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Saints transcripts: Tre'Quan Smith, Marshon Lattimore, Malcolm Jenkins media availability| Thursday, Dec. 9

Players look ahead to Week 14 against New York  

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith
Post practice media Availability
Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021

How big is just having Alvin Kamara out there?
"It's really big. When we have, not just Alvin, but just somebody in general but being that it's Alvin and we know his capability and his experience. I feel like we are much closer to being where we want to be, being healthy with everybody back."

Inversely Deonte Harty is out for the next three weeks. Just how tough is that to replace a guy like that?
"It is very tough, knowing that he is a receiver but also one of the top returners in the game. He has his own plays that we give him and he executed them perfectly so it's going to be hard trying to replace what he does but I know Sean (Payton) does a great job scheming up things and making plays for other people."

Is it hard for a receiver to get into a rhythm when there's not continuity at the quarterback position?
"I wouldn't say it's hard but I don't have the perfect word for it. You prepare for those things in training camp and then in practice you're getting reps with every quarterback. You don't shy away from if a quarterback wants to get some reps with you because you never know how the game is going to go how the week is going to turn out."

Are there any like different details between quarterback and quarterback like, they want you to do something one way and another guy wants it another way? Are there different things you've got to learn about each guy to kind of settle in with them?
"Yeah, I'll definitely say one quarterback maybe wants you to take a route high because he sees something on film and another one maybe wants you to, like he's going to throw you low and he's going to tell you I am going to throw you low because I have seen this. So yeah, definitely you've got to understand which quarterback is playing and what they prefer best."

So it's just like a lot of chemistry building?
"Yeah, definitely a lot of chemistry building."

But it's going to be weird, right? Like the whole season is weirdness defined?
"Yeah, this season is definitely not one that we thought about having. I don't think nobody in the world thought this season would go like this. So yeah, I feel like definitely it's been very weird."

It's one of those things where just so many things have happened that you just kind of like accept it. Like you could probably be on like the fourth or fifth quarterback at the end of the season, hopefully not, and you would just be like, well this is just how it's gone.
"Definitely wouldn't count it out."

I guess for everyone it's been one thing after another for what 16 weeks?
"Yeah, definitely. Well, we have got to find a way to get through it and to come up with a win."

I know you don't want to make one game more important than the other one, but is there a different sense of urgency this week?
"I'll say yeah, definitely. This game is the most important game because it's the next game and I feel like this game really determine if we really will be in the hunt still and determine if we are capable of going to the playoffs so this game is very important. Forget all the other games. This this the most important game right now."

Speaking of weird with Taysom Hill's odd hand injury, are his throws coming off different or have you not noticed a change there?
"Actually, I didn't even know he messed up his finger until after the game. To me, he still throws a tight spiral, like I didn't see no change in his balls. Basically I didn't notice anything different. I didn't even know he was hurt until after the game, honestly."

How tough is Taysom just with playing with that foot injury, now he's got a messed up finger, had a concussion earlier in the year. Is that a testament?
"He is definitely one of the toughest guys. Like you said, played through a foot injury. We were in Tennessee? Like I didn't even know he was hurt like many people didn't know he was hurt and then playing through a finger injury as a quarterback on your throwing hand (against Dallas). It just shows how committed he is to the team and just how tough he is as a person just outside of football."

Is that usually how it goes? You guys find out after the game like oh man, this guy got hurt during the game? You weren't aware of what's going on?
Yeah, I definitely was oblivious to it all. I didn't even know like he went in the tent and everything like and then Trevor Siemian was warming up. I didn't notice at all. So for me, I don't know anything until after the game."

It's kind of crazy because like we're watching and that's like everything we're focused on and just there is so much going on. You guys are kind of isolated from it all.
"Yeah, I'll really just be focusing on the game. One of the coaches might say, hey, so and so's out. You've got to take this, this, this, so yeah."

Do you know Otis Anderson well?
"Yeah, I know him very well, a good friend of mine. Obviously, (I) didn't really have time to mourn over the situation being that I have got a job to fulfill. But yeah, I know him very well. He's like a little brother to me."

How many years were y'all together?
"Two years."

New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore
Post practice media availability
Thursday, December 9, 2021

Do you think missed tackles have played the biggest role in the big plays over the last few weeks?
"The runs and all that type of stuff, yeah, but the big plays we got to play better and be more technically sound with everything that we do, with tackling or whatever it comes to. So it's just on us, as far as the big plays."

What kind of sense of urgency does this team have after losing five straight?
"The sense of urgency's been there. We just haven't been winning, we just have to pick it up. Again, I don't know man. Maybe we got lucky or something, but we put in the work, but we just have to keep going and go harder. But of course we want to get the win for our state. Since I've been here that hasn't been a thing. So we don't want to start that right now."

How good has it been to get C.J. Gardner-Johnson back at practice?
"It' good, the energy he brings, of course we need that, so whenever he's out there it's a good thing."

Do you feel a difference when CJ is out there?
"I mean we keep it up, but it's Deuce ,you know what I'm saying, that's what he does. He's big with energy and just bringing that every day, we need that. We keep it up don't get me wrong, but its Deuce."

Does rookie Elijah Moore grab your attention and is it a matchup you're looking forward too?
"Shout out to him, but it's me versus me. I'm not really worried about too many other people right now. I'm trying to make Shone (Myself) at the best level I can be out there. So I'm not really worried too many other people that's not on my team. Especially."

Are you looking forward to seeing your boy Justin Hardee this weekend and has he hit you up this week?
"Oh yeah, I can't wait. I can't wait for that one. Yeah, we've been talking, he's been doing his thing, but I can't wait. This was back home stuff, so yeah."

How big is that chip on Justin Hardee's shoulder?
"That's what makes him great. He don't fear none, he fears at all, as you can see. So that's what makes him great to me and in my eyes. Just him being able to go out there and go all out. Despite what he's been through and where he came from, he stills goes all out and does what he's got to do and fears none. I respect him, that's my dog."

Do you think the team took a step in the right direction defensively last week?
"Yeah, every week we try to get better and better so hopefully this week we go out there and get four picks and when we put it out to there."

Do you have to make up for the ones you missed with the cast?
"Definitely, as a defense we get four picks hopefully, four turnovers, something (laughter). We got to get it rolling, some way, some how."

New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins
When you look at some of the explosive plays the last couple weeks, what is the role of missed tackles in them?

"Big plays come from either blown coverages or bad communication or missed tackles. I think the few plays that we've seen the uptick in the last few weeks, result probably in tackling and some of those players where you don't execute."

How do you improve that at this stage in the season?
"I think it comes back to getting back to the fundamentals, practicing whatever it is that you messed up. Sometimes you are off in coverage so your emphasis going into the next week is going to be working on that coverage. Tackling becomes an issue at any point in the season, it does almost every year…Then that week the emphasis is tackling, technique and your proper angles or pursuit to the ball. It's a league where it's hard to get guys on the ground. One on one tackling is always going to be hard. For us, it's not just working on the technique, but how are we going to get the football, so that if the first guy misses, the next guys cleans it up and vice versa."

When you see the offense and the things those guys are going through with injuries, do you see a heightened importance on defense to do a little more?
"We're trying to do whatever it is to win the game. At the end of the day, all year, we've been dealing with stuff. We don't have time to evaluate what the offense is doing. We want to execute for every drive we step on the field and figure out how to win each game. That comes with preparation in the games, execution in the games and even adjusting as things happen in the game. For us, that's just the situation we are in. We just have to figure out the way to win."

I know you don't want to put more emphasis on one game…
"Realistically we are in December now, so you're looking at trying to position your way into the playoffs for us and we're going to have to win games to do that. While you don't want to look too far ahead. We're at that place where we don't have too many more mulligans. It does start with the attention to detail this week. We can only play one game at a time, but we also have to be realistic of where we are in the season."

What does the return of C.J. Gardner-Johnson bring to practice?
"It's safe to say he has a lot of energy. He brings a lot of juice to the defense and to the team in general. There's been a lot of energy this week at practice and he's a big part of that."

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