LB Philip Wheeler lays out QB Drew Brees. Photo by Tony Gonzales
Head Coach Dennis Allen
On the game: "Disappointing. We felt like we had a good week of practice. We thought we were ready to play and we got beat today. The only way I know how to fix things is we just have to go back to work, keep grinding. Those guys in that locker room, there's nobody that hurts worse than they do. We're going to keep fighting and keep battling and keep grinding."
On the team: "Obviously, we have to continue to work and continue to get better. That's always going to be the goal. Obviously, we've sustained some injuries and we knew going into this season that depth was a challenge. We're seeing some of that a little bit, but our guys are continuing to battle. They're continuing to fight and that's what we've got to do."
On if it's now a rebuilding year: "No. I'm not into rebuilding years. What we've got to do is we've got to continue to develop. We've got to continue to go to work and keep trying to get better every day. That's all I know how to do."
On any specific areas they need to improve on: "I think it's really the whole thing we've got to get better at. I think we've done a good job offensively of being able to move the ball, but we haven't scored enough points. WE have to do a better job of being able to score points. Defensively, we've played good in spurts, but the inconsistencies hurt us. I thought, obviously, in this game, the change in momentum in the game really occurred in the first half when they were able to get the touchdown on the double move. Then they came back out in the second half and opened up with a big kickoff return and scored on the first play. That was really the biggest difference in the game."
On the most disappointing aspect of the team: "It's disappointing that the guys put their heart and soul into it and we haven't gotten the results. That's the challenge that we face. It's going to turn and it's going to turn for the positive for us, but we have to keep working."
On why he thinks things will turn around: "I just watch these guys go to work every day and I know that if they continue to work the way they're working that it's going to turn our way. Those guys are fighting."
On if he thought they'd score more points: "Yeah, I thought we would be able to move the football on them and I felt like we'd be able to score some points. WE had those opportunities. We had the one opportunity down there in the red zone and we got the touchdown pass and unfortunately, bounces off Brandon's [Myers] hands and into the defender, but there was an opportunity there to score points. I felt like we had the opportunity to score points, I just don't think we capitalized on it like we needed to."
On if he interjects in the offense: "Yeah, I wanted to come in and be able to run the football in this game and that was one thing we felt like we were able to do. I think we did that in this game. But we've got to do a better job of being able to put points on the board when we get an opportunity."
On where he expected to be 10 games into the season: "I didn't put an expectation on it. Obviously, we're not where we want to be and we've got to realize that. We've got to face that. Like I said, the only thing I know how to do is go back to work and that's what we're going to continue to do."
On the improvement in the run game: "I think we felt like against this team we had good matchups in the running game and we were able to use Tony Bergstrom some as a tight end, which I think helped us some. I think Khalif Barnes back helped us in the run game. So there were a few factors involved in that."
On the defensive breakdowns: "I don't think it was a communication issue today. I think they executed a nice double move. Both defenders kind of went for the double move; it wasn't a communication thing, it was more of an execution thing."
On the 3-7 record: "It doesn't make you feel good. I know we're better than that and I know we can play better than that and we'll continue to work and we'll get better."
On WR Denarius Moore: "I wouldn't say lack of development. When you look at Denarius Moore, he's a young player. He missed a lot of time in OTAs and training camp and that's valuable time to grow into a new offensive system. I think he's had some inconsistencies, just like the rest of us. That's the thing that we're trying to get corrected."
On if the team is improving: "Yeah, I think in areas we are improving. But obviously we're not seeing the results we need to see."
On how they can fix the inconsistencies on offense: "I don't think you go through and make a lot of wholesale changes. I think we've got to really worry about the execution in practice and repeat plays, whatever the case may be. We'll go back, we'll look at it, and if there is something we need to do to make it better, we'll make it better."
On SS Tyvon Branch and other injuries: "We didn't come out with any other injuries as of right now. Everybody was able to finish the game. Tyvon practiced some on Friday, but Saturday we kind of realized he wasn't going to be able to go."
On TE Jimmy Graham's touchdown: "It was a situation where on the goal line they gave run-action over there. Miles [Burris] has got the tight end and it was rookie mistake. It's something that hopefully he'll learn from."
On the fan base's discontent: "Hey, listen, we're all frustrated and I understand that and I can appreciate that. But what I will say is that there's nobody that's going to work harder than we are to try to get it corrected."
QB Carson Palmer
On the outcome: "Very frustrating. A very painful loss. We knew that we had a hot team, a team that was on a roll and a team that is a Super Bowl contender coming in our place in front of our fans. They were a great crowd. They were really into it and we let ourselves down and we let them down by not playing up to our potential by getting beat the way that we did."
On why the offense unraveled: "We just couldn't keep up. They scored pretty quickly and we tried to stick with the run game and we did. We were doing a good job. With your fullback playing tailback, to run the ball like we did in the first half was really good to see. Good to see the way we moved the line of scrimmage with our offensive line. But when it came down to it, we got beat by a better team today."
On Saints QB Drew Brees: "It's a very good team and obviously he's a very good quarterback. They played well. Special team-wise they had some nice plays in the kicking game and obviously they scored 38 points, moved the ball effectively and Drew played like Drew does."
On the goal-line interception: "We had our opportunities, we had our chances and great teams finish when you have your opportunities like we've had in a number of games, in every game this year. We capitalized on those and we haven't done a good enough job of that and that's something that the only way you can fix it is to continue to work, continue to grind. This team does not turn it down; this team does not shy away from competition. What this team needs to do is continue to work and we've got to work offensively, defensively, special teams and find ways to get better. I believe this team will."
On misreads with receivers: "There was a little bit of miscommunication between Brandon [Myers] and I and that's something that can't happen. He did a good job of jumping inside on the route and I should have done a better job of placing the ball. He made a good play, but obviously that's one that I'd want to have back."
On what the offense needs to work on: "A lot of things. We did some good things in the run game. We had some good stuff in the protection as far as that's concerned. Especially on third down and in the red zone, we've got to get better. There's no magic that's going to come and save us. Coach said that to us. You've just got to continue to work and in a new offense, a first-year offense, this late in the season, we need to be making better strides than we were today. We improved as we came into this game and we wanted to take another step forward. We did some good things but it was kind of a lateral step. We didn't get better on third down and we expected to today."
On the team's goals: "To win. You look at our schedule, which guys have and we've talked about it. Right now we're shooting for 9-7. Win all of the games and see where the chips fall at the end of the year. The AFC is still pretty wide open for the most part. We need some things to bounce our way, but we believe, if we look at the schedule, we know that they are some of those teams that we've already played. We are going to come in and work and try to find a way to get to 9-7. Let's see what happens."
On the miscommunication with WR Denarius Moore: "Just a number of things. I need to look at the film and see what happened and we need to sit down and talk about it. He's our go-to guy. He's our number one receiver. He's got a lot of plays for him and we haven't had a ton of time on task and that's why some of the miscommunication things come up. The guy had a bad hamstring injury all off-season and training camp. There are times when it shows and it's my fault. He's a second-year guy and I need to do a better job at getting on the same page with him - seeing things the way that he sees them and I need to improve in that aspect."
On Marcel Reece's versatility: "We weren't going to change our game plan, avoid the run game or put in different runs or run different protections because he was a different [position]. We went about this game plan as whether Darren [McFadden] was there or he was back there. We were going to stick with the run and try to grind it out. But he's a football player. He just makes football plays over again every week. You feel you can't get the guy the ball enough. But there are other guys that you want to get the ball to, but Marcel is special."
FB/RB Marcel Reece
On the offense's problems: "If I knew what it was, I'd fix it. We're going to go in there and watch the film, try to fix the mistakes and try to get some wins right now."
On the game: "I think we progressed pretty well as the game went on. We didn't get the fast start that we wanted, but we started to get some yards. We made a few key mistakes that we definitely have to cut out in any game and the Saints are a great team. They capitalized on them and we got down on them."
On his performance: "Stats are irrelevant when you don't get the W. The bottom line is if you don't win, the stats are irrelevant, the numbers are irrelevant. I don't even know what they were, I don't care what they were and I don't want to know what they were. I want to get in, watch the film, and get ready for Cincinnati."
T Khalif Barnes
On Marcel Reece: "Reece was a soldier, man. He went out there and did exactly what he's been doing basically all season long. He presents a nightmare for those guys because he played receiver in college so he has speed, and there's really no linebackers that can match up to him when you have a situation where a linebacker has a man-to-man situation. He has good vision at running the ball too. So he presents a threat for a lot of defensive coordinators throughout the league."
On his first game back from injury: "There was a little bit of rust, but I shook it off, I think, during practice. I still had some rusty things going on out there, but for the most part, overall I was pleased. I didn't have any pain; I was moving pretty good and I know they had some good rushers out there in [Cameron] Jordan and [Will] Smith and I didn't give up any sacks to them. So all-in-all I feel pretty good about that. I'm just bummed overall about the whole situation but physically I felt pretty good."
DT Desmond Bryant
On the game: "Obviously any time you step on the field, the goal is to win the game. We didn't get that accomplished. There is a lot of things that we left out there that we hope we could go back and get again. You have to give respect to our opponent. They played a hell of a game. They made plays when they needed to and we didn't do that so we have to try to look at the film and think about it."
On if the score at halftime at an emotional effect on the team: "You try to remove yourself emotionally as much as you can from the game. Obviously they are going to make some plays during the course of the game and you have got to be prepared for that and respond accordingly. When they make a play, you have got to be able to just come back out and try harder and make a play for yourself."
On the mindset going into Cincinnati: "We really, really have to take a look at ourselves deep in the mirror and look at what we are doing and see if there is anything at all that we can do better to help prepare for the game and then be able to go out and execute during the game time."
On trouble with third quarters: "Like I said, it's just more the adversity of the game. They are going to make some plays and you have just got to be able to have a short memory, forget the last play and then come out the next play, play even harder, play even faster, more physical so that way it doesn't happen again."
On fighting to get out of the funk: "In terms of we lost three games in a row, absolutely we are in a funk and we need something to get out of it. Obviously, this season overall hasn't gone as well as we would have like to have seen. Now is the time to do it, not tomorrow, not after that, right now is the time to get things fixed and get things back on the right track."
LB Philip Wheeler
On if the score at halftime had an effect on the team: "I feel like we always say next play, next play. I think we moved on to the next play. If something unfortunate happened, we moved on to the next play. I don't feel like we got down about it. We have just got to play better the next play."
On if the long kickoff return had an effect on the game: "It had an affect on the game because they got yards and then they moved the ball, but I don't think it had a mental effect on us. We kept playing and playing. Whenever we are out there we want to play harder."
On playing Cincinnati: "Like Coach just told us, the only way we can fix something like this is to just go to work and just to grind. You can't look at it and hold your head down on it. You got to keep your head up. At the end of the day, it's a game. We want to win, of course, but all we can do is go to work, just go to work."