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Saints players talk about win over San Francisco 49ers

Mark Ingram, Delvin Breaux other players on the win

Saints CB Delvin Breaux
Postgame Quotes – November 6, 2016
San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints

How did it feel to be back out there playing?
"I can't even express it. Just being back out there with my teammates, making plays, having fun and also going out there and having a W. That's awesome."

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton said that you were out there on somewhat of a pitch count. How hard is it to not be out there every play?
"I was kind of expecting it just because we want to be sure about everything. I was fine with it. I just try to do whatever the coach tells me to do. I did my part. I had to make plays while I was in there."

How important was it for this team to not just win the game but to win by a large margin?
"That's big for us because we want to come together and close out games. Today was something that can get us started. We have to just continue to stay consistent and not have to make the offense close out games for us. We just have to keep going back to the drawing board, getting better and getting ready for next week."

What about climbing back in the standings? You guys are 4-4 and giving yourselves a chance.
"That's it. That's all coach tells us. We have a chance and we're still in it. Don't ever think we're down. The fact that we came out here and got a win on the road was big for us."

How tough was that first half though? You guys gave up 20 points, and San Francisco had around six plays of 20-plus yards.
"It was very tough. We kept going to the sideline and trying to figure out what the problem was. It was just a little miscommunication. That happens during a game. Just to have those big plays can hurt us, so I'm just glad we finished it out and kept them to three points in the second half. I'm glad we closed out and made that adjustment."

Was there a specific adjustment that you made?
"Just talking. Communication. Guys just have to talk to each other."

Saints RB Tim Hightower
Postgame Quotes – November 6, 2016
San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints

How does it feel to win on the road?
"Being on the road, you have to be physical. You have to establish the line of scrimmage. We challenged ourselves, [New Orleans Saints RB] Mark [Ingram] and I both the running backs we challenged ourselves to see if we can put this team on our backs and to see if we can be a physical team and that is what we did."

What was it like to see Mark Ingram rebound after last week?
"We are all competitive, but we are brothers and friends. The tough thing about this business is the ebb and flow. To see him respond the way that he did, I am proud of him. It is not easy to do, but he did and I am proud of him."

We had heard he had been down on himself the last two weeks
"Who wouldn't? We are competitors. We give our best every single day. We want to be the best. I know he was down on himself, but it doesn't matter, he responded like a champ and responded like a pro and I am proud of him."

What did it mean to see your defense only give up 23 points today and the last week before to only give up 20 points, so you have only given up 43 points in the last two games?
"It is key. The big thing is that the defense got some crucial stops when they needed to. They won the turnover battle. Any time you do that on the road, good things happen."

You guys may have found something with this one-two punch with you and Mark Ingram.
"We are going to keep pushing ourselves. I told him after the game that I am proud of him. We are going to keep pushing each other. We can't rush the way we did last week. When you put something on film, everyone prepares for it. Now you have to be ready and bring you're "A" game every single week."

Saints RB Mark Ingram
Postgame Quotes – November 6, 2016
San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints

How does it feel to bounce back like you did today?
"You have to thank God first and foremost for blessing me with resilience and mental toughness and to overcome an adverse situation. Thank my family, my friends and my teammates for having my back. To all those close to me for keeping me encouraged, keeping me lifted up. I just want to thank everyone close to me, to everyone that believes in me. This was for them tonight."

How tough was it the last two weeks for you?
"It was tough. You never like to lose the ball or feel like you are putting your team in jeopardy. I definitely wanted to bounce back show what I am really capable of doing and not let fumbles define me. "

How did you handle it? I know when you were younger you got frustrated at times when you were not getting carries. Did you handle the demotion differently than you would have in the past?
"The Lord just has a peace about me. I am thankful for everyone that loves me and cares about me. They kept me encouraged, they kept me lifted up. They let me know that I was going to bounce back and that doesn't define me. I know I am better than that. So I just want to thank all those close to me and all those that love me, because they have a lot to do with me overcoming this."

Former NFL RB Marcus Allen, you are wearing his jersey. I know he spoke to the team last night. What kind of words of wisdom and inspiration do take from him last night that carry into today?
"I have known Marcus for almost seven or eight years now, since I have won the Heisman. He has always been great at giving advice. When we saw him last night as a team he talked to us for a long time about what it takes to be great, how he pushed himself in practice, how he loved his teammates, how he wanted to win a Heisman at a young age, how he wanted to win a Super bowl, how he wanted to win league MVP, and how he wanted to be Super bowl MVP. He told us it all takes work. He was selfless and was a great teammate. There were times he had to come in and block for [former NFL RB] Bo [Jackson]. He persevered through everything, and his hard work and his work ethic and his love for his teammates are some things that have defined him over his career."

Saints DT Sheldon Rankins* Postgame Quotes – November 6, 2016
San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints

How was it being out there coming off of the Injured Reserve List?
"In practice, obviously you're going through your motions full speed, but nothing's really physical or banging. I just had to catch up to the speed of everything. I felt like I did that in the second half."

What's your impression of how the defense played in the first half?
"We can't give up big plays. That's the one thing we need to look at when we get back and watch film. Overall we made plays when they needed to be made. We're happy about the win."

How are you feeling after the game?
"Excited. It was my first game back, so it was fun to get out there and play real football with my teammates."

Physically how do you feel?
"Physically I feel fine. My leg's holding up. I'm just trying to shake the rust off."

Saints T Zach Strief
Postgame Quotes – November 6, 2016
San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints

With a game like today, how good can this team be?
"We can be as good as we put the effort in to be. We're not a perfect team, but we're coming together. Sometimes that's what makes a good team. It's being a team that in November finds a way to come together and starts stringing wins together to the point that, before you know it, you're in the chase. The confidence, more than anything, will pay the most dividends for us coming back from the rough start."

Is it good to put a team away and not be in a back-and-forth game?
"We've talked the last few weeks about what kind of effects does having a win in a close game do. You can start gaining confidence in those situations. That's what we talked about. Our defense gets backed up and comes up with a huge turnover to take a game that was getting close to a one-score game, and you make a big play to get the ball back and move it in the fourth quarter. What you see is a team starting to find ways to win. Those ways are different every week. Our defense came up with a bunch of turnovers and we were able to finish in the fourth."

How nice was it to get a resounding win where you're not biting your nails in the fourth quarter?
"I think what's positive is we made plays before it was do-or-die. Good teams don't let themselves get backed into those positions. We're not there yet, but we're growing. I agree, the same way we talked about the confidence is built when you win things close, I think there was a lot of chatter on the sidelines in the fourth quarter of 'Let's put this away and finish this game.'"

What about this team battling back to 4-4 after a rough start?
"It's good. What I like about this team is we've done that (battling back) before, and sometimes it is exhausting. I think this team is getting more energy. That's not always the case. Sometimes you feel a collective mental and physical toughness. We had a practice on Wednesday that wasn't our best, and the practice on Thursday was as good as we've had all year. The practice on Friday was as good as we've had all year. You see a team learning how we have to prepare to win. So yes, getting back to 4-4 is good, but I think that the position the team is in right now is even more important than that."

Saints WR Michael Thomas* Postgame Quotes – November 6, 2016
San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints

Walk us through the play. How were you able to come down with that?
"I just had to rise up to the moment, respond. I felt like I had kind of went up lazy for one ball in a crucial third down going the other way. So, whenever I got my chance, whenever my play was called I was going to make a play no matter how I did. I just had to respond."

How do you think that ranks in catches you've made?
"I'll let you guys decide that."

It looked like you were talking to New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Peyton after the play, what were you guys talking about?
"Which play?"

That touchdown.
"I told him bet back really because [I] was kind of frustrated after that third down I couldn't help my team, keep them on the field. I went up lazy and the defense kind of didn't know what they were in and I kind of didn't know I was going to run the route and I felt like I read them lazy. It was frustrating for me. So, I stayed poised, another chance came and I had to make a big time play."

Did the ball go off his helmet?
"I'm not sure. A lot of people have been describing it as a crazy catch, ESPN Top Ten. I just saw the ball and tried to snatch it as fast as possible."

Can you talk about the discipline it takes to come up with that ball?
"Discipline, lock in on the ball, snatch it, don't give the defender a chance to make a play. If [QB] Drew [Brees] puts it in the air, he has a lot of trust in you to come down with that ball. That's how I approach every play, every ball that's in the air. He's tremendously accurate, so I feel like he makes the job a lot easier. He took a chance on me. I think it was a third down, I'm not sure."

It was first down.
"It was a first down, but I just made a play. We needed it, momentum. I helped my team.

You obviously have earned a lot of trust from Drew. What does it mean to you when he's making throws like that?
"I love it. I try to show him week in and week out, preparation during the week, that I want to be that guy in that situation to make that play and help this team get a spark or momentum. I like those type of situations and those crunch time situation, because that really shows who you are."

Saints S Kenny Vaccaro
Postgame Quotes – November 6, 2016
San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints

You guys started 0-3 and now are back to .500 at 4-4. What does that say about this football team?
"Resilient. Even though we were 0-3 we kept believing. We trusted in the process, we trusted in each other and now we are here."

How were you guys able to tighten up after the half?
"Just don't give up huge plays. Besides those two plays they ran all the way down the field and some late yardage late in the game when we were playing a little bit softer coverage. That was it. We understood that we've just got to be sound and not to beat ourselves. "

What did it mean to see your defense only give up 23 points today and the last week before to only give up 20 points, so you have only given up 43 points in the last two games. That is 23 today and 20 last week?
"That is okay, it's alright. We usually give up a lot more, so I guess that is progress. That is far over our goal."

What about the three takeaways you guys had?
"That is the key to the game. Any time we can get [New Orleans Saints QB] Drew [Brees] the ball back in that offense, with the way they are rolling, we are going to be at a huge advantage."

You have won four of your last five games. It seems like you are kind of getting on a roll?
"We still have some things to correct. It is going to be interesting to see the film. We have to keep working and keep progressing."

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