Head Coach Ben McAdoo
Postgame vs. New Orleans, September 18, 2016
Q: You said you had great leadership, what in particular makes you say that after a game like this?
A: It was the encouragement and the positivity on the sidelines. Picking each other up, you know if itís not phase by phase, itís player by player
Q: Coach, you preach a lot about ball security. What did you say when you see three veterans mishandle the ball when you guys are driving?
A: We need to handle the football better. We need to take care of The Duke, whether it was dropped passes, fumbles, sack fumble, whatever it is, we need to take care of the football better, no question. What we do in practice needs to show up in the game. We took care of the ball well last week other than one minor incident, but this week, we need to do a better job, we need to clean that up.
Q: The defense, other than the one touchdown drive, held Drew Brees in check pretty much all game long. What was the key to that?
A: We got lined up quickly and made sure we played the call and played with confidence.
Q: What was the strategy on the last possession?
A: We didnít want to give Drew the ball back. He is a heck of a player, a future Hall of Famer, and if you can end the game with a kick, you end the game.
Q: What did you see on the Cruz play on the sideline from your vantage point?
A: Looked like one heck of a play in a very big point in the game. He had a great release at the line of scrimmage, something he does well. Eli has confidence in him. He threw a ball thatís not normally a high percentage ball and we really hadnít been making that play all day and Eli came through at a big point and time in the ball game.
Q: Did you get the sense that you were on the verge of breaking out offensively all day but just couldnít quite do it?
A: Itís a game that I think a couple years ago normally you would be frustrated with, but we just kept playing and playing. We knew we had to be productive, we knew that holding the ball and getting first downs and chewing the clock, we benefit, the special teams and the defense.
Q: What can you say about the play Janoris Jenkins made?
A: Second week in a row. You see he is such a competitor, a real competitor. You see that in his play.
Q: Talk about the impact Sterling Shepard has on the offense?
A: He is a weapon in the slot. He needs to score on the one double move he had in the green zone. He will next time he gets it. He makes a big play over the shoulder, he needs to trust his feet and go straight ahead instead of worrying about sticking his foot in the ground and dancing. He is a weapon in the slot, heís a smart young player, he works at it. The quarterback is developing trust in him.
Q: Your defense held them to under 300 yards, was that one of your goals coming in?
A: Anytime you can hold someone in this league to under 300 yards, itís a good day defensively. We are hoping if we hold a team to 14 points or less, we can win the ball game. Itís a great job by the defense today. Spags and the defensive coaches and players all rally around each other, they challenged each other this week and showed up.
Q: What does it say about the identity of this team now that you can win a game like this?
A: It says a lot about our three phases. Special teams made a big play. The defense stepped up all day, and the offense got it done at the end. All three phases came up huge for us.
Q: Eli Apple played the majority of snaps at corner. What was thinking behind putting him in that role today?
A: He is a starting corner for us.
Q: (In reference to last question) Over DRC in the base defense?
A: We have three starting corners.
Q: Did you give any thought to kicking the field goal on third down just in case a bad snap or something like that?
A: There was some conversation about it, but I trust the quarterback-center exchange.
Q: The main priority was to drain the clock?
A: Yeah, we wanted to make sure we end the game on the kick
Q: Whatís the difference between last year where you lost two very close games to open the season?
A: Last season is last season. We are not worried about last season, we learned from last season. We moved on and we are looking forward to Washington this week.
Q: When you talk about leadership, what do you make of Vernon and JPP playing as much as they did, clearly playing hurt to some degree?
A: Yeah, they were playing nicked up, played hard, played a lot of snaps. They are not just pass rushers.
Q: Before the season, was there an extra emphasis on finishing games?
A: We need to focus on all situations. Starting in the offseason, we continued through training camp, each week and every week
Q: What can a win like this and last week do moving forward?
A: We learned from the past and now we are on to Washington.