SAINTS COACH SEAN PAYTON
On seeing the offense and defense put it all together:
"Look, it's every series you're working on. That series specifically, I thought we did a lot of things well from a field position standpoint. We felt that was going to be real important. And, really, it wasn't until the second half that we gave them a short field. And defensively, fortunately, we had a stand there, but it was a good team win."
On the play-calling rhythm:
"Listen, I think the players did a really good job. They're a tough defense, really hard to run it against. We did enough things well in the passing game early on, some good runs, thought we blocked well up front. So, there were a lot of things that we did well, and again, it's a good football team. We felt like one of the better teams we have seen up to date."
On getting early stops on defense:
"Well, look, I think we found ourselves in a little bit better third down situation relative to down and distance. We were able to find some ways to run the football. Again, this is a funny league. Things can go well, and we know (the league is) week to week. We'll look at this tape, we'll make some corrections. Obviously, it was one of our better games as a team. And yet, we'll enjoy it and then get ready to work, beginning tomorrow."
On Michael Thomas' return and the flow of the offense:
"It was good to have him back. One of the things that I would always say, and one of the challenges, especially for a player like Mike, he's had such great health and stamina. And he's a guy that has played 50,60 snaps a game. And this is really the first time coming back off an injury ever for him in the NFL. And we wanted to be smart, relative to the pitch count. But he handled it well. I was really proud of him. It's good to have him back out there. It was good to have Emmanuel (Sanders) back out there. It's good to have Marquez (Callaway) back out there. All these receivers were back in the lineup. But, it was really good to see him (Michael Thomas) get in the flow of a game, because I think sometimes the mistake could be how much we use him in that first week back. And again, we'll look closely at the tape. And we'll kind of go from there."
On the overall performance of the DBs:
"It was one of those games that I think as a team, we can build on. And I would say much like Tampa Bay built on their Green Bay win. That was a significant win for them as a team. The film was impressive. Yeah, I thought, in the secondary, we did a great job. I thought that the rush and the coverage complemented each other well. And overall against, again, a really good offense and defense. We understood the type of team we were playing."
On the goal line stand:
"We were fortunate. Dennis (Allen) and those guys did a great job. We stopped the run. We broke up a couple passes. And then at the end, there was a play action. Man, that was an impressive series. And we put ourselves (offensively) in that position. It was the one thing coming out of halftime that we talked about not doing and as a third down play where we ended up with a fumble. And defense was outstanding there."
On the rotation of Cesar Ruiz and Nick Easton:
"No, we didn't do it in drives. We were planning on playing both of them in the game. And we did that. But, it was good to have him (Easton) back."
On Taysom Hill's performance:
"Listen, I thought he played real well tonight. It was a big part of our plan. I thought he threw the ball in some of those situations to play, to (Jared) Cook early, was a big play. And obviously, there's a physicality to when he's running the football that is important to our team."
On every skill position player receiving a touch on offense:
"I have not kept track of that. And yeah, I cannot recall. We have too many guys that are up and down. We just have a handful of personnel groups who are trying to put those guys in really good positions. Again, this is a real good run defense. They're much improved in the secondary. And we've been impressed with watching the way they play covers the way they play their zone and their man to man. They are a big pressure team and we got a handful of it tonight. And then we got some prevent looks. But it's a really good defense. And we knew that coming in. So I was proud of how we were able to handle that."
On the origin of the first touchdown to Tre'Quan Smith:
"It was a pump screen to Alvin (Kamara). He wasn't getting the play. He was the decoy. And then, you look to set up what looks like a wide receiver screen. And then, you know, a couple seams into the cavity and it ended up working really well. Tre'Quan (Smith), came wide open and Drew (Brees) was able to make an adjustment in the pocket and get the ball to him."
On next steps and building on this game:
"We're going to look at the tape. And, a season is made up of a series of games, adversity, tough games. And this was a positive one that I think is one of our better team games."