SAINTS COACH SEAN PAYTON
On not playing Drew Brees in the second half:
"He took a heavy shot in the first half. As he came out in the second half, he felt it was really impacting him. He will receive an MRI and an x-ray. His back felt sore. As he tried to throw, he just came up to me and said, 'Hey, I do not think that I am capable of playing.' So, quickly, we made the switch and that happens sometimes."
On if Brees could have re-entered the game in an emergency situation:
"He stayed on the sideline. I'm not going to get into the hypotheticals as to what percent and all of those things. Obviously, he stayed on the sideline. He felt strong enough about it to let me know. And, I know when he does that; and, it's probably going to be the first time in 15 years that it was significant enough like he felt like he couldn't function in the second half. When he got hit on that one play, I could tell that it affected him. He hung in there and battled. I think that that break that we had at halftime, obviously, it didn't get any looser or better."
On how prepared Jameis Winston was for this moment:
"I think well. I think, on a bigger note, it's probably less visible to you guys, Josh Hill and Tre'Quan Smith (were out). Those are significant guys involved in the run game. That, I would say, created also a slew of just things that we've got to be better at relative to replacements."
On the biggest challenge of putting a new quarterback in the game when the offense was in a rhythm:
"I am proud of him (Jameis Winston). He led us to an important scoring drive. He led us to another field goal drive. The one thing that I would say with Jameis, too, is that he is extremely bright. Functioning and understanding what we are doing, he is someone that picks it up quickly."
On if he has been impressed with the defense in the last two games:
"Listen, I was impressed tonight. I didn't like how we started. Then, I thought we settled in and played well."
On Alvin Kamara's performance this season while other key players have been out:
"He's a big part of what we're doing. I thought that Latavius (Murray) had some good runs today as well."
On his observations of turnovers by both teams on punting plays:
"They were (a factor). The first thing I would tell you is that both teams' gunners had an impact on the returners. In other words, I don't know that either team when we look at this film will be happy with the jammers and the holdup."
On how changing quarterbacks impacted the play calling:
"I think what impacted our play calling more than anything was when Tre'Quan (Smith) and Josh (Hill) went down. That, all of a sudden now, there are some different things that you are doing with procedures relative to your blocking schemes. Jameis (Winston) was up to speed on everything that we were doing. Just as importantly at halftime, we were trying to arrange the personnel groupings to handle a lot of the stuff that we were doing in the running game."
On if some of the timeouts were due to changes in personnel:
"I'm late. I will do a better job of that. We will clean that up. It ended up being pretty significant."
On if having Kwon Alexander on the team allowed Demario Davis to rush more:
"We've rushed Demario a lot. We consider him a pressure player. The other things is that Kwon is one of those players that rushes well."
On navigating changes this season and now possibly dealing with more injuries:
"Our season is going to be full with change. That's part of adapting, whether it's injury-related, Covid-related, timing sequences. I think that we are battle tested that way; we will continue to work on it and see where these (injured) guys are, coming out of this week's game and get ready for a rested Atlanta team that is playing well."