NEW ORLEANS SAINTS QUARTERBACK DREW BREES
Q: You guys ran it well to say the least. What are your thoughts about the running backs and the line?
A: First of all, it all starts in front, and the offensive line did a phenomenal job all game long. We had so many long drives and we kept sustaining drives, driving from our end of the field to their end of the field, getting points. The time of possession was very much in our favor. We converted quite a few short yard situations, which was great. With both backs, I felt like we had such a great rhythm going with Mark (Ingram) and Al (Alvin Kamara). It was just efficient, extremely efficient. It really felt like we had a great tempo and rhythm all game long.
Q: Have you ever been part of a ten-play, ninety-four yard drive where no passes were thrown? You ran for a seven yard touchdown. You hurt the rushing average, you know that?
A: Did I? I'll apologize to those guys. Well it's funny, because I was waiting for the play call to come in, and we never really encountered any third down situations in that drive. We kept getting first or second downs, and we're waiting for them to maybe make some shot or mix in something. We get down inside the ten yard line and he calls a pass play. It's funny because in the back of my mind I'm thinking, "man, how mad are these running backs going to be? We've run the ball all the way down the field, and then we're going to throw a touchdown to cap it off." I tried. I scrambled around as long as I could to try to find somebody, and then all of a sudden I saw Terron (Armstead) kind of out of the corner of my eye just level somebody and clear the way. He made it pretty easy for me, but it was good, we got to actually cap it off with a rush. It just happened to be from me and not from the running backs, but everybody got their opportunities today and really did a phenomenal job. Mark, Alvin, and then Trey (Edmunds) there at the end getting that long run to break the Saints' record, right? Most rushing touchdowns in a game. Just a phenomenal way to cap off a game.
Q: Do you feel like this team has a chance to be among the most balanced that you've been a part of?
A: Absolutely. If you look at our productivity in the run game, certainly the way the defense was playing, and just how complementary we've been, I think a lot of things came together today. We executed very well today. We still have blocking. We still have to find the holes. We still have to convert the third downs, keep drives alive, and be efficient in the red zone, but all in all, I'd say it was a pretty good day.
Q: How does it feel different for you when you know you have that running game to lean on and help move the ball?
A: I just do my job. I'm asked to be efficient as I possibly can. The completions are good, I convert third downs, and score touchdowns. You know, take care of the football. That's my job. That's always the quarterback's job.
Q: What did you think of some of those Mike (Thomas) catches today?
A: He went up and made some great catches today - a couple on third downs, and one in a second, really long situation. He's a guy I have a ton of trust and confidence in. He loves to be put in those type of positions, where he has the chance to just jump up and make the play. That's Mike Thomas.
Q: How well do you think Mark and Al complement each other? They're not a typical thunder and lightning kind of thing, but they just keep producing.
A: They're both so versatile. Really, there's not an element of this offense that you could say one is better suited than the other. They both can do it all, really, and it's unique to have two guys like that. Regardless of the situation, we can plug and play. What's fun is to watch one guy having success and the next guy comes in and he has success, and they're both feeding off of one another. They're both competing and yet, at the end of the day, they're such a tight-knit group in that running back room. They both understand that they're going to get their opportunities to help us succeed.
Q: Two games into the season, was your faith and confidence being tested at all, or did you think that this could happen?
A: I think we'd rattle off seven in a row, I'm not sure, but I knew that we were much closer than people gave us credit for. I knew that the tide would turn at some point, and I was hoping that it would be sooner than later. You just need a little bit of validation for the process, and for all the hard work and dedication that we all had put in and the expectation that we had for the season. We played two really good teams to start the season, Minnesota and New England. I think we felt like if we just kept plugging away, we were going to break the seal at some point. Sure enough, that's what's happened. I think even if we continue to get a little bit better each and every week, it's still not perfect, there's still things that we can clean up. When we walk away from a victory like today, where it's a very tough environment to play against a very good team and to win the way we did, it certainly gives us a ton of confidence moving forward.
Q: After you studied up on the Bills this week, were you surprised to see the way you guys were able to break them down?
A: I didn't think it would unfold the way it did. I've got a lot of respect for Sean McDermott and his style of defense and the players that they have over there. They're a 5-3 football team, they were playing well. I know coming off of a loss Thursday night, they felt like they had that extra time for rest and preparation, and they would be ready to play us. We needed our best. We had to go out and execute it. We felt like we had a good scheme. We felt like we could just be efficient in the run game and get our opportunities in the pass game, but it felt like we were going to have to earn everything. I think we did have to earn everything today. It's not like we got huge chunk plays all day long or kind of got lucky. We had to go out there and earn it.
Q: You said that we were just talking about a lot last year, you felt like you were close but what has been the difference this year getting going?
A: I think whenever you take success and you are able to do it time and again, it just builds a level of confidence and belief in the process and the system and in what we are building. I think that obviously we went out and made some additions through free agency, made some additions through our rookie draft class. Guys that contributed quite a bit. So add all that stuff together and maybe catching some breaks along the way, that we haven't caught in a long time, a long time, that is resulting in wins.
Q: Drew, I am sorry if you've already been asked but what did you see on that touchdown run and how much more confidence is adding to turnaround the game?
A: Well, what I was trying to see was open receivers so that I could throw it to them but as I kind of made my way out to the left I felt to Terron who had been blocking his guy. He's running with me and there is always that fine line of what would be downfield, right, so I am going to kind of stay with my quarterback and then I felt him just go. At fake one of the linebackers who was just starting to kind of feel like I was going to be a run threat. I felt like he just kind of leveled him and I thought, "oh okay, now it's time to run." So I was able to sneak in, plus I felt like I owed that to the running backs since they did all the work to, you know, run the ball down there. That we needed another rushing touchdown.
Q: Have you had a similar rushing performance to this at all?
A: As a team. I mean playing in games where we feel that we are efficient. Good on first and second down, rushing the ball, not sure yard situations but not where you just felt like it was 6, 7, yards a pop. I'd say that's pretty rare.
Q: You guys did defer to the second half, how big was that touchdown coming out to really be able to strangle hold on the game?
A: Yeah, that's big for momentum. I think just confidence, setting the tone for that second half. Everybody comes in at half time and makes adjustments. You know, certainly gives you confidence of, every time you touch the ball the expectation is move and we're going to score.
Q: With what you are able to do with Alvin Kamara, how much does it remind of some of the same concepts of Reggie Bush?
A: Well they're both extremely dynamic players. Guys that when you get the ball in their hands, exciting things happen. I'd say Alvin, his ability to step into this offence and we've asked him to do a lot of stuff and we are very multiple with the things we do from a personal perspective. Personal groups coming into the game, the tempo at which we operate and he's in the back field, he's in motion. It can be a lot and he is very intelligent guy who really works at it and sees, has a great vision for what he can be in the offense. He's just doing his job.
Q: I know you got a question or two this week about winning on the road and I asked Coach Payton too about winning on the road, obviously since you guys have been here with the Saints, you are 6 in the NFL for road wins. You did well at road wins. It seems you have that national perception not being able to play in cold weather. Do you feel like going into a game like this that is you motivation and coming out with a win.
A: Every game is the next game and therefore the most important game. I think we've always prided ourselves on being able to go anywhere and give them a win. I think history will show that. Every season is different, every team is different. Just glad we were able to keep rolling this week and see the challenges only get greater as we move along.