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Transcript: New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton Postgame Quotes | Saints-Panthers 2019 Week 17

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton

Game summary:

I thought there were a lot of good things I was pleased with. I thought early on we got out and took advantage of field position, created field position and did all the things you need to do to win a game like this.

On the fast start:

We tried to focus really on playing our best game. Each of these last, call it the last quarter of the season, really preparing to play playoff football and I thought we started fast so that was encouraging.

On the team's play going into playoffs:

I think good. I was pleased with the second half of last week. I was pleased with how we started this game.

Did you watch the Green Bay game?

Yeah, we watched the end of that game. It was on one of the TVs in there. Obviously, a close game. We'll see what happens tonight. Look, those are things you can't control, so we'll be ready with either scenario.

On his confidence in his team:

You just find yourself after you've done this long enough to focus on the things you can control and fortunately, we're in the position to be in the postseason. We know we're going to be playing a home game. Those are positives.

Thoughts on the secondary:

We'll look at the tape, but I thought overall pretty well. We had some moving parts and we had a handful of guys not going. We had guys back from injury. That was encouraging. Overall, I was pleased.

On Week 17 game strategy:

We're playing for a lot. I can't speak for the other games, but I felt like our players understood. We wanted to get our 13th win. That's hard to do. We felt like – we took the approach all week we're really working on our edge for in preparation when postseason starts.

Is there an advantage with something on the line?

It's hard to play this game if you're not emotionally and physically ready. In other words, there are times when seeding has been established that we've sat players and that's a different picture. I thought from the minute we got here I thought we handled it right. I thought pre-game was on point. I felt like we were ready to play.

Team at 13-3 and possibly third seed:

In 2006 we won 10 games and we were the two seed, so it varies sometimes.

Significance of winning 13 games:

Hey, you just want to win more than we lose. You want to win each time you play. I don't know that that's a certain benchmark goal. The first goal is winning your division. The second goal may be getting the best possible seed you can get and it's just hard to do in this league.

Consistent back to back winning seasons:

I was pleased with these guys and their effort. I thought we had a good week. We weren't in pads during the week and yet our periods were crisp. We got outside some. That was important.

On Jared Cook:

He made a heck of a catch today. He's got a big catch radius. I love to see how he's playing right now. Last week he had a significant game and a few weeks back prior to going out of the game he already had two touchdowns, so he's a big part of what we do.

On the defensive play since 49ers game:

That's one game against a real good team, but I think that we've added a few pieces because of some injuries, but those guys have done well.

On his reaction to Carley McCord's death:

We're devastated because there are so many ties. She was just so visible and around our program. I know our players have reacted and our organization. Thoughts and prayers go out to her family. It was tough news. All of us in Louisiana felt the same way. You can't explain it. Having young children myself you just… pray for her family. It was really difficult news to get and we got it yesterday. She was just someone that was always smiling, always upbeat and that's how I remember her in her job.

Any birthday plans?

No. We'll fly back and hopefully watch a little of the evening game and kind of go from there.

Andrus Peat and Larry Warford competing:

I thought it was important to give both he and Larry - I didn't want to go into a playoff game with both of them fresh off an injury. I thought it was important for those guys to play today, and yeah, they're always competing. Nick's (Easton) done a good job. They couldn't play until they were healthy and they were cleared so... Our plan was to rotate through those three players and we were able to do that.

On the challenge going the Saints way:

That's like a hard 8 in Vegas, huh? Right? That was nice. I thought it was the right rule. I was appreciative of it. There's my birthday gift.

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