QUARTERBACK DREW BREES
On how dominant the offensive line was:
"I think so. Today was one of those days where I thought our scheme was really good. I thought that the guys up front did excellent job getting hat on a hat, pushing their guys back. And then our runners did a great job with just hey, man, one cut, go, get what you can. Obviously, we had a couple big runs as well. But I mean, it was really just those chunks, right? Seven, eight yards a pop. The passing game was really just a complement to the run (game) tonight. But listen, everybody played great. We knew what was at stake. Christmas Day game, in our stadium, in front of our fans, really in front of the world, right, and an opportunity to win the division tonight. And we did all those things."
On the importance of winning their fourth straight division title:
"Yeah, listen, it is significant, especially in this division where, normally, we're sending multiple teams to the playoffs. So you're fighting tooth and nail each and every year, especially against your divisional opponents in order to put yourself in a position where you can win one of these titles. For the longest time since we've been here for, since 2006, I feel like every year has been a flip flop. It's another team winning the division. Rarely has there been a scenario where a team has won in consecutive years. Carolina did it, what, I guess '13, '14, '15. And then now we are '17, '18, '19, '20. So listen, that is hard to do with the quarterbacks in this division and with the teams and the fact we're putting multiple playoff teams out there every year. There's a lot to be said about that."
On what is was like watching Alvin Kamara rush for six touchdowns today:
"You know what, it was awesome. It was awesome. I mean, six touchdowns for a running back is just astounding, right? And so, obviously, he got a few in the first half and then kept getting them. And I can remember him scoring and me being like, 'I think that's five.' And then Taysom (Hill) gets a touchdown there in the fourth quarter. And then Sean (Payton) kind of mentioned to me, he said, 'Hey, if Alvin gets one more touchdown, he ties this record with Gale Sayers.' Obviously, you're looking at the scoreboard, we're up three possessions, let's see how close it is. So they go down and score, we get the ball back, at that point it's get a first down and we're on a knee. Well, we had the opportunity, we felt like, hey, let's throw it before the two minute warning and we get the big play to (Adam) Trautman that gets us down in scoring range. So man, some things had to happen there in order to have the opportunity. But then at that point, it's like, man, we're getting this record."
On accomplishing the first goal of winning the division and how the mindset shifts to accomplish the next goal:
"Listen, you win the division and what does that do? Obviously, there's some pride with that, you're a division winner, right? You've earned that, but it guarantees you a home playoff game. And now it's about putting yourself in the best seed possible, especially in this scenario now where only the one seed gets the first round by, right, everybody else is playing ball. But who knows how this thing shakes out, and the best seeds get to host the games. And so, obviously we want to be playing our best football too going into the playoffs. So hopefully we'll continue to get some guys healthy here. We've got a couple extra days being that we played early this week. So man, let's go have another great one next week and then kind of be on the upward swing going into playoffs."
On welcoming Alvin Kamara taking on a heavy workload while he recovers from his injuries:
"Yeah, you know what, I don't know how I was going to feel coming off a game with only five days rest with everything, but I actually felt pretty good. I felt better this week than I did last week. And so listen, that's the goal is just to continue to get better and better each week. Continue to get all the strength back, get all the feel, and rhythm back."
RUNNING BACK ALVIN KAMARA
On scoring six touchdowns:
"Crazy. You know, the O-line did a great job. I didn't really have to do too much. Man, those guys did a great job and the receivers did a great job setting the edge and coming across and doing the dirty work. Man, it just feels good to have one of those days, just for the team, just for offensive morale. So, like I said, I always say this, I'm not focused on personal goals and yards and stuff like that, as long as the team's having success, then personal success will come."
On his cleats:
"Oh, man, I got all of them from my rookie year to right now. And I'm going to keep them too. They're going to go up in my…they will go in the cabinet. They will go into the little cabinet. I have got them all."
On getting a convincing win after two straight losses:
"Yeah, that is the main focus every week. We want to win. So, obviously just dropping two, like we have the past two weeks sucks. But we just had to stay focused and stay focused, kept preparing. Just kind of stay true to what we believe in and focus on what is going on inside our building and we were able to come out and put on a show. A lot of guys' families are here. It's Christmas, obviously, so. Man, it just felt good. We're back in the winning column."
On exchanging the Hall of Fame the fine for his cleats:
"Oh, they're probably going to fine me. If they fine me, whatever it is, I'll just match it and donate it to charity. You know that the Grinch always tries to steal Christmas."
On when he found out about hitting the touchdown record:
"I mean, so when I had three, I went to Coach Thomas, my running back coach. I went to JT (Joel Thomas) and I was like, man, what's the record? And he was like, hold on, let me figure it out. And then he came back to me and told me six. And I was like, let's go, like maybe I can get it. And then Sean (Payton) gave Taysom (Hill) the one touchdown when I had five. I wasn't really worried about it. I was just like, shoot it's all good, whatever, we're right there, I'm second at least. And then (Adam) Trautman went and caught that ball and Drew (Brees) gave him a good ball and he didn't score. I was looking for him to score, but in the back of my mind, I'm like alright, this might be my chance. And Sean (Payton) was like, go. So, I just told the O-line, I was like, get me in there. Let's get it. And we were able to get it. We had the celebration planned out, man. It's a great moment. I wouldn't want to do it with another group."
On how the shifts in motion helped open up lanes:
"Man, I mean, it helps. We got receivers that want to go down there and block and get dirty. You know, with Quez (Marquez Callaway) out there. He's doing a great job, to be in his first year. He's coming on and he's learning and he's excelling, in the role he's playing. Austin Carr, JJ (Juwan Johnson), all of those guys. Man, they're doing what they got to do, (Jared) Cook, Josh Hill. They're doing what they got to do. And not to mention, like I said, the O-line. They're doing a great job, these shifts in motions kind of throw off the defense. And when you have guys that are willing to put in that extra effort to make the scheme work and bring it to life, it makes it all that much more worth it."
DEFENSIVE END CAMERON JORDAN
Fourth straight division championship, just how good does this feel right now?
"First to win a fourth (straight) division, that's huge. We've been in this position before in terms of winning the division. I said it preseason, can't knock the divisional champs off the top of mountain until you do. And as we're sitting here, I don't know if you see this mask that's protecting me, I believe that says 2020 NFC South division, that's one off our checklist. We've got to head into this next game and try and sweep the NFC South, which I've just gotten told has never been done before. So, this next game is our biggest game, because it's the next game."
One of the big reasons today your team got there, Alvin Kamara, six rushing touchdowns, NFL record-tying. What was it like watching him ball out today?
"Man, ball out, I mean, he was going crazy. His earlier touchdown is probably going to stick out in my mind. I mean, he broke what? Three, four tackles? Took off for another 20 something yards for a touchdown. AK special, we've always known that. He has the juice, and he shows it each and every time he touches the field. To go for six, I don't even know how to put that into words. That's just something that you're always going to remember, especially being on Christmas Day. And he was wearing, he was wearing Christmas cleats. I mean, at that point, he should have worn some Grinch cleats because Minnesota's not going to like him too much longer. It is what it is. We won, we took care of what we can control. And we're on to this next week."
When Marshon (Lattimore) was talking about winning the division, he's like, we've done it all four years I've been here. But you've been on teams that haven't done it before. Like, how much do you kind of cherish this just knowing that it's not always going to end like this? "Look, you have to enjoy each and every one of these wins. You have to enjoy each and every day that you're able to wake up, God blessed you with breath to wake up and take advantage of each and every opportunity. I mean, guys like Trey (Hendrickson), guys like Marshon (Lattimore) have never, not won the division, you know. So, that's a huge blessing in itself. I've been here, I've won divisions, I've played in playoffs, but what I haven't done is win a Super Bowl. So we're on the same mindset. We've won a division before, that's nothing new to us right now. What would be news is to be in the NFC Championship game as a champion, heading into a Super Bowl, win that. That would be what we have left to accomplish as a Saints team."
Sean (Payton) hit the Sean Payton and the gritty, what's it like having a coach like that?
"First of all, when he hit that gritty, you can't tell me he wasn't in the mirror at the crib testing it out? Because he didn't just bring that out. He hit that. I mean, he hit that better than a lot of guys on our team, a lot of guys in general can do. I mean, I saw some gritty earlier on by Adam Thielen, early in the season. I mean, he's got it down now. Just know, Sean came out ready. He was game ready." What's it like having a coach like that? Who is celebrating with you in the locker room and is, you know, a player's coach? "I mean, he's already got his dance named after him. You've got to hit the Sean Payton. And you know what it is. I don't know, hey, something like that. Then he came out and hit the gritty. I mean, the boy was turnt up. Look, it gets us excited. Again, we're on the same mindset, we're on the same energy level. We know it starts and begins with us as a team,,we are in each other's corners. So he rides for us, just like we take the field and we have to run out for the Saints. So it is hand in hand. That energy was just, it is what it is."
You mentioned Alvin's (Kamara) shoes before. And he'd mentioned that he I guess expects to get fined because they don't meet protocol or whatever. But I'm just curious, your thoughts on where he's wearing holiday theme shoes and then does a historically significant performance wearing them? What's your thought on that whole scenario?
"When the Hall of Fame calls to get the cleats or the jersey, whatever it is. Now he just has got to charge them. Break even."
Game action photos from the New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings matchup on Christmas Day in Week 16 of the 2020 NFL season.