New Orleans Saints vs Philadelphia Eagles - Divisional Playoff Game - Mercedes-Benz Superdome - Sunday, Jan. 13
Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson
On if the Saints made adjustments after they were trailing 14-0:
"No, not really. It's a credit to them, obviously, but you see, sometimes, how you just look at the ebb and flow of the game. They got some breaks in there. We were moving the ball again. We had that turnover. The throw was accurate on the sideline. It got intercepted. They went down and scored on that. Nothing that they did (made the difference). We just didn't make enough plays to either stay on the field or continue drives, execute, and score."
On the difficulty of greeting each player as the exited the field tonight:
"It's tough. It's tough because it's so final. It's the end of the season, and there is no more football for 2018. I just told the guys to 'just keep their heads up.' We set out on a journey way back in OTAs. We keep talking about having no regrets and to leave everything out on the field. They did that tonight. They did that this afternoon. They battled right until the end. They had the opportunities. I am proud of them, proud of the season, proud of the adversity that we faced all season long. We found our way to get into the postseason. I just wish the Saints good luck moving forward."
On what he told Alshon Jeffery after mishandling the ball on the fourth quarter interception by Marshon Lattimore:
"It's hard. It's hard, because he is so down. For me, it's about staying positive. Listen, he has made many, many big catches for us this season. He will continue to do that. I just told him that he's got to keep his head up and don't let one play define you. It's not who he is; he is too good of a player. He will embrace it, obviously. He will be better for it. I just told him to just keep his head up and keep playing."
On the play of Nick Foles:
"I will look at the tape and evaluate that. There is always throws that you would like to have back in every game. I like the way that he went in there and battled and gave our offense a chance to go down and possibly win this football game. I thought that overall he played pretty good."
On the change of momentum after the first interception by Marshon Lattimore:
"Yeah, you felt it. You felt it a little bit. Listen, we had a lot of confidence even at that point. We were moving the ball. We stayed in rhythm. Even on that drive, we felt that we could (score) had we hit that play (that was intercepted). It kind of changed after that point. Credit the Saints for executing."
On losing multiple players for periods throughout the game:
"It's hard; it's tough. The guys are solid players and starters. It's unfortunate that we lose those guys for periods of time. (We lost) Brandon (Brooks) for the rest of the game. It's disruptive a little bit. It's kind of been our season, fighting through that adversity. We did get them back (except for Brooks), but credit to them for playing through (injuries)."
On the fake punt by the Saints:
"You kind of expect it in that situation, it's fourth and one. You just have to be prepared for that. Again, it was just a great play by them."
On the third down and 16 play that the Saints converted for a 21-yard gain:
"We were dropping in a zone. Again, Drew (Brees) did a good job of just hanging onto the football and letting his guys go down the field. It was just a good window right there in the middle of the field. They got it and got the first down."
On what made the Eagles relevant late this season:
"The guys in that locker room. I have a lot of trust and a lot of faith in those guys, my coaches. (We) just believe that we can get ourselves in this position and be in the postseason. It is one of our goals, obviously, is to be playing in January. It's a resilient group that doesn't waver a whole lot through adversity. It makes it tougher. It makes you battle that much harder. Those guys in the locker room really fought through that and gave us the opportunity to be in this position."
On if he thought the team would win late in the game:
"I thought that we were on our way. We got back (in it). It just felt like the momentum at that point was in our favor. It was in our hands. It's been that way all season. It felt like that magic was going to continue."
On if he had a special message for Nick Foles after the game:
"I just told him that I appreciate everything that he's done and everything that he's done this season to come in and step in the way that he has. I just told him that I loved him. We will probably visit in the next couple of days."
On the difficulty of knowing that some players won't be back next season:
"It's tough. You build relationships with these guys. You spend so much time together. You build your roster. Every year your roster is going to change; that is just the way that it is. There are people who are going to come. There are people who are going to go. Obviously, we will talk more about it in the next few days. When you build relationships like that, and you know these guys personally, it's kind of hard. We won a Super Bowl with these guys. We will see where we go again."
On the defense containing the Saints offense:
"I credit the defense. They got after Drew (Brees), which we had to do. One statistical thing was the third downs. I think that they were eight of 15 on third downs. That was kind of a big, glaring statistic that stood out. Conversely, I think that we were two of seven. That, to me, I think's the tell-tale. We just couldn't get off of the field enough defensively with 15 third downs. It is a credit to get the 15, but then we have to get off of the field."
QB Nick Foles
On his thoughts on today's game:
"They really did a good job of showing us different looks, but at the end of the day we didn't execute. First few drives were great, but after that we have to keep it going. They are a tremendous team and hats off to them. Unfortunately, we had an opportunity at the end, it is tough. We love playing this game with your teammates and that is the toughest part about it, is that it stops and 31 teams feel this at the end of the season. The hardest part about it is you develop relationships with your teammates and for it to end this tough, just being with these guys and spending time with them in the locker room after, that is what this game is all about."
On this possibly being his last game as an Eagle:
"I am not really going to worry about it right now. I think I am just going to do whatever I can to enjoy this flight back with my teammates and we will see what happens. I do know that we went out there and give it everything we had tonight. Everyone is going to keep their heads up high, because that is what it is about. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but ultimately if you give it everything you have that is what it is about."
On what the team said to Alshon Jeffery:
"We just tell him we love him. That is what it is all about. This game is tough, not everybody can do it. In those moments, we just tell him 'we love you and keep going', among other things that I will keep to myself, but that is the general message. That is what this team is about, playing this game is about developing those relationships. The tough part is, when it is over it is over, but I do not regret anything. I will always play this game and develop those relationships, that is what makes this a strong team."
WR Alshon Jeffery
On missing the late game catch:
"It happens to the best of us. You move on, it hurts right now, but I guarantee we will be back next year."
On the Saints defensive changes after the Eagles hot start to the game:
"It was on us. I take that loss on me, but it is on us. They didn't do anything that was special, we beat ourselves and that is on me."
On how long this game will stay with him:
"I mean, it will be with me through the whole offseason while I am trying. Every guy in this locker room wants the same thing and we hate this feeling right now."
On the outcome of today's game:
"I just felt like we beat ourselves. There is nothing they did, but hats off to those guys, congrats on going to the NFC Championship. They have a hell of a team over there."
On the team's message after getting the ball back after a missed field goal:
"Let's go down and win it. That is all we said, just go down and win it. No matter what happens we are trying to win."
C Jason Kelce
On how tough today's game was:
"Obviously, we got off to a really good start. Those first two drives, we put 14 points up quickly, which makes this even more frustrating. We were going to get the ball back in the second half and we could have put two more scores together there in the first half it would have been very difficult for them. Great job by our defense. We just didn't sustain it offensively, we stalled out after the opening quarter of the game."
On if there was confusion with communication within the offense during the game:
"You have to ask the coaches that. I think that anytime you are in an environment like this, communication is a point of emphasis. There were a couple times where we got up to the ball and tried to make a change late, and getting that communicated is tough, especially when you are trying to get the best play possible. That is where home field advantage makes a big difference obviously, but no excuses, I think we handled that decently. We could have done better, but I don't think that is why we lost."
On his message to QB Nick Foles:
"Same thing, I love and respect that guy so much. It is not just him, it is all the guys that have been on the team this year. We had a great group of guys just like we did last year, great coaches too. Nick (Foles) is a guy that I have been fortunate enough to play a number of years with in the NFL and with the Philadelphia Eagles. We have been in some really big games and that is one of the guys you will always remember."
S Malcolm Jenkins
On his thoughts on the season:
"I think we are well aware that all we do is focus on the process. We lean heavily on the guys we have in the locker room that have been through adversity and we just continue to fight and continue to trust in each other. This is no different tonight, we just didn't get the result that we wanted to. We put up a fight against a really good team on the road and gave ourselves a chance. That is all we ask for."
On the feeling in the locker room after today's loss:
"At the end of the day, there is a ton of work that goes into this game that we play. We start with the offseason. OTA's, training camp. All the thing you go through during the season, the injuries, the time and effort you put into it, the guys you care about next to you, then it just comes to an abrupt end for everybody, unless you win the Super Bowl. Just dealing with that is always tough, but 31 teams have to deal with that and it just comes suddenly to an end. Now we have to look on to next year."
On the saints regaining the momentum:
"They definitely earned that one, they got the fake punt and then scored on fourth down. I think the drive after that they went three and out. It was a back and forth game. I thought we played well, they did a good job on third down, especially some of those third and longs and converting them against some of our zone coverages. I think we will want some of those back, but for the most part I felt like we competed and gave ourselves a chance."
DE Brandon Graham
On the season as a whole and today:
"We lost the game, but he had a hell of a season. A lot of people didn't give us a shot, but we go out there and play hard and we just came up short."
On his impact on this team over the years:
"I think about, it has been a long road, it has been nine years. I do not have any regrets, I have enjoyed this time if it is the end. At the end of the day, I am hoping I passed down some good stuff for them to keep in this organization; like a young DB, the next man up who now has to be the leader, to keep it going, keep it positive in here and keep everybody believing even when things get bad. Hopefully that rubbed off on these boys and let the young guys see how we get through it, especially through adversity. You have to look at the positives, we have a bunch of good guys here that are going to feel this and be ready for next year