SAINTS HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON
"It was a good, hard-fought win. I thought there were some observations. Defensively, we were outstanding. I think, the second half, we got a little bit better offensively. I think we missed a number of opportunities in the first half and we'll look to get those cleaned up. It was a good win to get on the road and we'll go from there."
On if wins like this helping them down the road
"I think as long as we're coming to work each week and focused on improving the things we're not doing well then I think they are beneficial. Our focus and attention to detail has been good. I think we still have a lot of work to do to get where we want to go. We're not going to like the third down numbers offensively. We are not going to like some of the stuff early on but that starts with me and all of us to improve in that area. We are going to love the way we played defensively. I felt the energy again was there today. I thought today was going to be a challenge coming here from an atmosphere standpoint. It's nothing. You to have find a way to bring it and be ready to play a game knowing it might be a little quiet. We had a good turnout fan-wise. Nonetheless, it was a good win. I thought in the kicking game we did some really good things. We had the long punt and covered that well. I thought we caught them mid-punt with a 9-yard, 10-yard gain that changed the field position. In the first half, we won that field position battle – we just didn't score enough points."
On Thomas Morstead's performance
"Outstanding. It was a good team win. We got all the way back to OTAs and the mini-camps in June; you want to put yourself into a position to win games like this. I thought we had energy and played with the type of passion you need to play with."
On how important Jared Cook's third-down catch was in the fourth quarter
"It was a short-yardage call. It felt like the ball was in the air for 20 seconds, really. It was just a wide-high play you get caught in the blocking scheme and he did a good job of sneaking out the backside. It seemed like it took forever. It was a big play just to get the first down and keep the drive moving."
On winning games in different ways this last month
"In a number of the games this past month, I would agree with (you). Last week, a little differently. Yet each week, we just talk about how do we win that game. Because, honestly, in a week or two weeks from now, we're not going to look specifically to how we win certain games. Hopefully, we're going to learn and get better from how we won. The key is understanding wins in our league. Yet you want to score every time we score the football and defend every time you get the football. Man, I told our defense I felt like if they played eight quarters they were not going to score a touchdown today, honestly."
On if he saw the defense building towards their performance today
"Like anything else, there is confidence that comes from a game. You feed off of that. I think there's a level of expectation that is pretty high in our locker room relative to what kind of team that we think we can be."
On why defensive players always insist on trying to get better to reporters
"We talk a lot about the opponent being faceless. The opponent is really inside all of us. Are we doing the things that we can to improve collectively? Not just players and coaches but all of us. You're constantly looking at that. I think when we're a part of a team that has a chance to be good, generally, those good teams, you begin not to want to let anyone down and perform for everyone else. Those traits exist in our locker room."
On if Alvin Kamara's injury hampered them again by leaving early
"Two different things though. Obviously, he had the swollen ankle coming into the game, but he was ready to go. He tweaked his knee. I don't think it changed what we were doing. We're going to look at the tape tomorrow and be frustrated at times that first half, relative to certain looks we have. It wasn't anything difficult because we didn't get a lot of pressure. We'll make the corrections and improve in that area."
On getting the running game going in the second half
"We needed to. I think we were 11 yards at halftime. That's five yards off the bus. Fortunately, we were able to do it and I think it especially helped in the fourth quarter."
On if it was Latavius Murray's best game
"He ran with confidence. I know he had a night without sleep. Having a baby, I think he and wife Thursday night, so congrats to them. Friday, we were without two running backs at practice. He played hard. He made some really big plays for us. The one play came back because of holding, which I disagree with, but it is what it is."
On not getting a lot of pressure defensively
"The expectation by us was a little bit more pressure from their defense relative to linebacker pressures and safety blitzes. I thought we did a good job of putting the quarterback [Gardner Minshew II] on the spot where we wanted them, not allowing him outside. Our objective was to make him play in that phone booth and give him looks defensively we felt like he hasn't seen (before). I thought we did a good job of that. There were a couple of extended plays, but not many."
On if he felt they kept Leonard Fournette in check
"Yeah, he's a tough back to bring down. I thought our guys tackled him well."