HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON
"It wasn't our best game but I felt like there were a lot of good things to win. Too many penalties, we had a touchdown brought back, third down conversion brought back, and we gave up a couple plays big on defense. We still think that we have better football ahead of us, but I was proud of how we responded form last week. The guys had a good week of practice and I think it carried over into this game."
(On having confidence in the secondary)
" Yeah, I thought we played well. I thought we played well back there."
(On the team overcoming last weekend's loss)
"Look, you lose a game and you move forward. We talked about this on Friday, the next game can't come quick enough, but you can just play that one game. I thought we did a good job on third down. I thought defensively we affected the passer early, especially in the first half – the turnovers were significant. There were some plays that we left on the field thought offensively that we have to get cleaned up."
(On time of possession)
"Well it is a real good run defense, so I thought we were able to run the ball pretty effectively, so I was pleased with that. I thought Nick Easton did a good job filling in and getting his first start. It is a tough front to run the ball against and I thought we were patient and both runners did a good job."
(On using Alvin Kamara to get the ball down the field)
"When you go into a game like this you are fairly certain of what you are going to get front wise, we got more zone coverage today, maybe a little more zone pressure then we had seen. We had the big play to Michael [Thomas] early on against man to man. I think their plan was to come in and give us a lot of pressure, so sometimes that can affect you in the run game, as well, but I thought we blocked them pretty well and I thought we ran it pretty well."
(On if the mindset was different after last week's loss)
"No, we have had a good mindset all year. Last week obviously wasn't good enough, but I think that the focus was there. We have real good leadership and these guys understand how difficult it is to win week in and week out. We are playing tough teams and the focus really starts internally. It's about our team really and making sure we are doing all the things ready to win a game."
(On running the ball today)
"I thought we ran it last time that we played them fairly well. I think that they have only given up 100 yards rushing in two or three games this year, so we had that balance. We still hit some big plays in the passing game. We had Alvin's [Kamara] touchdown called back. We had a handful of penalties that we've got to clean up because I feel like we could have scored a lot more points."
(On CB P.J. Williams' performance against Buccaneers WR Mike Evans)
"He was good, he was ready. I thought he had a good week of practice. Mike [Evans] is a tremendous player, and I thought our secondary was ready. We got our hands on some balls. When you have four takeaways you are going to win a lot of games."
(On working with the offense on the sideline while defense was on the field)
"We lost Josh Hill, and Josh is one of those guys that may be somewhat under the radar, but losing him was like losing your front door. All of a sudden there are 58 plays on the call sheet and he was involved in a lot of them, so we spent a lot of time trying to re-personnel group some of our plays – which ones we still want to run and which ones can we not run. So, there was the better part of a quarter going back through all of our offense that was maybe plays that were Josh Hill friendly. Now, can we still run those plays with someone else or not? That is something that took a bit of time."
(On new players coming in and finding their fit, like LB Kiko Alonso)
"He has been playing a lot for us. Certainly, he was around the ball today, but he has gotten a lot of snap. That was a good acquisition for us back when we made it. Alex [Anzalone] got injured the week after we made it; we are fortunate to have him. Our league is about depth as well. We saw today there were a number of players stepping in and playing in roles maybe they haven't normally played. I was proud of the way those guys responded."
(On WR Michael Thomas)
"He is real competitive. He is one of those guys that is an extremely powerful player. He is real strong. He came up big in a lot of snaps for us – the touchdown early was a big play."
(On TE Jared Cook's catch)
"It was a heck of a catch, a heck of a throw, it looked like a rebound. It was kind of hard hit to the ground that he took after he caught it, but a great play. He had a good game."
(On Thomas' numbers)
"If you guys would have asked what his numbers were today, I don't know that I would have been able to give you exact. It is a progression that takes place. Sometimes the ball comes within what we are doing, and sometimes there are plays that are designed for him. He has been very consistent, he prepares extremely hard and he is very hard on himself during the week of practice. He is playing as good as any of them. I am proud of how he is playing."
(On his confidence in QB Drew Brees getting one yard in short-yardage situations)
"Yeah, it speaks to his athleticism too. That is something he has done over his career, I don't think I have ever told him no when he has brought it up. I get worried a little bit sometimes; we talk to the side judge right away so they get the spot, but he is extremely athletic, and he can jump. It is about the timing of the snap, he has done that so many times. I can't think of one time he has done it and it wasn't successful, but you have to be inside of a yard."
(On how they decided on giving Brees the ball in that short-yardage situation)
"We were discussing a couple plays and then once we get the measurement, we had an idea of what it was. He felt strongly he could get it."
(On Brees' athleticism)
"I think sometimes maybe there is that perception because of his height, but he is an amazing foot athlete. Someone that can just vertically go up and dunk a basketball and do some of the things he does. You just have to see him at practice to appreciate it."
(On knowing when to challenge pass interference)
"I think that all of us have noticed the trend, and the trend is pretty conservative. You factor that in and it is just up to you based on what you think."
(On the Saints overall defensive performance)
"You are not going to lose many games when you get four takeaways like that. I thought we affected the quarterback, moving him off his spot. I thought that was important, and guys competed. It is a real good group of receivers and I thought we really competed. I felt like it became one dimensional and it is a little more difficult to play offensive football when you are just doing one thing."
(On Nick Easton starting at left guard)
"I think we knew that early in the week. In fact, we knew it on Monday, that that was the direction we were going to go."
(On having the week to build chemistry on the offensive line)
"He has been getting a lot of practice reps, but there wasn't a lot of discussion. We felt like he was going to be the starting left guard. That gave us the ability to keep Will Clapp in his roll. Nick [Easton] has played a lot of football in our league – he has started a lot of games. I am anxious to see the film because I think he played pretty well."
(On LB Demario Davis' impact on the field and in the locker room)
"I would say he is one of our leaders – him and Craig Robertson both. Demario has been a real strong personality for this team, and I think he has a ton of respect from his peers. He prepares hard – that's his personality."