NEW ORLEANS SAINTS COACH SEAN PAYTON
"Obviously, a big win for us. Each week is a different challenge. We felt Detroit, with the way they've been playing this year, presented a number of problems. They are a team that plays very well in the second half; I said that earlier in the week. You could see they rallied around the quarterback and made some plays. In that third quarter I thought the momentum shifted. It was going to be important for us to answer."
"There are a number of things we'll be able to look at on tape that we'll be able to clean up. We are going to have to continue to work on those things. Nonetheless, to get to nine wins was significant. I'm proud of the way our guys fought. It wasn't perfect. There is a hand full of things that we have to get corrected to get where we want to go. Fortunately, we have time to do that. Now we kind of shift our gears for two away games, beginning with Tennessee this week."
(on the consistency developed) "We've gotten kind of on a little bit of a run here. We felt going into this third quarter of the schedule, we were going to play some good football teams. So that was a challenge starting off with Tampa, Atlanta, the Giants and of course, Detroit. All four of those teams to start this third quarter were all teams that we felt were in playoff contention. We've got a lot of work to do still. Our players know that, our coaches know that, and that will start with me and our staff. I like the fact that we are playing with confidence. I like the fact that we answered in the second half when that momentum shifted. We'll be back at it this week and trying to make the improvements we feel are necessary."
(on defense play in first half) "When you play a team with a number of guys at the skill positions, specifically a receiver in Calvin Johnson, a guy that can take over a game, and obviously their quarterback is playing with confidence. Some of those stops on third down were pivotal for us, especially early in the game where we were able to get a lead. In the second half, when that momentum swung a little bit, we got a key score and a key stop defensively. All in all, a good win. We have a ton of respect for the team we just played. We talked it about most of the week, where they have come with their improvement. Jim (Schwartz) does a great job with his staff. It was a good, hard-fought win.
(on Detroit's 55-yard field goal attempt) "Field position's important so the challenge always as a coach is you recognize when you want to attempt a long field goal the downside is not only the field position but the momentum swings. They have one of the best kickers in the league. I think, in our case, we attempt the same field goal and you just hope you hit more than you miss. Capitalizing on the field position was is important for us and I think it was significant."
(on specific things to improve on) "We gave up some big plays, some guys were uncovered. Defensively, we can be better on the back end. Honestly, we gave up too many big plays. Offensively, I'd like to see us finish the game with fourth down and a yard and a half to go. Credit Detroit, they did enough good things in the third quarter to kind of shift that momentum. On the kicking game, I'd like to see us improve our punt return units. We've got a real good returner (Sproles), he's come close on a few kickoff returns. I think the minute you think everything's perfect is not a good thing. The play at the end of the first half, for instance, with 18 seconds left and all of the sudden they are kicking a field goal. Those are things that in a more significant situation will cost you football games."
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS PLAYERS
QB #9 DREW BREES
(on last TD) "We still didn't put it away the way we wanted to. We extended the lead with that drive. The defense did a good job.
(on Detroit's missed field goal) "You weigh your options. If you make it, it's big time, a big momentum swing in their favor. If you miss it, it's great field position.
"I think every guy on our team knows to get where you're supposed to be. Protection was great all day long. We continued to move the ball down the field.
"The loss to St. Louis left us at 5-3 and in the middle of the division with Atlanta and Tampa. Two divisional games – these are twice as important. November is when you begin to separate yourselves from the pack, and we wanted to be playing our best football.
(on Curtis Johnson) "I think he's going to be great. Curtis Johnson has a lot of relationships here in New Orleans. He's been around the football field here a long time. That's one thing he's great at – he has a ton of relationships. He's been a great part of our offensive staff here over the last six years. He's known Sean for 20 years. He's been a lot of places and coached a lot of big-time players. It's great for Tulane's program. They got a great coach in Curtis Johnson."
RB #28 MARK INGRAM
(On his touchdown) "Anytime you see the open field and score a touchdown it's an exciting feeling. (Robert) Meachem threw a great block on the outside and made it an easy run for me."
"Top to bottom, this is a great organization. I'm proud to be a Saint.
(on BCS title game) "Rematch. Right here in the NOLA.
(prediction for BCS) "Roll Tide. If I said otherwise, you'd look at me like I was crazy.
TE #80 JIMMY GRAHAM
(on reaching 1,000 yards) "I'm not that concerned with 1,000 yards. For me, it's about wins. Personal accolades – we'll wait till the offseason to look at those.
(on last TD drive) "Drew said one drive, one play at a time. We just focused on making third downs and marching down the field. Great job by Drew. He's a surgeon out there.
WR #17 ROBERT MEACHEM
(On the touchdown pass) "I was just having fun at the end of the run. I caught the ball looked to the right of the field and there was nobody over there. I figured if I take a step to the right, then maybe he'll go right. He did and I just cut back left. It was intentional because I wanted to go in the inside."
(On his performance tonight) "It was a great day for me. God gave me a gift and I just wanted to show the world my gift. When your time is called in this offense, you have to make the best of it."
SS #41 ROMAN HARPER
"At the end of the day, I really enjoyed the way we came out and played.
(on Jon Vilma) "He was flying around. The way he played tonight was very inspiring.
(on BCS title game) "I'm definitely looking forward to the rematch. Hopefully, the Saints can continue winning some games and we can get a bye week. I'm looking forward to being back in the Dome on Jan. 9."
LB #51 JONATHAN VILMA
(on returning to lineup) "In the beginning, I was a little rusty. By midway through the second quarter, I was good to go.
(on knee injury) "I had it scoped. They had to clean out some particles, some cartilage in there. Last week, I tried to give it a go and it swelled up in there.
"It felt great. I was dying to get out there. It was great to see the guys hold it down for me. It was great to enjoy the moment.
(on Lions offense) "It wasn't anything schematically we had to adjust to. We had to weather the storm. Detroit's so explosive offensively. We faced Matthew Stafford when he was a rookie, and he's improved tremendously. You can put him in that upper echelon now.
"They're going to put up points. Everything they scored, we wanted to make them earn it.