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Sean Payton, Saints players talk about victory over the Chicago Bears

Quotes from Coach Payton and players post game press conferences

Opening Statement

"I'm proud of our effort in a good, hard-fought game. I thought our guys played real smart, and we did what we needed to do here to get a good, road victory. It wasn't always perfect or clean in the second half, but it was good enough. We played well."

On The Saints' overall performance and not giving the ball away

"I thought we did a good job with that. Defensively, we did some things structurally to try to force and integrate some problems for their protections, and I thought that happened. I was pleased with that, so overall we won the turnover battle, all of those things. That was important."*

On The Saints' special teams' performance

"I thought with a return man like {Devin} Hester, I thought they came up big. We covered well. With field goals, especially that last one, you go back-and-forth with that fourth down call, sudden scores, possibly a kick, a block, a pick, a scoop up, you wrestle with those decisions and I thought he hit it solid. It was really an important kick for us. Overall, I've been really pleased not only with how they played today, but the way they've been playing this season. We've had some good returns. Overall, I thought that really helped us with our field position. It felt like the first half, we were on their end of the field for most of the half."

On Drew Brees' performance

"I thought he did exactly what he needed to do to win a good, tough game on the road. He made smart decisions."

On if winning for the first time in Chicago meant anything extra

"No. It was game five. Extra is the amount of tickets. We stopped scholarshipping tickets with guys showing up in Bears uniforms."

On the way Jimmy Graham continues to be involved

"It's tough because it dictates the coverage. You take a tight end and you put him outside the formation, it makes it hard defensively to kind of disguise man or zone. I thought he came up with some big plays for us, certainly the big play down on the one {yard line} at the end of the half after we converted the fourth down. There were a couple plays. He's a big target. It's a challenging match up, and to credit him, and Drew, the timing, all that stuff has been good."

On if Jed Collins getting a lot of touches was part of the game plan

"Yeah, just a little bit in that heavy personnel. We felt like that nose did a good job, especially Lance Briggs. Those guys do a good job of flowing to the backs. They were running strong with the full back and the half back and they're tough to block, and so that little belly play allowed our guys to fit on that steed of a defense. That's a real good front and those are tough yards."

On The Saints' performance against Jay Cutler

"From a schematic standpoint, we did a few things that really helped us. We got home on a number of pressures where there was an unblocked guy four or five times and we got some sacks. He's a tough sack. He came out of a couple of them with extended plays because he's pretty strong in the pocket. That was good. Defensively, I thought that was important for us." 

On what the difference is between a good start this year and a bad start last year

"Each year, there's a cliché that it's a different season, and a lot of that is true. Obviously circumstances are different this year than they were a year ago. Winning teams do certain things to give them a chance to win each week. But, when you don't play a good defense, or you don't rush the football and become one-dimensional, those things are tough things to overcome. But, I think this is a different team. There are a lot of different players in this locker room that weren't here a year ago. There's constant change, and the thing I notice most, being away one year, is you miss out on a draft and free agency class, and you come back and you get a drafted, free agency class. That first team meeting there are forty new faces. There are two classes and so we went back to putting the tape on the helmets with the names because there are a lot of new players. Often times as a coach you think that they've heard your message or they've heard it before, when a lot of them by-and-large haven't. This group has worked hard. They've been very eager to please. We've got a lot of things we've got to clean up as well now. We did enough today to win, and yet there are still some things that we've got to look to get better at."

On Pierre picking up important yards

"Yes, he's played well on this field. I believe it was the last time we were here, and it was a tough loss, he played very well. He's someone that knows what to do, who is very reliable. I thought ball security was going to be really important today. We spent a lot of time today on things that cost us when we've come up here to play, and we were going to try to really look closely at changing some things. We all talk about ball security but we had to do some things that we hadn't done before, and I think we were able to do that."

On the last couple defensive sequences late in the game

"Those were big stops, and close plays that could have gone either way. We contested enough, and we hung in there. I think that up until that long pass, we had done a decent job of eliminating the explosive play, so that was one thing late in the game. With the time left, it was going to have to be something quick and down the field, so you talk about it and yet you have to credit Jay and receivers for getting the chance to step up. To get a ball down the field that long you've got to take probably a couple hitches in your drive and he was able to do that.

On playing against Marc Trestman

"Marc and those guys have done a great job here in a short amount of time. Each week, we look at the next opponent. It's not unusual in our industry to come across guys you've worked with before. That's normal."

Drew Brees, QB

On finally winning in Chicago

"It's about that time. We've come up here quite a few times in some big games. Unfortunately, we were never able to walk away with a victory. '06, '07 and '08, in three consecutive years, we've been waiting for that opportunity to come back. Whenever you come up here it's a great football team. It's a great defense. It's been a great defense for a long time. It's as consistent a defense as there is. We know what their formula is for winning. It's taking the ball away. It's giving their offense opportunities. It's making you try to be impatient. We knew the formula coming into the game was to remain patient, to run the football effectively, to be very efficient in the passing game and to take care of the football, priority number one. We were able to do all those things. That's a big reason why we won, and our defense."

On winning with little turnover on the roster

"It's a new year. Where you take last year and everything that could've gone wrong went wrong. This year, the ball is bouncing our way a little bit. We're one more year experienced. One year better. We've got some young players developed and continue to develop. (We had) kind of a re-emphasis to the run game. Go out and get some young players. Fill in some certain roles there. It hasn't been perfect, but I think what we have done is found different ways to win each week. You could look at every one of our games. You can point to something different. You see constant improvement. That's really what we're looking for at this point."

On the advantage of having Jimmy Graham

"Obviously, Jimmy alone is a great player. I think Jimmy would be the first to tell you that having Marques Colston, obviously having Pierre Thomas, by having Darren Sproles, by having some of these other young wide receivers that, you know it's not like Jimmy Graham is the only guy to worry about. There are a lot of guys that we feel we can get the ball to and they will make plays. So if a team is bound and determined to take away Jimmy Graham, we'll beat you other ways. Obviously he is a great player when given the opportunity to make those plays."

Pierre Thomas, RB

On being back in Chicago

"This is a homecoming game for me. The last time I [was] here, I was successful. Today, God was on my side and let me do [well] again."

On what it means to play back in Chicago

"This is back home for me. When I'm back here, I think about friends, family, teachers, coaches, people who helped me get where I am now. When I step on that field it is like 'Hey man, you're doing it all for them. So go out here and perform the way you can and sell out for your peoples.' That's what I did. Our offensive line, the rest of the players, receivers, the fullbacks, they did a heck of a job. They helped me establish what I did today."

On the spread of the wealth on offense and his touches

"I don't know about that. When my name is called, I go out there do the job and do my best. That's all I can ask for. When my name is called, I go out there and perform."

On reaching the end zone

"It was so nice. I've been striving and striving the last games to get a touchdown. I was so close. It wasn't quite there. I told myself, 'Hey, you've got to score. You've got to put some points on the board in hometown.' I had a lot of friends telling me 'Hey, stop playing around and put points on the board.' I helped a lot of people out today."

Jimmy Graham, TE

On his relationship with Drew Brees

"After having an offseason together, I feel like me and him are on the same page. He definitely expects me to be certain places and knows I'm going to be there. There are certain situations he knows I'm one-on-one, and he throws it up to me. He has a lot of trust; A lot of faith in me. I'm just blessed. He's such a great quarterback. The guy has so much trust."

Cameron Jordan, DE

On being 5-0

"It's really good right now. We're 5-0, and we have another big game to come up on."

On the play of the defense

"I'm real proud of the defensive line. All the defensive backs and linebackers ended up with all the sacks today. We've got to get more pressure on Tom Brady."

On practicing against Jermon Bushrod and Aaron Kromer

"You definitely have to appreciate that they know you and you know them and there is familiarity. We switched up some things just to try and throw them off. Same thing goes for them. The times I did line up against (Jermon) Bushrod, I was okay with that."

Malcolm Jenkins, S

On being 5-0

"Obviously, we're excited about having five wins. Now we're trying to get six. We'll enjoy this win for 24 hours, but we'll go back to the tape because there were some things, especially defensively, some times where I thought we let up. They were able to get a drive going. [We were] doing dumb things during the two-minute drill. We've got to keep the ball in front of us. Little things we did that gave them life that we won't be able to do against Tom Brady and a smart (New England) Patriot team. We really have to be critical of ourselves this week and not really believe the hype we're going to get. The five wins are just that, five wins."

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