some of the calls but it hurt us in the game.

Q. Was it a point of emphasis?

We have to look at who is handling the ball. The problems been a little bit, it's been a multitude of players. And so we are going to have to continue to evaluate that. We are going to have to put in some more turnover drills and things of that nature and try to emphasize the point that we have to protect the football.

Q. How do you stop some of those kind of mistakes?

Yeah, look, I think some of that's, you know, kind of the consistency of cadence and things of that nature. I think that's part of it, consistency with some of the people that are in there is part of it. So we'll take a look at it. We'll take a look at the tape and see where we can make corrections.

Q. Did you think the field goal at the end of the game was good?

I did. From where I was standing I thought it was going to be good. Obviously hit on the left upright and on the crossbar and bounced the wrong way for us.

Q. What was the conversations like on the sideline, 60 yards you were good with?

Well, in that situation we were in the position where we felt like we could make it. I think the field goal before was probably a little bit more discussion, and look, I give credit to Riz, he felt really good about, Wil (Lutz) knocking that thing through. So we kicked the field goal, and Wil hit a beauty and knocked it through.

Q. Two penalties that led to the drive of Minnesota going ahead, the thoughts about that?

I thought it was a tough call.

Q. What did you think of the third-down numbers with defense trying to get off the field outside of the penalties? I know the first drive, I think they were 4-for-4 on third down.

Yeah, we did a better job after the first drive and then there's a drive there in the fourth quarter that we let them convert a couple that we don't really want to let them convert.

Again, we'll look at the tape and make the evaluation of what we need to do better. I thought our defensive guys battled their tails off today. I thought we put them in a couple of tough situations. And I thought they battled.

Q. What did you think of the offensive effort?

I thought overall pretty good, particularly in the second half. I didn't think we had great rhythm in the first half. But I thought we came out and played a little better in the second half. Ran the ball a little better in the second half, too. So that's part of it.

Q. What do you think about the running back?

I thought Latavius gave us a little bit of a spark. I thought there was some things he did well in the game. So that was good to see.

Q. Obviously a lot of people will compare, you had a different quarterback when they see some more points on the board this week, but do you think you guys had a better offensive plan this week that contributed?

Well, I think that's part of it. I think just our guys kind of taking a look at what we have done over the first three weeks, seeing where we can improve and I thought we did a better job with some of the things we were doing, particularly there in the second half offensively.

Q. What's the plan between now and next Sunday, quick turnaround and long journey home?

We'll get back to New Orleans and try to get rested up a little bit and try to get ready to go for next week.

Q. Do you feel like you're close to turning the tide?

I really do. Look, there's a lot of really good things. I told the team in there, there was some really good things that we did today. But it's hard to overcome some of those costly turnovers, and I think the fake punt and the two turnovers I think led to nine points, so in a game like that, those things are costly.

Q. Should he have not returned that or how do you --

Listen, I'm going to look at the tape before I make an evaluation on that.

Q. How concerning is 1-3 in and of itself? Do you have to wrestle with things like spirits and confidence and stuff like that?

I think we have a good group of guys in that locker room. We have got some good veteran leadership. We'll bounce back from this.

We certainly need to play better. And we need to turn some things around. It's a long season and there's a lot of season left. We are going to keep battling and we're going to keep fight fighting.

Q. What went into the decision with Alvin? Was that a setback you had this week?

No, it wasn't a setback.

I think as you evaluate throughout the week, I think there was a little bit more pain, discomfort, really even last week. Again, this is a long season, so you don't want to go through this cyclical thing where each week it's an issue and so I think we felt like resting him this week, hopefully to be able to have him back for next week. Gives him the best chance to be healthy throughout the year.

Q. Was Jameis close at all to playing or was it something y'all --

Later in the week, I thought he began to feel a little bit better. But I think there was a point in time where we felt like we have to get Andy ready and have him ready to go.

Q. I assume that becomes another week-to-week evaluation?

We'll see where his health is when he gets back.

Q. Can you talk about this week as a whole, in terms of coming over on Monday, how has it been for you guys?

Yeah, it was a work week. We came over here and worked. Thought we got some good things done. Unfortunately we didn't get the win.

Q. The team showed resilience to get back into the game. Do you think this is a good thing for the team?

I thought they did show some resilience. Unfortunately we just didn't make enough plays to win the game.

Q. You mentioned that you felt like you guys didn't get into a rhythm offensively in the beginning of the game, but it's been the story of the season.

Yeah, I mean, listen, I think part of it is we had a few guys that weren't in there. So you're playing without Alvin. You're playing without Mike Thomas. Playing without Jameis.

So there's some adjustment that has to go along with that. We are going to keep battling and keep fighting and we'll figure this thing out, and we'll play better football.

Q. Regarding the turnovers and penalties, do you reevaluate how you guys were practicing?

I think we look at everything, you know what I mean. We are going to continue to look at everything and see where we can try to improve.

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New Orleans Saints quarterback Andy Dalton

Q. Andy, how did it feel out there?

Felt good. Felt like I operated the offense really well. Felt like we played well. Felt like at the end of the day, the two turnovers decided the factor in this game. And it's tough, because you go back and you look at this game, and feel like you played really well and you can go back and look at it and say, man, if I could just have one play back.

But that's kind of the story of this thing. It's tough. But I thought we definitely did some good things out there.

Q. What happened on the fumble?

Just got hit and it came out. Felt like I had it tucked away but it came out.

Q. You guys obviously did bounce back and put a lot of good drives together but when you guys come out on the first drive and again, kind of go backwards a couple of times, I shall you harped on that all week, was that a frustrating way to start?

Yeah, then you have the conversion but they called illegal man downfield. It's close. We've got to make sure that we are not down the field. Put ourselves in a tough situation. But we can't keep hurting ourselves.

Q. What do you think about Chris Olave today?

I thought he played great. He gave us a chance to win at the end and Chris is so talented, we expect big things from him.

Q. Did you think the final kick was going through?

I did. I thought it had the distance and even once it hit the crossbar, I was like, oh, it's going to bounce, bounce back through. Unfortunately it didn't.

Q. What was the last drive, you don't have much time, you have to get the ball down the field. Can you take us through what you're trying to do, trying to get field goal range obviously. How difficult is that?

Yeah, we were just trying to get a chunk play to start it, and we did. It was a great catch by Chris. And then we've got to find a way to get just a couple more yards to make that field goal easier, and so it's something that we can go back and look at and see if there's anything that we can do differently.

But yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, you're just trying to get a chunk play to even give yourself a chance.

Q. You guys had a lot of drives where you got into third and short situations and converted and put those -- was that something that was by design where you were willing to use all three downs and try to do that, four- or five-yard plays? Because I know that has been a little elusive this season.

Yeah, I think when you look at especially the way this defense plays, much too high safeties, try to keep everything in front of you. That's kind of how they want to play this game. And for us, you can't get bored being in those situations.

You've got to convert on those third downs. Keep the drives alive. So I think that's, you know, at times, you look at the drives that we were able to score on, we were able to do that.

Q. Any of those drives that you did score look like it was a good balance of run and pass -- what do you think of Latavius and mark running the ball, giving you balance on the runs?

Yeah, I thought they did a great job. Our line, given the opportunity out there, and so that's how this game works. Next guy steps up and yeah, I thought those guys played really well.

Q. Dennis earlier said he thought you all were close to turning this thing around. How do you feel where the team stands right now?

We are. I think -- I mean, we haven't been out of any game that we've played. It's come down to one or two plays and we've got to find a way to make those plays that allow us to win and not make the plays that hurt us.

Looking at it today, I said it from the beginning, the two turnovers, six points, that completely changes the way the flow of this game goes, and you know, it starts with me.

New Orleans Saints running back Latavius Murray

Q. Felt like you had the hot hand so to speak in the second half?

Just trying to get positive yards, hit the hole. Just fall forward, try to gain some momentum.

Q. How did it feel just to be back out there?

Honestly just a blessing, honestly, just two weeks ago, sitting at home, uncertain about my NFL year career and so it just was a blessing to be out there honestly. Had a lot of fun and you know, just wish we could have finished it off with a win.

Q. What did you see from the kick from your vantage point?

It looked good and then I saw it hit the pole and hoping it hit that, it bounced in. I kind of saw that it had fell short, yeah.

Q. What's the team's confidence level in Wil in a moment like that?

Very confident. I mean, he obviously was able to put the one in right before that.

So I think, you know, I was on the other side of one of those last year with Tug hitting the uprights and it bouncing in. This time, you know, it didn't bounce in. So we've got all the confidence in the world in him.

Q. What did you think of Andy Dalton's play today?

I thought he played good. I thought he played with poise. He's done it for a long time as well. You know, we believe in him. We know what he's capable of, and I thought he played well.

Q. Dennis said the team is close to getting this thing back on track, what do you think of where you are at?

We've done things and then we've done things that have hurt us. I think we just have to continue to work and clean those things up and don't beat ourselves and I think we'll be a hard team to beat.

Q. You spoke about how nice it was to get back into action but what about returning to this team? How has that been for you so far?

It's been great. Obviously I'm familiar with the system, familiar with everybody, so kind of honestly felt like I didn't leave.

So just again, like I said a few weeks ago when I got here, I'm just happy they gave me the opportunity. You know, look forward to the future.

Q. How big was it that your first game back was against the Vikings?

The Vikings, yeah. It's just crazy. Honestly a familiar team. It's a lot of fun being able to go out there and compete with some guys you know on the other side of the ball. So again, I'm just happy to be back out here and happy to get back to work so we can go on a run here.

New Orleans Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu

Q. What's the range of emotions like in this seesaw, back and forth game?

Yeah, I mean, you know, it was tough. I felt like we rolled a few ways within the game. Felt like we played hard enough to kind of give ourselves a chance at the end.

But you know, I think it always come down to a couple plays. You just want a couple plays back and you know if you have those plays back, the game usually can go in your favor.

But I thought we fought hard. I think there's a lot of positives that we could take away from it. It's just week 4 of like a 17-round bought. So we have a lot more football left. But yeah, it always comes down to a couple plays.

Q. The kicks, did those look good? Could you see from your vantage point?

Yeah, I always think it's good. I think that's part of it, believing in your teammates all the time. You know, whether things are going your way or whether they aren't, so you know, I thought he had enough leg.

Obviously when it hit the upright, I thought it still was good. You know it always sucks when you run out of plays, you don't have any left.

Q. What did you see on interception early? It was kind of a turning point for you guys early in the game.

Just reading the quarterback. You know, just got a good jump on it. And then just try to make a play.

I didn't think I played well that first series. And so you know, to come back and make that play for the team, you know, I think that's what it's all about. In the moment, felt like it meant a lot. Right now it means very little.

Q. What was your vantage point of the penalty that was called on you?

I don't think I touched him in his face. Yeah, I don't think I touched him. I know I didn't.

But, you know, the call was made. You've got to live with it. Even after that, I thought we continued to fight. You know, so I'll line up with this defense any day.

Q. Dennis said he feels like you all are close to getting this thing right. How do you feel about it?

We are. We are. I think we are close. Obviously with a lot of expectations for us coming into the season. Not even outside of our locker room; I think within, just looking across the locker room, there's a lot of great players on our team, and you know, it doesn't always start the way you hope, right.

And it's kind of, like, life sometimes. So we've got a little bit of adversity. And you know, I think we are going to see what we all are really made of. I think we have a lot of great plays in our room. We have a lot of good men on our team and so you've just got to chop wood and carry water. It takes what it takes sometimes. You have to put in more work sometimes and work harder.

So you know, like that's what we are looking at right now. I think being able to go back home next week and play in front of our fans, you know, that will be a breath of fresh air for us. I think that will give us a lot of energy and so just looking forward to taking it one game at a time.

All we have to do is win one game. You know, we could really get rolling. But it starts with just practice, one day at a time.

Q. We talked about Jefferson and how dangerous he can be. Is it a matter of in a game like that, eventually they are going to get theirs? Is that what happened?

To be honest, man, like I said earlier in the week, he's a great player. Especially in this league, you know, you can't really touch him, you just kind of let him run free sometimes.

But there's only a couple guys in the whole world that can cover them, and I think Marshon is one of them. I thought he battled hard all day. He fought all day long and so you know, if we were able to see these guys again, like it will be the same matchup. It will be 23 across from 18. So, you know, I'll choose my guy every time.

Q. The mindset right now, it's interesting what you're talking about this team with all the leadership of the veteran players, is there a fine line between not panicking, like you said, it's a long season but still having that sense of urgency to address some of the details?

Yeah, you know, I think with every loss, you know, I think the sense of urgency has to increase. You know, especially in practice, preparation. You know, once you get to the game, it's usually time to have fun. You have studied the opponent all week. You know what to expect.

But I think during the course of the week, it takes what it takes. You have to get your body, mind, even your spirit, right, like all these things have to be in a certain place for you to be able to go out there on Sunday, any game day, and really like give your best for your team.

So you know, listen, I thought we fought hard in every game that we've played in, and you know, sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way. Sometimes the calls don't go your way, but the beautiful thing about this league is, you know, as long as you got another week to play, you should have at least somewhat of a smile on your face because you just have that extra chance.

Now, when you run out of chances to play, that's when you really should be concerned. But it's still early in the year. Like I said, every game comes down to a couple plays and I think that's a good perspective to have. Obviously you want to be able to make the most of it, you know, when you get that opportunity.

New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz

Q. Wil take us through the range of motions on the last two kicks?

Honestly they were the same two kicks. Unfortunately second one had one more yard to move than the first one. So there's no silver lining to losing or missing, so it's tough to answer that question.

Q. Could you tell if you made it or not?

I thought they were both in. I hit them both on the screws. I played them right there. The ball is going to move a little left. And the second one just moved a little more left. So kind of shocked it didn't bounce in. But it's frustrating.

Q. From our position, it was hard to see it actually went over. Did you think it went over?

I don't really know. I mean, it all happened so quick. I heard it first the first doink, saw the second one, and then I saw them celebrate, so figured it didn't go in.

Q. How do you practice from distance like that?

Twice a week. We hit kicks from every spot that we think is reasonable to happen in the game. So we've hit that kick plenty of times. I hit that kick in warm up both ways.

So yeah, I mean, like I said, I hit them both as flush as I could. Just honestly kind of still in shock second one didn't go in.

Q. I assume when you're testing range, you're letting them know either side --

That's kind of understood. To be honest in that situation, there is no range. It's we've got to kick it; there's no option.

And when my number is called, I've got to give it a chance. Obviously I gave it a chance but I didn't get the right bounce, so it's frustrating.

Q. Last week you took accountability. What's it like in this game to be in that position where your team is relying on you, having to put that game behind you, come back this week?

Yeah, that's what you sign up for as a kicker. Not every game is going to go your way obviously. It's not the start of the season I want it to be. I take every one week one at a time, and I didn't have thoughts, like, "this week." I thought I kicked the ball well today. But yeah, I wanted to hit that kick for the team. We needed a win today and that's pretty frustrating.

Q. Were there any conditions at all today?

No. About as nice a day as you can ask for. Perfect kicking conditions. I mean, there may have been a slight breeze behind me if anything.

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