Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints
Sunday, Decemeber 3, 2017
Quarterback Drew Brees
On having control of their own destiny in December:
"It's big. We have an extremely tough division. We have three teams that are vying for that top spot and certainly a playoff opportunity. No more important game than the next game. Coming back from L.A. last week, four of these five last games are divisional games, so this is where our best football needs to be played. Our best preparation to set out to achieve the goals we set out to accomplish at the beginning of the year. It's all in front of us. I think our minds are still set to strive to get better and strive to play a quicker game. I don't think we've done that yet. I thought today was very complementary in a lot of ways. Special teams comes up with a big play and a big turnover. Really, I guess two. Defensively, we're playing extremely well. Offensively, we have a good balance. We've had some big plays in the run game and the pass game scoring points. We just have to continue going in that right direction. That's the formula to winning a lot of games, but the games only get tougher and more important."
On the message a fourth down conversion gives:
"We're being aggressive. We came here to win. We came here to put guys in positions to be able to make plays to win the game. Obviously those are big momentum changers too when you're able to get it in there, but also the message it sends to the team that we're going to be aggressive."
On why he's comfortable with plays similar to the two-point conversion against Washington:
"Probably because it's in Alvin Kamara's hands. How about that?"
On comfort level with Alvin Kamara:
"I'm very comfortable. From the very beginning there was something unique about him. His ability to absorb this offense, which can be very complex and can be a lot. Especially from the running back position. You kind of wonder what kind of position you can put him in and gradually that playbook has expanded to where really any situation we can be comfortable with him in the game. And Mark (Ingram) for that matter too so it is great to have two guys like that. They can complement each other and also be a one-two punch and you have confidence in them."
On Mark Ingram II's 72-yard run:
"That was great, especially because he had to work to stretch out those last 30 yards. Really a great individual effort on his part and again you look for those gamechanging plays, those game-defining plays, and certainly going for it on fourth down first drive and getting that was big. That play was huge and a couple of others."
On moving into second place on the career completions list:
"I didn't realize that until Mike Thomas said, 'hey the ball that I jumped up and caught moved you into second place'. I've said this before, you play long enough I guess those things happen. It just makes me think of all the guys that have caught those balls and all of those guys blocking."
On thought process every time he sees Alvin (Kamara) hurdle defenders:
"Please land on your feet and not your head."
On Kamara and Ingram averaging six yards per carry:
"It's a testament to those guys' ability to run the football. The guys up front, blocking for them, those guys have done a tremendous job. I think the scheme and just the gameplan each and every week for how we are going to attack an opponent (has been productive). Obviously, we know there are plenty of run defenses out there just like the Carolina Panthers. You've got to pick and choose your times but you also have to understand in the beginning that two-yard runs and three-yard runs are okay because all the sudden you pop one like Mark (Ingram) did or you pop one like Alvin (Kamara) did that result in big plays. A lot of that is just sticking with it, trusting it, and continuing to find the schemes that work for you."
On bouncing back from last week's loss in Los Angeles this afternoon:
"Listen, a divisional game at home against a team that you are really tied for a division lead with at the time with two 8-3 records, just knowing the stretch we have got ahead of us here (with) four out of five divisional games to finish out the regular season. We knew the importance of the game obviously. We wanted to come out and play our best. We wanted to play complementary and I felt like we did that."
On the third quarterback Taysom Hill playing special teams today:
"I love it. What a stud. Had two special teams tackles. It looked like he got close to a couple of punts as well. He was on the punt rush team. I was really happy for him. You always say, 'the more you can do'. I think it's his attitude and his ability to just embrace the opportunity to get on the field and help the team in whatever way he could. He's a big, strong guy but it's not every day that you can say a quarterback who's never played special teams ever, we're going to have you playing in an NFL game running down on kickoffs and rushing punts and tackling people. That's a big chore and he did a great job today."
On how much the big plays impact the team's energy:
"They fire everyone up. It was a big momentum play in that game. We always look for them in a game. We talked about the fourth down run early in the game that got us in (the lead) and Mark Ingram's big run. Those are plays that get us fired up and get us fired up on the sidelines and just make you feel like you can do anything if you put in the work."
On key to playing well throughout these last games:
"Take it one play at a time and continue to focus on playing your best game."
On what he saw defensively during Mark Ingram's 72-yard run:
"It was an eight-man front, so he had to make somebody miss. He did a great job."
On team's opportunity to have another Super Bowl season:
"I like where we are at but I feel like we can continue to get better. There are still things that I feel like we are leaving out there. There are opportunities we are leaving out there. If we want to accomplish and go where we want to go, we've got to continue to improve upon and get better at those things. When you can walk away from games saying that and yet you still won them, that's a good thing. It signifies the attitude has always got to be that we are hungry and we are striving to find our best performance."
On the team effort to push Mark Ingram when the offense almost came up short of a first down:
"That is exactly what it was. It was effort and one-two and desire and will. (It was a) Great effort by Mark Ingram to continue to fight and then here comes the cavalry to help push him across (for the first down). It is a football IQ play. We knew it was third down. We knew we were close. We knew we wanted that first down. It takes smart, tough football players who are tough and want it."