SAINTS HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON
"Obviously a good win for us on the road against a real good football team. I thought we did a lot of things well. I thought we played in a different way but a complete football game. We had the special teams return early, it was a great start for us. We did enough things well defensively, offensively, it was a good win."
How did Teddy Bridgewater play?
"I thought he played real well. In the early series, I hamstrung him a little bit with some calls getting them in personnel wise. I think he settled in and did a really good job."
Did Bridgewater get going late in the second quarter?
"I think as the game progressed. That two minute drive (in the first half) was important. Alvin also played outstanding. We got good movement up front. We had a handful of drives that I thought were real critical. Even late in the game our drive was five minutes time off the clock. Playing on the road against a team like that, that really helped us."
How great is it to get contributions from a lot of players?
"That's why it's a team game. I thought we had a good week of practice. There was something about the week in the locker room, even going through pregame. I thought we took the crowd completely out of it. Generally you have to deal with a lot louder place."
How conscious were you that you have never won (a regular season/playoff) game without Drew Brees as your quarterback?
"That is a silly stat. There have been a couple of games where we have locked in seeding. We are playing a game without him, I get it, that sells papers. So look, I wasn't thinking about it. It happens at other positions. It's unique when it's the quarterback, I understand that. We approached things differently. At our quarterback meeting last night, Teddy changed it up. I texted Drew and I said we're changing everything up. He called right away. We are eating earlier than we ate before. I was proud of the way he (Bridgewater) played. He is someone if you really followed his career, he has kind of won where ever he has been. At a young age at Minnesota, he played this very same team back in the playoffs and they very well should have won if not for the field goal. He did that today."
Did you sense your team was ready to go today?
"You prepare, you hope. If you ever knew that as a coach, there are times you feel like sometimes the desperate team wins. But when your playing Seattle on the road, they are a real good football team. So I thought the punt return early was a big play. I thought the turnover touchdown was another big play."
What about getting a couple of fourth down stops on defense?
"Statistically if you looked and said you're going to return a punt for a touchdown and score defensively, you're going to be probably a ninety something percent winner when you do that. Those were big plays."
How helpful was it to get a defensive and a special team touchdown?
"When you have a lead it's different than when your behind. That was a good team win."
How big were those two monster punts in the first half?
"We felt like it was going to be a field position game through out. I thought we were able to take advantage. When you're playing on their end of the field, the mistakes get exaggerated and magnified. And sure enough, the punch out fumble was in their end of the field, it's a scoop and score for us. We had the one muffed punt but I thought our ball security was good. Overall it was a good team win."
Thoughts on Alvin Kamara play today?
"We have seen it for three years now. He has got really good balance and he is strong. He is a really, really sturdy runner."
What was the defensive plan on Wilson today?
"It's a challenge. He did it last week against Pittsburgh. We spied him a few times. When his eyes get down on the pass rush, he is elusive enough to come out of some tackles. The last time I think we played him in New Orleans he was dealing with an ankle, so you were getting more of a pocket passer. But now he is tough to bring down, tough to contain."
Were you curious as to how your team was going to respond today?
"I don't know if curious was the word. I think our job as coaches is, well I know what our jobs is, each week give your team the best chance to win. That's a responsibility and this week, we tried to do that."
You said you felt something different in the locker room today?
"I think the idea that Teddy is going to be just fine. The rest of us have to worry about our job. If we can surround him with a lot of good performances like we did today, we are going to have success."
Do you feel that finding Deonte Harris from a small school is like a diamond in the rough?
"On the return I did. On the fumble I didn't. It was a diamond and a piece of coal. But he has done well. He is confidant."
Did you get a chance to talk to Drew today?
"No we talked yesterday but that was it."
What galvanized your team from last week to this week?
"I liked our schedule a lot. I like coming here. We have travelled well when we have done that. Two trips to London, the hurricane, I'm not sure what year, in 07' or 08', we have played well. Your team is removed from a lot of the distractions. The Bellevue set up was great.
QB TEDDY BRIDGEWATER
On if he could sense how well prepared they were heading into this game:
"Yeah, with us being in Bellevue for the week it forces you to continue to bond with one another. Our families weren't here – they may have come at the end of the week but towards the early part of the week we had a lot of time to bond with each other. Going out to the practice field you just saw that look in everyone's eyes that meant we want to get back to winning."
On getting emotional before the game:
"I was just thinking about the process from the time I was injured up until now. Just thinking about all of the ones that believed in me and just being back on this stage and getting to show how faithful God is… It just hit me right before the game. I had joked with the guys that I haven't felt this way since 2015 or the playoff game against Seattle in 2016."
On the end of the first half and when he felt like they started clicking:
"We were trying to make sure we could secure some points before half. We knew that we got the ball back. It just took me to realize that I have one of the best wide receivers in the NFL here (Thomas) and I get to throw the ball to him whenever I feel like it. Just use your guys. You watch Alvin (Kamara) making plays all day, you watch Mike (Thomas) when you throw it to him, it's a for sure catch. In that moment we knew that we could convert right there."
On how much fun it is to watch Kamara:
"He's like a human joystick… you give him the ball and he's spinning, juking, bouncing off of guys. As a quarterback you can give him a screen and just watch the play happen and it's like, 'man, this guy is a bad man.' We are glad he's on our team and he's one of those guys that's a leader on offense."
On winning on the road and how it can help his confidence:
"We knew that we have a good football team, but I think coming into this game we were a desperate team. We knew that we needed to win. We were desperate for the win. We played with that mindset and it gave us that chip on our shoulders that man, we aren't leaving here without a win."
On his reaction after the game and how he felt once it was over:
"This morning when I woke up I told myself, 'no matter what happens, I'm a winner." We all talk about winning on the football field, but I feel like I'm a winner in life. I try not to make it about me but I just think about the process I went through to be here and all of the ones that believed in me, those are the winners with me. Then when we are able to win the game like that, my emotions are at an all-time high. I can't wait to get back into the locker room and celebrate with the guys that made this happen."
On the support he received from Brees ahead of this start:
"When I got back to the locker room Drew (Brees) had texted my phone. We had been texting all week and we love Drew and he loves us and we know that he wanted to be here on the sideline… He's a guy who's very supportive. Everyone sees what goes on with football, but Drew is one of those guys that's very supportive in life."
On what kind of advice Brees has had for him ahead of this week:
"Honestly, it's one message that he gave me a while back, and it's 'completions are good.' That's my mindset when I'm out there, just find completions and the rest will take care of itself."
RB ALVIN KAMARA
On the week of preparation and how they felt heading into the game:
"It felt good. I think we had a good week of practice. We had a great plan. Like I said all week, Teddy (Bridgewater) is a leader, came in there and had composure, had poise and we got it done."
On going the week without Brees and how that affected their preparation:
"We knew that everybody had to step up. Guys really just had to step up and lead more. I think a leader like Drew, his presence is missed, but you have to step and fill those shoes."
On the screen pass that he turned into a touchdown:
"It was just set up perfectly. Perfect timing by Teddy, Larry (Warford) and Ram (Ramczyk) did what they had to do on the edge and Ted (Ginn Jr.) got a great block. I was able to get in there and broke a tackle. It's a big score before the half and getting the ball back, it was great to have that splash play."
On how many diamonds are in his grill:
"I don't know, but it's a lot."
On if he can tell in practice throughout the week if they are poised for a big week:
"Preparation is everything. We are honest with ourselves. Some days might not be as good as other days. We know what our standard is, so if it's below our standard, we address it. If it's above or meeting our standard then we know it's a good week. Like I said earlier this week, our preparation was locked in, focused to do what we had to do.
QB TAYSOM HILL
On how well they anticipated what Seattle's approach would be:
"Seattle, they are a really good team. I think they came out and did what we were expecting. I think we had a good plan for them in all three phases and we executed."
On if he was expecting to be more involved in the offense:
"No, no I wasn't. Now there's only two of us, so we have to be a little conservative. So, we will see what happens moving forward."
On how he evaluated their defense today:
"Awesome. They created turnovers, they made big plays, they scored on defense. Anytime you can do that, it's such a big advantage for us as a team. Those guys had a ton of energy and everybody fed off of it."
On how they fared without their leader Brees:
"I think everyone felt like they needed to elevate their game. I think that's what you saw today. It didn't fall on one person. Teddy or I didn't feel the burden of just one thing because Drew was gone and I felt like everybody elevated. Everyone said 'man, hey we are going to pick up our game so you don't feel all of the pressure' and I think that's what we saw tonight."
On if there was any time this week that he could tell that Bridgewater was ready to go:
"Look, I think that's the name of the game when you're a backup quarterback. You have to be ready to go week in and week out whether you are the guy or not. I don't think anyone is surprised that Teddy went out and played the way that he did today. He prepared the same way this week that he did last week, he just happened to get a lot more reps."
P THOMAS MORSTEAD
On the Saints game plan and his part in it:
"It was field position. Very rarely for me do I get the chance to play a lot and we are winning. Selfishly, it feels really nice to have a big game. Our guys covered their tails off. (Tyler) Lockett is a very, very good returner. He's explosive. As a unit, it felt really nice to have them all over the field all game."
On if he has ever had a game with two 50-yard net punts downed inside the five-yard line, one of them traveling 60-plus yards:
"No, I don't think so. I've punted six times probably less than 10 times in my career. No one's happy when I'm going on the field, so it feels really good when coach says this is the way we've got to win the game, this is where we have to win the game, and it unfolds like that, it just confirms the validity of the people we have leading this team. I think it just builds confidence each week when go in with, 'What's the plan this week?' It's good when everybody's drinking the Kool-Aid and being on the same page."
On the play of Deonte Harris:
"He's a special talent. He does not lack confidence. He muffed a punt today, and it was a big play for them. The big thing, when something like that happens, is to tell him specifically, 'Don't lose your stinger. Keep being who you've been.' When he runs at 80 percent, he's the fastest guy on the field. Or the quickest, anyway. I just have to keep encouraging him, because I think what's rare about him is that he has a real confidence, a special confidence about his ability, no only to return but to field punts and to be in and out quick. I always try to encourage him, give him one cue to think about, depending on the situation in the game. Obviously, being able to start the game be on defense, get them to punt, and go score immediately, he's a huge star for the game."
LB DEMARIO DAVIS
On stepping in for Drew Brees to handle the pregame "Who dat?" chant:
"Drew texted Craig (Robertson) and myself late last night and just wished us well for the game. It was just a random thing, but I asked him, 'Do you want me to do a speech for you?' He said, 'Yeah. Get 'em hyped.' So he gave me the word. He had passed the torch in that moment. I know how much the speeches mean to us when Drew gives them, so at that point it was on my shoulders and I knew I needed to deliver. So I just kind of prayed, 'Lord, give me the words.' And I don't even know what I said in the moment. But I hope it went well. Man, I'm just happy that we got this victory. Everything went well."
On if this win is especially satisfying:
"Man, it was a sweet victory because it was a tough team in a hostile environment. To be able to come in and play well against a team like this, a team that's well-coached, with great players, that thrives on physical football play? I mean, that mantra of the team is they want to grind you down, they want to run the ball, they want to be physical, so we knew it was going to be a battle. We prepared our minds for a battle, like a slugfest, because they want to be up in the fourth quarter and like wear you down. So we took that personally. We took that challenge personally. And man, to be able to come in and emerge victorious in an environment like that, against a team like that, I mean, we've got so much respect for them, what they've been able to do in this league just in general. To be able to emerge victorious, man, it's a sweet feeling."
S VONN BELL
On if he was certain the fumble he returned 33 yards for a touchdown was officially a fumble:
"I seen it. It was a punchout that we work on. He (CB Eli Apple) wanted to get on the takeaway film that we have at the end of the week, so he made it."
On recalling how officiating calls have not favored New Orleans, was he confident his touchdown would hold up:
"I knew it in my heart. Touchdown."
On if he could recall his last touchdown:
"Yeah, I remember my last touchdown. It was against Atlanta. It was a pick-six."
On if the defense wanted to keep Russell Wilson in the pocket:
"We knew he could win it with his feet, just like Deshaun Watson. He can scramble out, flush out to the right, go out there and look downfield and make special plays. We put it on our D and tried to take it away. That was just the game plan. That's what we preached on how we would win the game."
DE DAVID ONYEMATA
On the impact of Deonte Harris's early punt return for a touchdown:
"That was what, the second special-teams play of the game? Yeah, he took that back. It's not like he hasn't done that before. We've seen that he's always capable of doing that on a regular basis, and see him just go, it got us firing on every cylinder. That's what it was."
On limiting Seattle's running game:
"I haven't seen the numbers yet, but I'd say we did a decent job of that.
On if this win feels special:
"Definitely. Everyone was playing at a high level."