Opening Statement from Saints Coach Sean Payton:
"Pretty much what I told the players, it was good to get the win. There were a lot of positives. I though the energy was good. I thought situationally in a lot of areas we did some good things. We are still high in the penalty count with 10. Substitutionally, that was a mess in the second half, part of it in the first half. We will get that squared away and we need to because it cost us time outs and just keeps showing up too often. On the positive, I like the energy. I thought that we came out with pretty good focus and we will get to the tape and make the corrections."
Did you like what you saw from the first-team offense?
"Yeah, I think it was good to see Drew (Brees) back on the field and he seemed to get in a pretty good rhythm. I thought what was really important in those drives especially the first one were the third down conversions because I think we had to convert two or three to keep the drive going, one of them a longer yardage situation and I know Marques (Colston) made a good play on our sideline. So that is encouraging and I thought during the course of the week he specifically, Drew would look real sharp and it continued over in the game."
Was that the plan for Drew Brees with three drives or did his play accelerate it?
"No, it wasn't drive oriented. It was going to be play oriented. There was a handful of players who were playing their first game tonight so we were going to be somewhere between 15 and 20 plays. That existed for five or six players."
Did you see enough out of Drew Brees to hold him out of the final preseason game?
"Well normally we've done both. I don't know that there is a normal. We've played him for a series. We'll be smart especially with a short week. I think the key is just getting the reps during the course of the week in practice and he's experienced enough to understand the difference between practice and game speed. But I thought during the course of the week Tuesday, Wednesday, I thought the ball was coming off of his hand really sharp and accurate and I think the same thing existed tonight. So how much or if he plays we'll kind of sit down and go through that."
Your thoughts on Jairus Byrd tonight and how he played?
"He's got really good instincts and he has good speed and so when you put a first step with that, he finds himself around the play a lot. It's a little bit harder if you're not watching specifically so when we watch the tape tomorrow, we'll have a chance to grade out a lot of these players. I wanted to see him catch a punt. The plan was just to fair catch it but nonetheless field it because it's something that he is able to do. Overall it was good to get him playing time."
What did you think defensively overall?
"I think we did a lot of good things. Situationally, we had some penalties that hurt us and the biggest disappointment for me was the substitutions. Having 10 guys on the field, 12 guys on the field, stuff like that that will end up costing you in a bigger game."
What about the takeaways?
"That was encouraging, we had some real good plays on the ball. I thought a lot of that comes from the energy and passion and I thought we got a little bit of pressure as the game went on and I thought we were able to, even in the first half, get into some rush lanes and make it difficult for the quarterback, especially there were some third down throws that he was high and wide with that I think we did a real good job with at least getting someone in his face."
You emphasized in camp about running the ball and defending the ball, would you say you are moving in the right direction after three games?
"It's a point of emphasis and I just finished saying that we are not a finished product right now and yet it's something that is encouraging. Tonight we wanted to be balanced and we wanted to be able to go in and have success running the football and I thought we defended it pretty well. I don't know that we got a lot of run opportunities defensively as much in the first half, but you can only defend what you see. That will be something that we keep working on going into next week."
Is Kenny Stills' situation similar with the quad that he had in camp?
"Yeah, we'll see, just see where it's at. To answer your question, I don't know to what degree."
Was your first impression of the secondary pretty good?
"Yeah, overall, we'll look at the tape but listen, I don't like a guy running through our defense free on a busted coverage, so we have to get that ironed out but overall I was pleased."