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Transcript: New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton Postgame Quotes | Saints-Titans 2019 Week 16

Get postgame reactions from New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton


(opening statement)

It was good to get a win be it we started off slow, did a few things to get that momentum shifted. Special teams gave us some good returns today, and offensively we got going, and I think we played a lot better in the second quarter and better in the second half. It was a good win to get on the road against a good football team we played today.

(on Saints running back Alvin Kamara's performance today)

He's playing well and he is doing an outstanding job. It was a great check by Drew (Brees), that one play, his first touchdown, was an audible. I think more than anything else, it is just to continue to find the spots that we feel like he does well, and there's a lot of them in the run game, the passing game. He played well. He is very unselfish and it is good to see him have some success. I thought some of his plays really helped us. We had him open in a few other plays in the passing game, but that all being said, I am glad he is on our team.  

(on how injuries to the secondary impacts the team)

You lose a corner, you move some guys around, move some guys up obviously. With P.J. (Williams) outside, we ended up moving a safety. We moved P.J. back, Patrick Robinson, and fortunately we are deep there. We knew going in with three safeties active we might have to have a backup plan, and sure enough we needed to.  

(on Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas' record breaking season)

I really wasn't aware of it until about two seconds ago. We are talking about what, season catches? I am excited for him and I am sure he would say the same thing. More importantly, it was about getting the win. We got a lot of double on third downs, they did a pretty good job of trying to take him away. We were able to find some of his touches in the slot. That's a great accomplishment. Marvin Harrison was a fantastic player.

(on the forced fumble and play by Saints defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson)

It was good catch, it was a good tackle, and we are gravitating to where we are moving the head from the hit. That was a good play by him. He's been smart. He's played well. I like what we have in the player. I like the way he competes. He is around the ball and man he loves playing football, so he is doing well. 

(on if he was surprised that the Titans continued to kick to wide receiver/return specialist Deonte Harris after he was having success in the return game today)

Well they finally – in the kickoff hit one, and D (Deonte Harris) ends up with it. Look, those returns were something and the field position it put us in was really good, and it had a lot to do with us winning the game. 

(on the performance of tight end Jared Cook in recent weeks)

Yeah, you guys saw him in training camp. He's got such good run skills after the catch, he's a big target. The play that he and Drew (Brees) made today for the first touchdown was significant. It was good to see him – again, if we're getting doubled outside over to the X, there's times where he's just going to have the single. 

(on the balance between sacks and coverage sacks)

I want to see the tape before – I mean, I thought that they've got a good rush plan. We gave up a couple twists and got edged on a few so we'll see. 

(on if the offensive penalties today were discouraging)

Yeah, discouraging, and yet there were a handful that I was able to get a chance to see, and there were a few of them that – I mean, they are what they are. So, anything else?

(on the potential of the offense with players like running back Alvin Kamara, tight end Jared Cook and wide receiver Michael Thomas)

Each week the job is to understand the game and then understand what we have to do to win the game. They do a good job of mixing up some zone and man looks, a little bit different than what we've seen throughout the year. So, on a short week, that was a concern of mine in preparation. Are we going to be able to recognize some of these things? We got a couple of corner blitzes today. I knew we were going to get some zone pressure on third down, and fortunately we were able to solve some of those puzzles in the second half. 

(on the play where Head Coach Mike Vrabel challenged the call which resulted in giving the Saints extra time)

Well, we went through a few different things there. I'm trying to think of the call he challenged. Whether it was an interception or incompletion, yeah. You're waiting. We talked about a few different things. You got a corner blitz coming off of that clock stoppage and we were working an individual with Mike (Michael Thomas), and sure enough here came the corner, and Drew (Brees) kind of – there's a safety coming over the top and those guys were able to make a play that converted the third down. But yeah, when you have a little bit more time like that, you go through and you kind of rehash some thoughts as to what we want to do on that call. So, it gave us a little bit more time than normal. 

(on watching other games around the league that impact the Saints' seeding)

Well, we're flying after this and then tomorrow we're in on Carolina. It's hard to watch games, honestly. The players will have a chance to but we'll see when we get home. 

(on if the Saints looked passed the Titans and have mentally been on Week 17)

Yeah, look, the concern coming into this game was they do enough things that are different, they're out of the conference, and then you're coming off of a Monday night game and are you going to be able to simulate them all, while getting your guys rested. We felt like we were going to need their legs, and we were going to have to back off practice and spend more time with some walkthroughs. So, can we prepare to play this team the way we want to and still come in here with enough energy? I felt like we didn't to start but we found it shortly into the game and that was encouraging. 

(on the character of this team after the highs and lows of the season)

Yeah, they have, and yet we still have to clean up a few things. I told them just two minutes ago, 'Hey, you have to believe that from week to week you can improve,' and this is a team that still can improve, and I think that's going to be important when we get into the tournament with better teams, single elimination, and we're going to have to be better in some areas, lot of areas.

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