QUARTERBACK DREW BREES
On the magnitude of this win considering injury adversity and COVID scares:
"Yeah, I mean there was a lot going on. Obviously, coming off of two losses as well where we didn't play our best football, we knew that we could play a lot better, we could execute a lot better. Coming up here, we lose some starters this week in practice, and then we had the whole COVID ordeal last night, or a false positive that unfortunately kept a lot of people up late and all of that stuff. But man, I think it just says a lot about this team, about all of the guys that stepped up and filled that voids, filled those roles. And everybody just persevered and found a way to get a big win today."
On WR Emmanuel Sanders and WR Tre'Quan Smith filling the void of the WR Michael Thomas and TE Jared Cook injuries:
"Yeah, listen, both of those guys played outstanding, and really, the entire cast. It takes everybody. I think, we knew that the last two weeks we have not had the level of execution, we haven't had the tempo and the rhythm that we know that we can have. I felt like we had a good plan coming into this game. We got some different stuff from the Lions defense than we thought, but we were able to adjust. Guys played great. We ran the ball extremely well. The O-line did a great job. Latavius Murray ran his tail off. And I felt like we were just kind of staying with (inaudible) defense and then we came up with some big plays in the passing game when we got the right matchups. All the way around it was just great execution. I thought the guys did a great job."
On the last third down connection to WR Tre'Quan Smith during the final drive:
"I didn't see much. I was getting hit. I was on my back, but I felt like there was a place that I could get the ball up and over the defender. They dropped a safety down to kind of rob the middle of the field, and I felt Tre'Quan (Smith) get past his guy and get over the top of that guy. And obviously that was a huge play. It sustained the drive and gave us another set of downs, and then we were able to close it out with the next first down, but that's a huge play in the game. If you don't make that play, then you're punting the ball to them and they've got a lot of time left."
On if this was the closest to where they want to be offensively through the first four games so far this season:
"Yeah, listen. I feel like it was good tempo, I felt like it was very balanced. I felt like we ran the ball very well, threw the ball well. We were great on third downs, 10 of 14, scored touchdowns in the red zone. I hate that we had two drives in the fourth quarter that put our defense back on the field too quickly. I felt like we had an opportunity to get some points there with our drive that extended into the fourth quarter, and we ended up punting them down and pinning them down at the two-yard line. But we really should have gotten points there. And then we had I think just a 3-and-out that next drive. And then besides the tipped interception, which is just bad luck, in the first play of the game, the first drive. Other than that I felt like, listen, it's hard to put together five consecutive scoring drives. We were able to do that today and it was great execution all the way around. You name it, we had big plays in the passing game, we ran the ball well, we had a screen or two. All in all, I think everybody just did their job, played really well."
On getting back on track following the early interception:
"I think it says a lot about our team. They go down the field, they get a touchdown on their first series. Then, unfortunately we get the tipped ball on the first play, so they get the ball right back. So we're down 14-0 and it hadn't even been five minutes expired on the clock. So, I think for us, to remain very calm and poised, and then again offensively put together five consecutive drives with touchdowns, 35 points and the defense to play as well as they did. Going into that fourth quarter, it's now 35-14, and we knew we were going to have to close this team out. They're a finish-strong type team. They've got a great quarterback on the other side who is used to putting together those types of drives. So we knew we had to close it out."
On what it means to him to personally get back into his groove:
"We've set the bar high, high expectations. There's a reason that we have won more games over the last three years than any other team. It's because we practice, we prepare, we have a great process in how we prepare for games and how we plan to execute and the level of expectation. And the speed at which we play, the variation with which we can win football games. So, this is obviously the closest to where I know we can be, thus far this season. We still have a lot of work to do, but I am excited to get back to work."
New Orleans Saints fans cheer on the team from a safe distance as the Saints take on the Detroit Lions in week 4 of the 2020 NFL season.