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Saints Transcripts: Marquez Callaway and Pete Werner Media Availability | Tuesday, Dec. 28

Players on Miami loss and quick turn around into Week 17

New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver Marquez Callaway
Virtual Media Availability
Tuesday, December 28, 2021

What did you take from the film given the unique situation the team was in yesterday?
"Really just I don't think anybody can say we don't go out there and play with energy and effort. I know at times, you know, it didn't seem like or I feel like it. But overall, I think that, despite what we was given our situation and everything we always and it's been the standard here, next man up mentality. So whether that's guys stepping in, like a lot of guys played their first NFL, like real game, and seeing them go out there, going 100% speed, giving 100% effort. That is really what we were looking forward to because we knew our situation and knew it was going to be difficult. But Coach (Payton), and everybody was saying, you know, just go out there, give 100% and everything else will take care of itself."

What is the most challenging aspect of playing a game like yesterdays?
"I mean, it is what it is, you know, nobody wants to play a game like that, like I said, with our situation. But like you said, we can't use that as an excuse, you know, we're all here for a reason, everybody here can play and that's all we have to do. You know, like I said, a lot of guys first time playing, but that's still not an excuse, you know, they're here for a reason. We're all here for a reason and just going out there and doing our best and giving 100%, really just our energy and effort. I really feel like that played a big role in it. Because even though it looks bad, like at the final score, but it was a lot of opening doors for a lot of guys."

Can you guys take anything positive from that?
"Yeah, Monday Night Football, it doesn't get any better than that. Like I said, a lot of guys first time out there and it was a Monday night game. So I can imagine what they are going through, like all the emotions, the thoughts going through their head. I know it is a tremendous amount of pressure going through, but they still going out there and performing. So it was just great seeing it. Like I said, like late last year, I'm going through the same thing, but that's why I'm saying it's great and good to see how they overcame and performed last night."

How did you feel that your chemistry was with Ian Book and how do you think that he played his first start?
"I think I feel like Ian played a great game. He got better as the game went on and you can tell, (this) being his first time he was trying to play a perfect game. And him going out there and a lot of us we are just trying to tell him to just go out there and be you, like, you are here for a reason, like I said, we know what you can do, now what's a better chance to prove it on then Monday night? I know things didn't go well for him at the beginning. But like I said throughout the game, he started progressing and he played better and I got to give (him credit). My hat's off to him. I know it wasn't the outcome that he wanted, especially with it being his first start, but he can build off this. It's something that, everybody's got to start somewhere and I feel like this was a, we asked a lot of him last night and I feel like, even through what was going on, I feel like he really stepped up."

How much do you feel like you've developed this season just with the amount of playing time you've had?
"Every week is different, different scheme, different itinerary we go through but throughout the weeks you learn from your past week, the week before that, and just seeing from right now to the beginning of the season, how I've grown, how the receivers have grown, how the team's grown, it is just you can see a big jump. Injuries happen, every team goes through them, everybody's known. Now we try to limit them. And now we have COVID. So COVID is another thing we have to look out for. As you know, last night we had a lot of guys (out), but just week to week progressing, week to week getting better, week to week learning from your mistakes so you don't make them. If you can do that week in and week out, then I feel like you yourself as a player and as a team are improving and that's all you can ask for especially in this league."

Do you feel like that has been playing out for you, specifically these last couple of weeks? Just kind of putting up a few of your better games receiving wise?
"Yeah, I feel like we just go out there and do what we have to do. When our number's called, we make the play. That is the overall thing as a receiver so whether it is my call, and I have been fortunate it is my call, I step up and make a play. When it is Lil'Jordan Humphrey's time he stepped up and made a play, Tre'Quan Smith, I am talking about the receivers because I'm a little biased, but every time like Easop Winston Jr. for example, he came in the last few games when we were down a returner and a receiver and he came in and stepped up. We have got to talk to the guy who paints the fields, or that turf monster that got him last night. I thought he was going to have a big one. But we asked a lot of our guys and seeing each other grow and watching each other grow is why we play the game."

Are you looking forward to getting Deonte Harty back this week?
"I think he's looking forward to it more than anybody. You can see him tweet, he calls us before and after the games telling us I'm watching y'all. He better watch, but he's ready to get out there? I just hope when he comes back he's been running and he's not been sitting at home watching us play. No, I'm excited to get him back. I know the receivers and the team is excited to get him back and him and his family are excited for him to come back."

New Orleans Saints Linebacker Pete Werner
Virtual Media Availability
Tuesday, December 28, 2021

What's the mindset trying to watch a game like that, especially on a short week?
"Yeah, we got the short week, we had to overcome a lot of things, a lot of guys getting new opportunities. But our mindset right now is we got two games and got to win both of these conference games to make it to the playoffs. So we see a game like that and try to wash it away and focus on winning these next two games to get to the playoffs."

Do you feel like the team just has to control what you can control at this point?
"Yeah, at this point we are just focusing on next week, we know we got to, especially on the defensive side, we got to control what we can control and our mindset going through this next week is we got to get a win. Winning's on our mind, and we got to go out and execute."

How do you feel like the defense is trending and how much higher of a ceiling does this defense have?
"I thought the defense has done well with communication and execution. There are obviously little things that we can build on, build on for further games in the future. But I thought the defense has responded well, we go out there in some tough situations and we just got to go eliminate points and get off the field and create takeaways, and I thought we have done a pretty good job of executing. We just got to ramp that up a little bit more."

What do you think Cameron Jordan does really well?
"Cam's one of the best leaders I've been around, he's not only a leader on the field, but he is off the field. He's the guy that you always want to be around, pick his brain and especially with that presence on the field, it makes a guy like me, a young linebacker, very thankful, knowing that he's going to eat up a lot of blocks and create a lot of pressure on the quarterback. I'm very thankful as a linebacker for that. His presence alone it's incredible. Guys like (that),having like him and Marcus Davenport, Big O (David Onyemata) in there, you're very happy to be a linebacker with such a great front in front of you. But Cam alone, just his leadership and his execution on the field is like no other."

Has this season been kind of a lesson in how quickly things can change at the NFL level?
"Yes, it has. You would never guess, I would never guess going into the season that we'd be putting an opportunity like we have this past game in situations that we were put in this last game. But I've quickly learned in the NFL it's about depth. And it's about taking these opportunities, learning from them and going out and executing because then again, it's the NFL, you're in here for a reason, you're putting the spot for reason. So you got to go out there and make plays and show that even with a few guys down, it's not going to affect the tempo and the execution of this defense."

How did last week kind of play out from your perspective, when it seemed like every day it was just like four or five more guys, five or six more guys, nine more guys going on. And a couple of them were Demario Davis, Kwon Alexander and that obviously changes things for you. So if you could just kind of walk me through that.
"Yeah, so it's just a process. Guys, you see go down, you've just got to stay patient, keep executing, looking at that playbook and seeing what the game plan is going into next week. But that can't affect your mindset of, oh, I could be up here, I could be down. You can't think that way. You've just got to go out thinking you're going to be the starting guy and prepare a little bit harder in those situations. But again, like I haven't seen before, so we've just got to take advantage of our opportunities."

How weird was it without Demario out there? I mean, I think that might have been the first game in Demario's career he's missed or something like that.
"Yeah, I mean, Demario especially I would say most importantly is his presence as far as a leader on the field. I mean, he's giving those pregame speeches for the game. It is weird not having him for there in that situation, but it was a different feel. You've got a lot of young guys out there trying to make the most of their opportunity and a guy like that without his presence, it's a little bit of different feel. But then again, next man up mentality and you've got to go out and compete."

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