SAINTS COACH SEAN PAYTON
On if he was able to sleep last night due to the false positive COVID-19 test:
"Yeah listen, it is what it is. I'm proud of how we got ready to play despite some of the challenges. There were seven, eight, 10 of us up past 1 a.m. in the morning and that's just the way it is. Took them a while to get the point of care tests here."
On when the team received the point of care test results:
On when the team knew they were playing a game today:
"This testing was done by 12:55 a.m., and then we got the results back before 3 a.m. Look, we were playing a game and getting ready to play a game. That's just part of the deal this year."
On if the team's schedule was changed this morning:
"No. Look, it came back with a false positive. The concern that we had with the tracer system is that it only showed three [close contacts] and we knew it was way more than three, just based on where he was sitting on the airplane. So we went ahead ourselves – and point of care tested four or five more players that weren't on the tracing system. I think the tracing system has had some inaccuracies to say the least, but I think we were smart enough to realize who else might have been exposed and went ahead and had those guys tested."
On how the team prevented getting stuck in a hole being down 14-0 early by scoring on a long drive:
"Yeah I think it did. I think we were able to regain time of possession, and I think that helped. We have to be better defensively on the first drive. It's happened too much this year. Our red-zone defense is still something that needs work. I was proud overall of how the team played considering some of the challenges that they had with some new players in the lineup. So overall, it was a good team win."
On WR Tre'Quan Smith being a reliable target in the absence of WR Michael Thomas:
"I would agree with you. I thought he was outstanding today. He made some contested plays in real big situations. A third down that he catches in that last drive, that was significant."
On time of possession being a main focus for the team today:
"We wanted a couple things. We had to play this game a little differently relative to where we were at defensively. We were going to be aggressive on their side of the 50-(yard line), fourth down – so we were playing a four down game, if you will. We went for it once; we were going to go for it if we needed to more than just once. I thought we had a good rhythm, I thought Drew (Brees) was outstanding. Thought we had them guessing for most of the first half of the game. I thought our guys up front did a really good job at the line of scrimmage, I mean I don't know what the rushing numbers were, but overall though we did a lot of things well that will allow you to win a game."
On CB Patrick Robinson's play in the end zone:
"Tremendous, you know. It's tremendous. I don't know what happened on the series after, that but that's a seven-point play, really. I'm proud of him, I'm proud of PJ (Williams), those guys not getting a lot of work and then all the sudden being put in the lineup. They did well."
On cleaning up penalties:
"Yeah look – we just have to keep working on it, keep battling. It is a point of emphasis, so we are really making it a vocal point, and yet sometimes you just have to battle through some calls."
On how valuable it is for a team to experience adversity and prevail like they have recently:
"Look – on the road, it's just one of those games where you're proud of your team. It's this game – it'll test you from an adversity-standpoint. I think this year is going to be that way for a lot of us. New England's going to have to travel tomorrow to play a game tomorrow night, and quite honestly, no one really cares. I mean that in a good way. There are far more other things that are important that we're suffering from than to hear about how we were up until 1 a.m. – that's just the way it is this season. So we have to understand that, and then just be ready to still get ready to play our best game. I thought that was important today and our guys did that."
On if things tightened up on offense to the point where the anticipation and that is where it's supposed to be, and the team isn't having those mental errors with the receivers and QB Drew Brees trying to hit them and they aren't where they're supposed to be:
"Yeah look, I hear what you're saying. I don't necessarily agree with all of it. We convert third downs today. Our time of possession was better. We'll just keep working on the execution."
On if there was an emphasis on throwing the ball downfield:
"It's a man-to-man team by nature. So they do a real good job of playing that coverage, playing outside technique, funneling routes back in to the interior of the defense. They'll play some Cover 2, they'll change it up on you, and we had some big plays in the man coverage. Guys got open. Drew (Brees) made some really good throws. We knew we were going to have to to complement the run game."
On running the ball 42 times:
"I want to say this: I thought the guys up front were outstanding. We had a couple injuries. We moved (Nick) Easton over to left guard, and he played extremely well – the tape is going to show it. Cesar Ruiz got his first start. We had to make some adjustments there when we lost Ryan (Ramczyk) and the backs – we just did a lot of things well. It kind of goes hand-in-hand. I thought the third downs we didn't convert were the longer distance or less manageable ones, but the ones we did, we put ourselves in a good position. Then the one time we went for it on fourth down and hit Alvin (Kamara), I think, on a big play."
Game action photos from the New Orleans Saints vs. Detroit Lions matchup in Week 4 of the 2020 NFL season.