Opening statement from New Orleans Saints Coach Dennis Allen:
"Obviously, first preseason game, I saw a lot of things that I really liked out there in the game. Obviously, there are some things that we have to get cleaned up. The ball was on the ground too many times. Three turnovers in the game, especially one down there on the goal line that took some points off the board. We've got to get that aspect cleaned up. But I was pleased with the way the first units went in there and played. Offensively, a 10-play drive for a touchdown and defensively we go three and out and get them off the field. So that was encouraging to see. Look, we'll get back to look at the tape and have a better evaluation. But there were some good things I saw tonight."
We talked to you a lot about Andy i(Dalton) n this game but to see him come out the offense and put together a really, really clean opening drive. Does this solidify what you've seen from him?
"Yeah, I thought he did a nice job moving us down the field. I thought he operated in the pocket well. I think he was 5-for-5 on that drive. I thought we did a couple of good things in the run game. I think Andy did a really good job of operating the offense. We kind of had a plan to get 10 to 15 plays, and getting 10 plays and a touchdown. We felt we had seen enough and we went on to the second phase."
On that first scoring play, what did you see from guard Erik McCoy with that block and running back Dwayne Washington getting the touchdown?
"I couldn't tell exactly who got the block. But yet I thought it was a very well-executed play. The timing was really good on it. I think Dwayne (Washington) did a nice job on the timing of the screen and getting the ball up inside. So I thought that was all good. The lineman got up front and got some good blocks. So, it was good to see."
Coach, the very first series you guys took care of business. The very last series of the first half seemed a little bit unusual. Could you talk to me about that, was it just a miscommunication in the last series Ian Book played? He got sacked close to the one-yard line.
"It's just part of when you're in those kind of two-minute type of situations, and I think we got to do a little bit better job of the protection there. I couldn't tell exactly what happened. Obviously it's hard to comment on a lot of specifics until you get a chance to get out and watch the tape. But certainly, didn't want to have to be punting the ball from backed up in that area."
The running backs shared the load pretty evenly. What did you think of them as a whole?
"I thought they ran the ball hard. Again, we'll look at the tape to see exactly how they read it. But I felt like they ran the ball hard. You know, obviously, we've got to protect the ball better. We had the ball on the ground from the running back position. So we've got to do a better job there."
How do you weigh something like that, that fumble by Abram Smith at the end of the game? You got a very small sample size and some of the other stuff he did looked pretty nice.
"You can't put the ball on the ground. You know? So that's a huge negative when you do that. I will say this: I thought he looked explosive running the football. I thought there was a couple of really good runs that he made. But it doesn't matter how many good things you do. If you put the ball on the ground, that's an issue."
How do you feel co-defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen did tonight?
"I thought he did a great job. I thought both coordinators did a heck of a job calling the game, getting the call in. I thought the operation on the sideline, with the play callers, I thought overall was really, really good. So, really encouraged."
What are a few things you're looking forward to get done in Green Bay this week?
"You know, just like improving. Continue to work to get better. We're going to have an opportunity to go up against a really good football team. They're a really good offense, really good defense. They played well in the kicking game. So it will be a good opportunity for us to challenge ourselves against another good football team."
Quarterback ANDY DALTON
You looked good during the first drive. Tell us about it.
"When you talk about these first preseason games, you know you're only going to get 10 to 15 snaps. That's how you want the drive to go. Did some good things. Completed some passes and converted some third downs and got down there, and we were able to score a bunch when we got in the red zone. If you can draw it up, that's exactly how you do it."
*Can you talk about the effort from offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael, Eric McCoy, Dwayne Washington on the touchdown pass?
*"Yeah, it was a great call. And any time you can get the linemen out in front on those screens, then you've got a shot. And so, Erik did a great job. And Dwayne did a great job cutting back, finding his way into the end zone. It was a great call and good execution by us."
*You've practiced with these guys for a couple of weeks now. Does the first game huddle feel differently? *"It's definitely a different environment. But when it comes down to it, you're still doing the same stuff that we've been doing throughout camp. But it's good to get the game action. In these preseason games, you get the opportunity to get out there and hopefully execute like we did."
*How did it feel to return home? *"It was good. I got to see family. My family came in from New Orleans. And my parents still live out in Katy. I have a sister and brother-in-law that live out in Katy. And my in-laws came in from Dallas. It was good to see a lot of people and a lot of family."
*You have a few years of experience with different teams. Where does this team stack up with some of the other teams you've been with at this point? *"I feel we've got a lot of talent. For me, when you get to free agency and you get the opportunity to join a team like this, you get excited because of the type of people that they have here. The locker room's great, the staff is exactly what you want, and everybody's on the same page. So, I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do this year."
How much did Ian Book come to you for advice during the game? *"You've got to let him play, but also you're trying to help him out as much as you can too. So, I was there for him the whole time."
You were the starter tonight, but going into the season you'll be in a different role. What do you hope to accomplish?
"I think exactly what I was able to do tonight. Just the execution of it all. You want it to be smooth in and out of the huddle, make sure the communication is there. And you want to put drives together like we were able to do to start this one off."
Do you feel this is a continuation of camp?
"Yeah, I feel like I'm in a really good place. I feel like I've done some good things throughout camp. This is just another step in that. And so I was glad to get the game action out there and do it against a different team. But, yeah, I feel good about what I've been able to do so far."
*How was it to go through the process with Pete Carmichael? *"I thought Pete did a great job. And we knew the openers going into it. So for us, it's just kind of being dialed in, making sure we know the execution of it. And like I said, there's a lot of different scenarios. Converting third downs and different things. It was a good start for us."