QUARTERBACK TAYSOM HILL
On finding out he would get the start at quarterback:
"Look, I had a pretty good idea early in the week, Monday, Tuesday that I was going to get the start. Wasn't confirmed, confirmed, until later in the week."
On paying attention to criticism about the start:
"No, no. Yeah, and not to be rude or disrespectful in any way. I don't pay attention to any of that stuff. I care about the opinions of those closest to me, my friends, my family, my teammates, my coaches. And, you know, you get to this level and you have to have tunnel vision and do your thing."
On how much designed run plays were scaled back this game:
"Significantly. We obviously, had a couple and we obviously ran a couple in critical situations where we felt like we had an advantage and needed it. But, what you saw at the game, in terms of carries, is about what I expected."
On what Drew Brees was like this week:
"Man, Drew's (Brees) the best. If I'm being honest, I didn't fully understand what it took to be a starter in the NFL until I got here and I had the opportunity to learn from Drew (Brees). Man, Drew (Brees) was with me every step of the way this week. As we watched film, he was constantly asking me what I needed, and how he could be helpful. And so, he was so critical. He was such a comfort for me to have around. And I look up to him so much. He has become one of my best friends. And he was awesome."
On reflecting about his journey to get to this point in his career:
"I spent a lot of time reflecting. This week, my wife and I had so many conversations about where we've been, the process of getting here. And if I'm being honest, it was an emotional week. I felt a lot of love from a lot of people. And it was overwhelming in a good way. So, we spent a lot of time reflecting. And then to be able to come out and get a win in my first start, was gratifying more than anything. Man, I have so much love and respect for Drew (Brees) and my other teammates, that I wanted to make sure that I did my part to help us continue to win."
On the overall evaluation of how the game went:
"Yeah. Overall, I was happy with what we did. You know, I think the first thing is, you come out, you look at turnovers and I was really disappointed that I put the ball on the ground late in the game. (I) Felt like that was a drive where we could have just put the game away. And I coughed one up and I was disappointed in that. I missed a couple throws where the ball just kind of slipped out of my hand. And again, I think that those things are easy to fix. But overall, without looking at the film and really breaking everything down. I was happy with the way that I played. I was happy with the way that my teammates played. And man, it was a collective effort to get this win."
On battling to get to the second or third reads instead of taking off:
"No, I'd say as I prepared this week, look, I always know that I have the ability, if things break down I can make a play. And I had conversations with all my receivers going into the game. And I said, listen, just be ready if I escape the pocket, to keep working because there are big plays to be had, situations like that. But my mindset was, man, let's keep your eyes down the field and let's find opportunities for those guys. The play you specifically referenced. We were hoping to get a heavier run sell, and get the ball to Tre'Quan (Smith). And the Falcons covered it well. And that was one of those situations where I was trying to get the ball to Emmanuel (Sanders) and they covered it well again. And I was able to make a play."
On appreciating how much attention and curiosity he gets:
"I'm not sure how to answer that. I will say that my focus, my time, my attention was preparing on winning the football game today. And that was about it."
On getting more run heavy looks on first down from the Falcons today:
"Yeah, we felt that way. That they were giving us a heavy box, kind of a run front. And then they were dropping out and playing a lot of zone behind it. So look, that's one of the things that makes Coach Payton, Coach Payton. So, we made a lot of adjustments, a lot of play action pass this week. And that was really because of what they were doing."
On not taking part in his usual roles this week on offense and special teams:
"Yeah. It was definitely different. I think the biggest difference was obviously stepping into the role and making sure that as the QB you're ready for practice and you run those meetings and practice and everything else. But, it was significantly different, but in a great way. And I had a ton of fun all last week and had a ton of fun today."
WIDE RECEIVER MICHAEL THOMAS
On how the offense operated with Taysom Hill:
"Man, he played tremendous. I can tell, all throughout the week, his preparation, I can see the look in his eyes. He was ready for the moment every day. He found a way to win today. And he just progressed today and everyone saw it. And I'm very proud of him. And man, I'm kind of at a loss for words because I know he's been waiting for that moment and he finally got it. And he showed what he could do and we still have a lot of room for improvement. That's the exciting thing."
On how the offense changed and/or stayed the same:
"Sean (Payton) gives us a game plan and we go out there and execute it to the best of our abilities. You know, we don't worry too much about, you know, anything else, just executing our play. And going out there playing fast, playing with tempo and making our plays when our number is called. And, you know, our defense played lights out today. So, it was just a fun game out there seeing a lot of guys step up and make plays."
On his confidence coming back from injury:
"Man, I'm just out here to compete with my teammates and secure the victories. My body will heal when it heals, it's a process. It's a long season, right now in the middle of the season, I mean, everyone's probably dealing with something. So, as long as I find ways to improve and throughout the week, keep working and enhancing my treatment. I'm out here to help my teammates, I'm going to do it."
On the week of preparation with Taysom Hill at QB:
"No, he was ready. All week, he was ready for his opportunity. He knew his number was being called. He went out there and he did his thing and I am just proud of him. And I can't wait to see what he does next week, because he is just going to keep improving. He's a football player with a lot of discipline. And he loves the game and I love playing with him."
On connections with Taysom Hill:
"Which one, the terrible drop I had? I do not think we ran that play exactly back, but I was really disappointed in myself on that drop. Taysom (Hill) has a fast ball. But that was a great ball. All of his passes today were great. On point. I could have caught them all. And that was 100% on me but we executed and moved on. I felt like I got better throughout the game, so that was good."
On if adjustments needed to be made having Hill at QB:
"No, the adjustment was my hands. Catch the ball."
On his confidence about getting a game with opportunities to catch balls:
"It's a long season. It's a long season. One thing I knew coming into this week, that our team needed to execute and play at a high level. And I knew the opportunity was here. And another thing was Taysom Hill. I just wanted to be out there, help him, support him and have his back. So, whenever he threw the ball to me, and I know that goes for all the other receivers too. They were just ready to make a play to help him, help this offense have success."
On feeding off the defense:
"Oh, we feed off them, 100%, man. 100 %. Even the special teams, they made some great plays today too. The defense, man, that pass rush. You know, Atlanta has some great receivers. So, shout out to secondary too. They played tremendous. So, you know, that defense right there is trending in the right direction. And I'm excited to see how far they can take it. Because there's so much more room for improvement on defense also. And everyone knows that in the building. So as long as we keep stacking these wins and getting better and doing our job, I think we'll be a very successful team."
On Taysom Hill's passing game efforts:
"I was proud of him to just lean on the guys around him. You know, don't take all those hits running the ball. You know, lean on us, allow us to make it right. Let's compliment each other. And I feel like that's what we did. Like I said, I am just proud of him. Man, he played tremendous."
On the chemistry between him and Taysom Hill:
"I feel like it's a combination of development and just, execution throughout the week of practice. You know, allowing him, like running that route exactly how we'll run it on Sunday. So, that he knows where I'll be at and he knows where to put the ball and just execute in the preparation. And that's how you build confidence throughout the week. And then on Sunday, he gives me opportunities and I make them right."
On changing any doubts about Taysom Hill today:
"One-hundred percent. I feel like me and Taysom (Hill), we have the same chip on our shoulder. We're always trying to come out here and dominate and help this team win games. And always prove people wrong and prove the people that believe in us right. So, man, like, you know, he's a dog. Taysom (Hill) is a dog. So, just to see him come out there and play like he played today. Who cares what anybody else says, he's a baller."
RUNNING BACK ALVIN KAMARA
Alvin, what are your overall thoughts on Taysom's Hill first start in the NFL?
"He got a win obviously. That's not too bad. He did well, being his first start. He was calm. He settled into the game pretty quickly. I know he wishes he had that big shot (play) to Emmanuel (Sanders ). He probably would have wished that went through. Overall, he played clean."
Can you discuss how confident the team is playing no matter who is injured?
"Yes. I think I answered this earlier in the week, but this team is resilient. We have that mentality throughout the locker room that next man up type of thing. Whoever goes down (gets injured) it is what it is. This game does not stop for one player. Everybody knows that. It is nothing personal. It's the nature of the game. Next person has to step up, get ready and be prepared. In that case, Taysom has to prepare and do all the things he has to do come out her and execute and to get a win and he got a win so we are feeling good."
How important is it for you all to see Michael Thomas have a huge day?
"It is good to see him get out there and have the type of production he is used to having. Obviously being injured is tough for anyone especially somebody that is explosive as him. Being injured and having to battle back and battle back. But you just have to keep your mind right and try to bounce back and do anything you can to get healthy. He is getting closer to 100% healthy and we are proud of him."
DEFENSIVE END CAMERON JORDAN
You had three sacks on Sunday, what is it about Atlanta that brings out the best in you?
"It's what it means to the city, it's Atlanta hate week, but I love them. I think that they have a phenomenal team. When you talk about Calvin Ridley, you talk about (Russell) Gage playing well. You can't even talk about those two without talking about Julio (Jones) and you have a former NFL MVP in Matt Ryan, so you have to take them that much more serious this week, especially with Drew Brees down. We just figured we give it our all each and every game and this gameplan game together perfectly."
Is this defensive line coming together at just the right time?
"Most definitely, David (Onyemata) ended up with 1.5. Demario (Davis) had another 1.5, Trey (Hendrickson) two and I'm playing catch up at this point. You need to win your one on ones at this point and it seems that they decided they weren't going to honor all the chips thown against me this year. I love a good one on one show."
You've gotten double teams for years and this probably hasn't been quite your year statistically, but what can today do for you?
"I've always said from the beginning, if I'm getting double-teamed, someone else is getting one-on-ones and if they're winning their one-on-ones, everything is going to come full circle. I tell the whole dline, everybody just take a deep breath, keep calm, it all comes full circle. As long as you guys are winning eventually they can't block all of us."
Last year when Drew Brees went down you guys went 5-0 with Teddy Bridgewater and the defense stepped up. Did you feel you guys had to do it again?
"I think these last couple games the defense has been striding in the right direction. The beautiful thing is there is room for us to grow. I think we could have ended up with four or five turnovers. There were some interceptions left out there, but we'll break down the film and better from that ASAP. We have Denver."
Any thoughts about Taysom Hill?
"When you talk about what he's been able to do, you have to be leery of his legs. He's able to sit back there, drop back and really release the big cannons. There were explosive plays this week when you talk about Emmanuel Sanders does, Mike T does, what Jared Cook was getting loose with. We have a strong wide receiver corps. That's a lot of weapons and then you add in the Alvin Kamara, lights camera action, Kamara."
New Orleans Saints fans cheer on the team from a safe distance as the Saints take on the Atlanta Falcons in Week 11 of the 2020 NFL season.