Photos from the New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons. Photos by Michael C. Hebert. (New Orleans Saints photos)
Saints Coach Sean Payton:
"Obviously, it's a good division win for us. I thought we played with a lot of emotion. I thought we capitalized on the blocked punt. That was pretty significant early on. Turnovers ended up being, I do not know what the total count was, but there were some drives early on where we struggling running the ball offensively so we were shuffling some guys around. Defensively we did a really good job, not necessarily between the 20s, but our red zone defense came up big. It was just a good team win. And I think that is a really, really good team we just played."
On the locker room being positive and not giving up:
"It's a start. These guys have been fantastic. There are some things we have to improve on. There are some things we have to be better at coaching wise, and we have a little time here to really look closely at that. I think that we had a really good short week of practice, the preparation was good. Starting off fast on these Thursday games is important, just statistically when you look at the history of these games. So, we knew we were playing a real good team and trying to possess the ball was important and yet, we were better at that the second half than the first half."
On if the blocked punt play was put in for this week:
"It would be fairly normal each week to have any, or go after it, and so that was just this week's. We wanted to rush the first punt and it just so happened it was backed up a little bit and obviously, there is some significance in that, it happened here versus Atlanta. That was a pretty important play I think, early in the game, our guys did a good job."
On Michael Mauti on special teams:
"He's smart, he's tough and he knows what to do. And I think you know exactly what you are getting and that is a pretty good trait in our league."
On the rollouts being a way to alleviate pressure after Andrus Peat went down:
"No, it's selling a heavy run and then trying to get it in behind the linebackers that are seeing the run."
On if it was gratifying to have Saints tight ends do well and not other teams:
"Look, I think our guys did a real good job defensively. That is one of the top offenses in the league, that's after five weeks and you watch the way they are operating, the way they are running the ball. That running backs are playing fantastic, the play action coming off it, our guys played with good zone defense and good eyes. Delvin Breaux was outstanding. He had Julio (Jones) most of the game. I thought the pass rush was good, we hung in early when they were moving the ball and we got some turnovers. It was a game where we were much better with penalties, with all the things that can keep you from winning."
More on Delvin Breaux:
"He played a lot of man coverage and really stayed on top of every route. It was a tough assignment."
On the pass rush early:
"There wasn't a ton of pressure. Matt's (Ryan) is pretty good at seeing that and getting the ball out. I think there were a couple snaps with a three-man rush where he escaped and got a first down, but for the most part it was a four-man rush. That was the plan coming in."
On having the last possible open date this year:
"I haven't really thought much about it. Obviously, when you play a Thursday game, we are used to that schedule. For me, it's really those early days of making sure the mental work is done and then getting as rested as possible to play with energy tonight, the upside to a Thursday night schedule, obviously for every team, is that you have a little time to get healthy and kind of see where you are. I couldn't tell you where the next bye is. Honestly, I know we are at Indianapolis next weekend. After that, I couldn't tell you."
On the attention to detail:
"It's hard to correct certain things in a two day, non-padded practice and yet, we as coaches have to get the point across or the madness just continues; you lose another game and another game and continue to make the same mistakes so that is collectively on all of us. It starts with me, our staff, our player, and I thought this week was good considering the loss last week. We knew it was an important game in the division, obviously a night game, but it was a good win."