SAINTS LINEBACKER DEMARIO DAVIS
(On the signing of his contract extension)
"It's so much of a blessing. Man, I am just so blessed, me (and) my family. It's so much of a blessing that I really can't even put it into words. In 2016, I was back in Cleveland. I was contemplating retirement. I prayed, I was like, 'God, you know if you are not done with me in this game, use me and rejuvenate my mind, rejuvenate my body.' He did that. Since then, I was able to go to New York and be successful; get a contract here, and, now, get an extension. And then playing in my backyard and playing on a phenomenal team (is a dream). I am just so blessed. For me, it was just that I didn't want to leave this family. I didn't want to leave this brotherhood; so, when I was in a situation of where I could potentially go and plan to either go to free agency or stay, I just wanted to be here. There is so much talent, so much love, so much passion, great culture, great community. Me and my family are blessed just to have an extension here and spend a couple more years here with this brotherhood and this family and chase our goals, win a Super Bowl and more."
(On when did the contract get done and has it been in the works)
"It's been in the works for a minute. I've got great agents and (they and myself have) a great relationship with Mickey (Loomis). They worked it out and got it done. It was done working all the way up to the game, but we got it done in time, so that is a blessing."
(On the team's defensive effort today)
"The offense may say that they struggled, but anytime that you've got 40 points on the board, I am not going to say that you struggled. For us defensively, it was just important for us to start fast. We knew that we were going to be facing a good offense with a lot of weapons and arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game, probably top two. So, we knew it was going to be a challenge. We knew it was going to be a dogfight. Our defensive front played amazing, even though there is some stuff that we have got to clean up. They just played phenomenal. We were able to keep our safeties over the top of these great receivers, so it was on the front to clean up the run and we did a phenomenal job of that. Then, (we) had to take away so many of there great targets, you have got (Rob) Gronkowski and you've got (Mike) Evans, (Chris) Godwin. At the end of the day, takeaways are the (difference). Marcus (Williams) has been doing that since he got in the league. He is arguably one of the best free safeties in the game. Janoris Jenkins, for him to do one of our defensive goals (of a pick six was huge). Our defensive goal is to break the touchdown record, so he started us off right. Now we've got to get nine more to tie. For him to make that play, that is what he does. I think he moves up to Top 10 all-time. He's in great company. It's nothing new to him. We've just got so many great players and great coaches. It's our job to go out and stop performances no matter what else is going on."
(On how the underrated run defense has been successful over the last two seasons)
"I don't know if it's underrated. It's important to us. That is one of our main goals to win the line of scrimmage in the running game and the passing game. It's important to make teams one dimensional. In general, to be a good defense, you have to have a great run defense. With our defensive line, it makes the work of the linebackers very easy. Then, we've got safeties and nickels who love to hit, so it's important. We take pride. It's a lot of work and preparation."
(On social justice issues)
"It is important to us. Even though we get to play this great game, we are not going to stop talking about these issues and stop using our platform to bring awareness to these issues and using our resources to bring change in our community. I think at the end of the day, when you hear people say it was never about the flag, I say it was never about the flag for the people who had a problem with people speaking out about the issues. The people were not mad because the players were speaking out on the issues. People were mad because players were speaking in general. You had players doing the unity stance and people booed. It's never been about anything but wanting players to stay in a place and not wanting to speak on issues in the black community. I'm just proud of so many players across all leagues, the WNBA, NBA, MLB, NFL, taking a stance and using a platform for change, forcing the world and our country to have a conversation that we've never had It's being had in schools, it's being has in churches, it's being had on every news station. And, it's not going to go away until we fix these issues. Maybe, eventually, we can get past race and start talking about something else, like maybe food or something."