Quarterback Drew Brees
RE: Whether that was how he thought this game would play out
For us, offensively, walking off the field just a little while ago felt like there were tons of opportunities out there. We killed ourselves on a few drives with just some stupid penalties and there were some missed opportunities. But the bottom line is, you go on the road in the division – especially Monday Night Football – against a team that has a ton to play for – they're still fighting for a playoff spot – you know it's going to be a battle. Bottom line is, you make the plays at the end of the game to win the game and defensively, we did. Absolutely. Offensively, we put together a couple nice drives to go down and get a touchdown and really should've had points there at the end. Unfortunately, there was a critical mistake there but we really put ourselves in a position to win that game in the fourth quarter and that's what it's all about. That's what the great teams find a way to do, despite what happens in the first three quarters or maybe the mistakes that were made prior to that. Just making the plays you need to make to win the game.
RE: Whether he worries less about how it looks and more about the final result
Absolutely. Result-driven business, right? A win is a win and the way that we fought in the fourth quarter. We put together two really good drives during the fourth quarter to go down and get a touchdown and get to the two-yard line. Then defensively, they came up with some great stops as well and special teams made some great plays too. So everybody contributed, everybody just beared down and got the win.
RE: His perspective on the Vonn Bell forced fumble
It was a great play. I was on the sideline looking up at the jumbotron and I'm watching their receiver weave and you see Vonn go for the punch out and here comes the ball out and AJ jumping on it. It was just a great hustle play by so many of our guys.
RE: The challenge of playing against Luke Kuechly
He's one of the smartest football players, I think ever to play the game. He's the quarterback of that defense, he gets them lined up, gets all their checks. He's highly intelligent and then obviously he's a great, great player when it comes to keying and diagnosing and getting to the ball and making tackles and just always being around the ball.
RE: How to combat Kuechly
Execution. Play fast. He's not the only guy out there, they've got other great players as well.
RE: What he saw on New Orleans' two-point attempt
That's one of those deals where you treat it like a fourth down play, like I'm going to throw it and give somebody a chance. But it can't be to the point where you give someone a chance to run it back for a touchdown or for two points. There's a three-point swing there, you don't kick the extra point and then they get two so obviously, I wish that wouldn't have happened.
RE: The different kinds of wins the Saints have had
There's a lot to be said for that. You find ways to win. Win in a lot of different ways. Battle tested. These last two weeks, we've had to win in the fourth quarter, had to come back and win in the fourth quarter. On the road, divisional games, those are going to be hard fought. Those are going to be tough and the great teams find a way. They believe, they feel like we're all going to step up, we're going to do this together, somebody's going to make a play. We're going to take that momentum and we're going to turn it into a victory.
RE: The Panthers' defense
They played well tonight. Obviously, held us to 12 points. I felt like we had a couple opportunities that could've made that better but credit to them. They played well.
RE: Injuries to the offensive line and performance of the backups
I felt like they stepped in and did a great job. That's a tough situation. Cam [Tom] comes in, we're down and he's got to play the end of the third quarter and the whole fourth quarter. Will Clapp had to come in after we bumped Andrus [Peat] out to tackle and that last drive he's got to step up and help us go down and get points or bleed a significant amount of time off the clock in order to put ourselves in a better position to win. Both those guys did a really good job
RE: The team's performance over the last three games after slow starts
We need to start better, no question. There are some details, things we need to get cleaned up and I'm confident we're going to do that. I feel like we know what they are, so I look forward to getting back to work on it.