SAINTS HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON
"I thought we handled the week and the preparation heading up to the game very well. We kind of changed things up. Obviously, playing on a Monday night and then Friday being Christmas kind of pushed the schedule back a little bit. I know this wasn't a clean or perfect game, but I thought we played well early on. It felt like starting fast was going to be important, because, if you look at this team, they are a really good second half team if you study their numbers. It was a good win, a good team win."
(on Drew Brees)
"Very good. I thought he was sharp with the location of his passes. When he practiced on Friday, that was the point when we felt like he was going to be able to go. He took a good portion of the reps. He tried to get in a little bit more of the shotgun look. I thought the balance we had from our running game helped a bit, but overall he played well."
(on if there was a plan to pull Brees if he was hurting)
"We didn't get to that point."
(on if they altered their game plan)
"No. I think the big challenge was the short week. This was a Tuesday and Wednesday prep week for the whole plan, and the alterations, if it came to that, were going to be if he didn't go, but it didn't come to that."
(on pride and professionalism of team with a lot of uncertainty and other things going on)
"That's the thing (that) is the most inspirational. I said to them that if you were just watching the game, you would not know if it was Week three or Week 15. I thought they played with good energy, and they did enough good things to win the game."
(on Tim Hightower and Breaux playing well)
"They are two different stories, because this time of the year would maybe pertain to (Tim) Hightower a little bit more than (Delvin) Breaux. Delvin has been with us for the whole year. They are two different stories, but nonetheless, ones that get you excited. It was good to see Tim get over 100 yards for the first time since 2010; that was encouraging."
(on if it was surprising to see Delvin Breaux targeted a lot early on)
"No. Sometimes a lot of it is progression or what you are in coverage-wise. A lot of it is what is taken away by scheme."
(on why C.J. Spiller was inactive)
"A lot of had to do with just where he is at health-wise. He and I spoke during the week. He's healthy, and yet, he just needs to get that strength back in his leg and that really prompted us to move Travaris (Cadet) up. There was no injury. He's still fighting to get that strength back in the leg from that injury in training camp. That has been the main reason."
(on Travaris Cadet's performance)
"I think Cadet did well. I thought he played really well."
(on passing of Jerry Romig)
"He was just always what we grew to know as 'The Voice.' Obviously, we give our condolences to his family, and there's not a day that goes by that there is not contact with one of the Romigs. His son (Mark) does the PA now, and the other son (Jay) works with us directly. We are saddened for his loss, and yet we remember all the good things."
(on Travaris Cadet's performance speaking to his smarts and familiarity with the playbook)
"He's smart, so he's a quick study. When we claimed him, the feeling was he could have some type of package, depending on how much we were in it. We were able to get a couple of matchups that we liked. He is really a quick learner. The terminology hasn't changed; he just had a few other stops and came back. I was pleased with how he played."
(on Marques Colston and Zach Strief being held out of game as game-time decisions)
"Each one is different. Terron (Armstead) was a game-time decision. We had a bunch of questionable guys, and he (Armstead) gave a gutsy effort. He went out and worked out before the game. With Marques and Zach, we didn't work those players out. We just try to be smart and I think all of those guys were questionable, but the short week prohibits them from getting back a little quicker. We made sure that the things we were doing were plays that they would be able to come back and get into if they missed most of the practices during the week and played."
(on Brandin Cooks' season)
"I think he's playing well. He's made some explosive plays in each game. He had some big catches in traffic today. I think that stood out."
(on if he was surprised how well Brees was able to play with his injury)
"I think it's a little bit more of a surprise just on how he practiced on Friday. When he practiced on Friday, that was his first full day back, and he threw pretty well. I think the thing he talked about was when you're not out there, keeping it loose; some way or another, keeping it warmed up so it doesn't get tight. He's got a great feel for how his body can hold up. He's made decisions like this before that maybe, I think all the time, that are team decisions. This situation was no different than when we played Carolina earlier in the year and Luke (McCown) started. I think we approached it, and he approached it, much the same way."