New Orleans Saints Quarterback Jameis Winston
Local Media Availability
Thursday, October 28, 2021
So explain where you haven't shown a ton of emotion about facing your former team?
"It's one game. I'm playing against some old teammates, but it's one game, it's the next opponent."
Have you heard from some of those former teammates?
"Yes, I've talked to them, talked to some of them throughout the year."
I can't remember if we asked this at any point in the offseason, what were your emotions watching your old team win the Super Bowl? Was that hard?
"No, I was very happy for the guys that put in a lot of years there with me, for them to get there and end up on top. I was very happy for my (former) teammates, but it's this year now, our next opponent is them so that's who we are going to beat this week."
Everytime we talk to you, we get an overwhelmingly positive personality. Did you have to deal with any bitterness or anger to get over that or are those kinds of thoughts not part of your makeup?
"No, everything happens for a reason and I'm very grateful for that organization and the Glazer family who gave me that opportunity. They drafted me first overall to that city. That city's done a lot for me and I know I've done a lot for that city. That's where I stay now (in offseason). I definitely love that city. Now we get to play them. So this week, all the lovey, dovey stuff is behind."
What was it like last year seeing them up and close on the opposite sideline?
"It was fun, we won (in the regular season). We didn't win the one playoff game, that was tough. That was my first time in the playoffs so I really wanted to win that one, but it was fun. This year, we have to get at it twice and maybe three times this year.
How has the past year and a half changed you as a person?
"I think getting a chance to work with Sean (Payton) and Drew Brees last year helped me as a quarterback, but as far as a person, I give my all every single day, especially for my wife and kids. I'm trying my best to be the best person I can be (I didn't really) change as a person, last year was humbling, but I didn't take it for granted, because I had a hall of fame quarterback and a hall of fame coach to learn from, so I really cherished that."
If you were younger would you have made a big deal about revenge at a time like this against this opponent?
"No, I don't see it as revenge. I see it as a division opponent that we need to beat, a good opponent coming up in our house in front of our fans, trying to beat us, so a younger me, I was always next man up. Who do we have to play (next)? Our (traditional) rivalry is the Falcons. I think we are forming a rivalry with Tampa, because they have a good squad and Marshon Lattimore and Mike Evans. They have their own little rivalry. My job is to lead us to a win on Sunday and it's going to be big for our fans and for the city."
For the past four years, Marshon has played some of his best football against Mike Evans. What made it so difficult when you were the guy trying to get the ball to Mike?
"Mike Evans is one of the best receivers in this game. Marshon's one of the best corners in this game. So, they are just two alphas going at it. It was always fun competing against Marshon, but now I'm happy that he's on my team, but Marshon knows that he needs to bring his lunch pail out. He does that every week. Like he did last week. I'm pretty sure he's ready. I'm happy I don't have to face that offense. But I know DA (Dennis Allen) and Marshon and Demario Davis, they're ready."
Now not being the only former Heisman Trophy winner on the team, how well do you know Mark Ingram II?
"I know we are Heisman brothers. I don't know him personally very much at all, but I've heard of the teammate that he is, the high energy he brings and the person that he is. I'm very blessed in welcoming Mark Ingram, because I know he was drafted here and has a lot of pride for this organization. We welcome him back."
Did you watch him playing for Alabama growing up since you grew up in that area?
"Yes, I met him at Alabama, when I went up there for a visit. I've met Mark."
It seems like Marshon finds another level when he's playing against someone he doesn't like necessarily. Is that even possible playing cornerback?
"That's who Marshon is. He's a dog. He's an extremely competitive athlete and he likes doing a good job. He takes pride in locking people down. Some players have that instinct in them where they can turn it on as the enemy and I'm going to drill you into the ground. I think I had it at times, the eye of the tiger. I try to be poised and stuff but at the end of the day, I'm still trying my best to step on somebody's neck. I can't do that literally, but I definitely want to beat my opponent."
I guess that's why we're surprised about how calm you are about this week as so many times players want to use emotion to their advantage. I guess there's a curiosity of why or why not?
"I've always been an emotional football. I think that's something I'm trying to work on, being present instead of being stuck in my feelings. As a quarterback, we have to be present at all times and be aware of aware of everything going on. Sometimes too much emotion can lead us to a place where we don't want to go and I come from a level of gratitude and optimism. A lot of people don't agree with that all the time, but I'm grateful I have a chance to play this team. I want to beat them. I want to beat them bad and in my heart I'm ready to rock. At the end of the day they're another opponent. Another opponent that we need to beat in the division. They have a good team and are coming in here hot, so we have to stand our ground and represent at our house."
Is there anything that sticks out about Sean Payton's attention to detail?
"Yes, I think that's just who he is, attention to detail with everything. Every time he speaks he paints the entire picture for you to help you better understand what he's explaining."
Is that a ability a little different than other coaches?
"I think he does it in a very unique way. I think his skill to be relatable to players speaks volumes as to who he is as a leader. Most NFL coaches harp on the details and the small things so we can handle the big things."
Taking away your history with Tampa Bay, can you talk about the challenge of playing the defending Super Bowl Champions?
"I think it's a big win. Every year when you win the Super Bowl, the bullseye's on your back. But the Saints have been the division champions in this division the past four years. I think we have the bullseye on our back with those guys coming in. Obviously they won a Super Bowl and that's good for them. They know. I'm pretty sure Tom Brady's saying that's last year. He's trying to win one this year, like we all are. We're trying to win a Super Bowl this year."
On the touchdown to Alvin Kamara on Monday, is it something you practiced in wet ball drills, how smoothly you recovered that ball with your left hand?
"No, I just knew it was going to be a touchdown (laughter). I got it to him."
Was that actually part of wet ball drills?
"No, we don't do that in wet ball drills, but I'm happy we worked wet ball drills to make that happen."
Have you ever seen Fast Times at Ridgemont High?
Sean Payton used an analogy from a movie in playing a revenge game?
"This week is big, but every week's big for me. Being out a year, you get a chance to see how much you miss being away from this game. I got a chance to watch Drew (Brees) play. That was fun, but at the end of the day I still wanted to play. I love this game. Sure I'm playing against the old squad, but I love this game. I'm trying to go out there and beat everybody we play, not matter who it is. You talk about growth, I've learned in this league, it's about winning games. Anyway I can do that, win games, I'm up for that and yes this is an opponent where I've been there and done that with this team, but I want to win football games and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the next opponent and that's who we need to beat. It's good for us that I get to beat an opponent that I played for, but we need to win, that's it."
Will there be trash talk with any of your former teammates on the field?
"It's not too many trash talkers on that team. We're going to be talking back and forth, but actions speak louder than words and that's what most of those guys on that defense are about, actions. That's what we're going to be about come Sunday."
Can you talk about Devin White and Lavonte David and how they cover the whole field?
"I just think they are two of the most prominent backers in this league. We have a few here, but those two, that tandem together, they are elite. I saw how good Devin White was when I spent a year with him and I know how great Lavonte David is. I think he's one of the most underrated backers in this league, so they are definitely good. It starts with their front seven. Their front seven, those backers, d ends and d tackles, it starts with them and we're going to have to come ready and we will be."
Have you ever played a football game on Halloween?
"Not that I recall, but it will be fun, it will be spooky."
Will your kids come dressed?
"Most likely they will."
Any ideas for costumes?
"My son will be a ghost. I'm Frankenstein (laughter). My wife got me a costume."
Do you have any say in that?
"During the season it's all her right now. I don't have time looking for Halloween costumes, but it's fun, fun having candy at the house."
Is it just better she does it because you feel you would do the wrong thing anyway costume shopping?
"No, I would go overboard. I'd try to make my own costume. I'd do extra stuff."
Obviously you are focused on the game, but do you take a minute to look in the stands at how crazy Saints fans are?
"I played here. I know how wild these fans can get and I expect them to be wilder than that Sunday. I'm happy we're back home, I really am. We've played only one game at home. I'm happy to get back in that dome and get that thing rocking."
There will probably be a lot of costumes?
"As long as there's a lot of black and gold and have that thing rocking, I don't care what you wear."
New Orleans Saints Defensive End Cameron Jordan
Post Practice Media Availability
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Are you excited today now that you've got your buddy coming back?
"I mean, I've got a lot of a lot of buddies coming back so you've got to be more specific. Because in my mind David Onyemata is here now."
Well, that's no doubt you and Mark Ingram have stayed in touch with your podcast. What is the conversations been like now that it's, I guess, somewhat official? And what do you remember about what he not only brought in the field? But in the locker room?
"Does that make it official? I have no idea where we stand in here. Until he gets in the building, I'll worry about it when he does, because I thought it was official yesterday. And then somebody said it was a rumor. And that's my fault for paying attention to social media. I know better. I should do better. I will be better in the future. So when he gets in, I'm sure we'll hug.
So you're saying you haven't talked to him about it?
"I've talked to him a lot (laughter). I'm saying I haven't seen him in building. So when he gets in building, we'll discuss about what we'll do from here."
So I guess the question is, then what do you remember about what he brought to not just on the field, but in the locker room?
"You say remember like it was so long ago."
It's been a few years.
"But I spent the first seven or eight years with him. I mean, I'm looking forward to seeing my guy back. I mean, everybody knows how infectious Mark's energy is, how great of a teammate he is, what he can do on the field. Everybody remembers "Zoom and Boom" from AK and Mark going to ham across the league. So am I looking forward to this 2.0? Maybe. Am I looking forward to David (Onyemata) coming back this week? For sure. Am I more excited because it's been a whole nother month since been in the dome with fans back? Absolutely. I don't even know if you asked that question. I just gave it to you."
How excited was your family to hear Mark was coming back? Your wife and Mark's wife are good friends, I'm sure your kids are close.
"I don't think my kids understand the ramification of, hey, Uncle Mark is coming in. But my wife is super excited. Anytime you can have close family friends keep joining the team. I mean, we're all one big brotherhood. So now we're all one big family. So it's going to be great for everybody."
You mentioned him already, but David Onyemata is coming back to practice, can you elaborate on that?
"I mean, the presence David brings, what he has done in the last half decade being on this team. Not only his strength, his force, but just his mindset of wanting to play the run and getting better every day. It matches exactly what we're doing on the d-line. So he was a huge component for us. And super excited to have him back."
Is everybody kind of giddy in the locker room right now about all this?
"I mean, probably not. I mean, a lot of guys are new to the team. A lot of young guys may not have been around for two or three years. But the guys that know the energy, the guys that know we have a great teammate coming in, somebody who has always brought in, somebody who has carried the running back load at times when before AK came through. This is somebody who is selfless. And, I mean, whether they know him or not, they'll understand that this is what it takes to be a consummate pro. So we already know what we've got coming in, we're looking forward to this week, and we're focused on this weekend. Again, not only being back in the dome for the second time in, is this week seven, week eight for us? We had a bye week already so somewhere right around there. Second time back in the dome, where the fans are back. So that's two games with fans in two years. We're excited to have another opportunity to present ourselves and play our best defense. Hopefully."
How is having someone like David back, who is such a threat to rush from the interior change how other teams scheme against all of you?
"I will not be answering that question until after Sunday."
Can you answer that in general terms, maybe?
"When you have a physical presence such as a 93 on the field, somebody who has created pressure from the middle, somebody who has not allowed quarterbacks to step up and is smart enough and savvy enough to do what he has been able to accomplish the last couple of years, you can get excited. We won't know until we get to the field how ready we are. But I have a very good feeling about Sunday."
We don't get a chance to see the side of David that you guys get to see. We always hear about him being an emotional player. We don't see that, but could you tell how glad he was to be back out there?
"Oh yeah, he was super excited. He doesn't talk much, but today he was talking."
We asked Sean (Payton) about just the inherent, natural, maybe human emotions that someone like Jameis Winston might have starting against the team he started his career with for the first time. He said it's not like a quarterback is the defensive end from Fast Times at Ridgemont High where they smash up his car and he's all angry and then he goes and takes over the game, but you are a defensive end…
"That's been a while since I've seen that one. That was a hell of a pull. I do wonder. I mean, he did have all last year with us where again, he wasn't the starting quarterback, but he did see his defeat them two out of three times, but that was last year's team. That was a team that he wasn't fully under helm and now Tampa Bay's coming into the dome. We have to protect our dome. We have things we have to accomplish, we've got a list of ways we can win and we have to go out there and execute to the highest of our abilities because this is a great Tampa Bay team that's coming in. I think they're better than they were last year."
In terms of all you guys kind of working together, just how much easier is life when Davenport's out then (David) Onyemata just as far as some of the looks you're getting and the opportunities?
"We're getting healthier every week and with every week comes new opportunities. How do you like that one?"
Any chance your kids are going to come dressed up?
"Where? It's still COVID season."
To the game.
"No, no, no, no. we'll probably wait a couple more games. See how this works out. Just in terms of we've still got the newest one. She's still under a year. So I doubt they'll be there this weekend. They'll probably be looking. What time is the game? 3:00, 4:00?
Yeah, they'll be looking more forward to trick or treating after."
Yeah, I didn't know if they'd be coming in costume to the game.
"Yeah, they will not be. We will be in costume though after the game. Probably before the game."
Any idea yet on what you're going to wear?
"Oh, I have got a great costume set that I presented to the fam about two weeks ago. Now, is it going to get done, executed, for sure. Am I the one executing it, have no idea.
Do you come up with the costumes?
"yeah, I come up with great ideas."
Is it Squid Game?
"No, everybody's Squid Game this year. That's too easy."
If you have no idea whether you're executing it, that means you're not executing?
"I'm not, I do what I'm told. Go get, yes. Don't ask the reason, I know the direction we are going."
It's been a while since you guys have been this big an underdog at home against a team. Is that true? Any thoughts on that?
"Zero thoughts. It has nothing to do whether we're underdogs or favorites. At the end of day, we still have to go out there and play a football game. It's not going to, whatever the analytics say, whatever the analysts saying, whatever a fan may say, we will not change how we operate in our building. We have a game coming in. We have a battle ahead of us. We've got to go to war on Sunday."
New Orleans Saints Safety Marcus Williams
Local Media Availability
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Do you have any interceptions against Tom Brady?
"I got a couple."
Can you imagine being 44 and playing quarterback in the NFL?
"Man, it's good to see somebody like that, but it's also good to be able to play against him and intercept him and things like that. But just being able to play against a Hall of Famer, soon to be, it's a good challenge. But when I get that age, hopefully I'm still doing the same thing."
What were some of the things the defense did well against the Bucs last year?
"Just eliminate the explosive plays. Just lock into our details and take care of that. We practice it every week eliminate explosive plays, taking the ball away and when you take the ball away, it puts you at an advantage to win."
Why was the playoff game so different from regular season games any idea?
"Maybe because we didn't have, I don't know if we had any takeaways on our end. So we got to do better at getting takeaways in the back end and on defense and that will turn the game around a little bit."
What did you learn about their offense last year and kind of what they do well and has it changed since then?
"They're a high powered offense. They get the ball down the field. They like take the shots, very explosive. So we just got to stay to our keys and lock in and eliminate those explosive (plays) and do what we got to do."
How do you manage emotions in a game given the relationship between Mike Evans and Marshon Lattimore?
"Marshon is a dog. He going to be a dog every single game. He is going to come out and he is going to be a dog so when you see him on the field that is what you're going to see."
How much does it help the guys on the backend when you bring back a guy like David Onyemata?
"I mean the guys that were here did a good job, but you know what David brings to the team, a lot of emotion, a lot of passion and goes to hunt every play and those other guys are still going to play. So just him being in the rotation is going to help us."
Is David Onyemata the strongest guy on the team?
"I am the strongest guy on the team, nah. I don't know. He is very explosive in the weight room, if you see him doing his routine, you see how explosive he is even in there. So when he comes out on the field, it just translates."
How big of an addition is Mark Ingram now that he's back?
"He's an energy guy. He brings a lot of energy to our locker room. Playing with him you see what type of passion and type energy he brings, just his aura, that the energy, it's good to have him back that's for sure."
What was your reaction when you found out that they traded for Mark Ingram?
"Shoot, I called him up and I was yelling on the phone, let's go. But yeah, it's exciting."
How much did you miss Mark Ingram?
"Shoot I talk to Mark almost every day. We play the game and do things like that. But we talk all the time. He is like my big brother. Anything I need I know he will be there for me. And I see him in offseason sometimes so it's good to have him back for sure."
How much gas do you think he has left in the tank?
"He's going, he been going he never stopped. Yeah, I haven't seen a decline in his play. If you see him, he's still running through people. He's still out running people. I think he just getting started to be honest. He plays like he's still 20."
New Orleans Saints Center Erik McCoy
Post-Practice Press Conference with Local Media
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Did you think you'd be out that long when you got hurt?
"On the field, no, but when I got the MRI results back, they told me it would be six weeks. I wanted to come back a little earlier, but I had a small setback, so it took the full six weeks."
How did you take that news?
"It sucked. I haven't missed more than half of a game since pee-wee football. I hated it, but I'm thankful to be back. I'm thankful, I'm grateful, I'm blessed."
Is this game against Tampa Bay a statement game for this team?
"I think it's just the biggest game because it's the next game. Coach Payton loves saying that, and I agree with him. Obviously, Tampa is a very talented team. We know who they are and what they can do. We have to go out and play our style of football and give it all we got."
What are your impressions of Vita Vea?
"I think Vita is a great player. He's strong, quick, and has all the qualities to be the best nose tackle in the NFL. I think he's a great player."
Have you matched up against Vita Vea before?
"I think I've played him three times. The first two were during my rookie year and played him once last year since he was injured. You see it on film, he's one of those guys that can get after the quarterback. He's a talented player."
How do you combat a player like that?
"I can't give my gameplan away."
Were you surprised you avoided being put on IR?
"Honestly, I have no clue about the whole IR thing. I honestly thought I was on it at one point but realized later I wasn't. I don't know. Whatever they do is cool with me. I'm just along for the ride."
Why are they such a good run defense?
"They play a lot of five bigs on the field at once. Shaq Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul, Vita Vea, Ndamukong Suh, William Gholston. That's a heavy front, that's five big guys that are physical, violent, and know how to play the run."
What's the balance of establishing the run but also not playing into their strengths?
"I think it all goes hand-in-hand. You try to establish the run and set them up in play action. Then, if you get in pass situations, you pass it."
Is this an offensive lineman's game?
"I think every game is an offensive lineman's game. Every game."
Do you relish this type of game to prove yourself?
"Oh yeah. We didn't run the ball well last week in Seattle against a run defense that statistically wasn't very good. This week, we're playing the top statistical team that averages 67 yards rushing per game. That's unheard of. Of course, it's a challenge, but we're looking forward to it."
Do they run a bear front?
"Yeah, it's a lot of bear fronts. They also run a lot of Okie-Underwing, which is Sam linebacker on the ball. Their Sam's are Shaq Barrett and JPP. So, it's still technically a bear front, just shifted over."
They can do that because of how talented their linebackers are, correct?
"Oh yeah, they can run. Lavonte David is one of the smartest players I've ever played against. Devin White is an athletic freak that flies to the ball. With those type of players, you can leave five big guys on the field."
Can you envision a lot of trash talk towards Jameis Winston this week because of the history he has with their organization?
"I mean, I didn't think of it until you just said it. You know, if it's nice things, some guys are actually nice where they'll ask how your family is doing. But if they start talking smack, you have to stand up for your guy. You have to stand up for your guy."
How much do you think this game means to Jameis Winston?
"Probably a ton. The team that drafted you first overall in 2015, of course it's a game I know he's looking forward to. It's a team he knows and is familiar with. So, I know he'll be ready to play."
What are some of the things Calvin Throckmorton does well?
"The thing about Cal is that he's a brick wall. Even on individual drills he's hard to move. You're not going to knock him back; he's going to anchor. That's something he can do at all three interior positions really, really well."
How much have you seen Calvin Throckmorton grow since being on the practice squad last year?
"A ton. His technique has improved so much. He's improved cerebrally so much. I think Throck's is a great player."
Are you excited to add Mark Ingram back?
"Yeah. I wasn't here when he was here the first stint, but I've heard all the stories in the locker room about how great of a guy he is and how his wife makes a great Saturday morning dish. I'm looking forward to having him."