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Important quotes after Sunday’s upset win include high praise from and to Dennis Allen

Could Dennis Allen have just coached himself into another job?

New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Dennis Allen

On the win generally:

“Obviously a big win for us. I thought our guys went out and played extremely hard. We said going into this game that we had to play with a great effort and a great energy against a really good football team. I think we did that. We protected the football. We did a pretty good job in terms of playing the field position game. And I thought, defensively, I thought we were really good.”

On having both Cam Jordan and Marcus Davenport on the field:

“Well, you’re just trying to see what they’re going to do in terms of the protection, and hopefully you can create some one-on-ones and do some things like that. Look, this wasn’t about scheme, this was about our guys going out and executing and our guys playing really hard against a really good football team.”

On Cam Jordan reaching 100 sacks:

“Sacks are hard to come by, and certainly Cam has been one of the better ones in our league for a long time at being able to get pressure on the quarterback. So, I just can’t say enough about what he means to our team, the defense, the team in general, our organization, the way he represents himself both on and off the football field. Class guy – I’ve been fortunate enough to be around him and coach him. He’s just a hell of a player.”

On Marquez Callaway:

“Yeah I think that was huge to be able to get a few explosive plays early in the game to set us up in position to score some points. Obviously, we would have liked to have come away with touchdowns and not field goals in those situations. But we were able to come away with points and the way this game ended up playing out, it was more about protecting the football and playing the field position game because we felt pretty good about where we were defensively and how we were playing.”

On taking the role as head coach:

“Look, I relish that opportunity. Certainly, I really appreciate everything that Sean Payton has meant to me and my coaching career. So, for him to ask me to step in for him in this circumstance I appreciate the fact that he had the faith and the trust in me to lead this team. I really appreciate all the players and the assistant coaches and the way that they just hung together and fought and scratched and clawed for each other so that we could come away with this win. I think anytime you win in this league I think it’s a great feeling, and certainly in these circumstances, it feels good to win.”

On if he talked to Sean Payton after the game:

“Obviously I’ll keep those conversations that he and I had privately in terms of exactly what it was. He told me what he wanted and then kind of let me go do it. I think he didn’t want to try to have me thinking about too many things and just try to go out there and manage the team and run the team. We’ll kind of keep those conversations private. Again like I said, the fact that he had enough faith in me to step into his spot means a lot to me. I’m just appreciative of all the guys that are in that locker room because none of this was possible without what they did.”

Taysom Hill

On Marquez Callaway:

“Marquez is great. We gave him some opportunities to make plays, and he did. Obviously, two that come to mind that lead to field goals, which obviously became huge in this game. ‘Quez’ is a guy that I’ve had a lot of trust in since day one in training camp. He had some opportunities to make some plays tonight, and he did.”

On playing without Sean Payton:

“Obviously, it’s tough. You mentioned we had injuries up front and all over our team. Really, the thing that has been constant this year has been our [coaching] staff. Sean has been a great leader for us for a very long time here. So, that was tough to lose Sean [Payton]. He called me, I guess it was Friday night, quoting P.T. Barnum. He said, ‘The show must go on.’ I think it created great opportunities for [Offensive Coordinator] Pete [Carmichael] to step up and call the game, and [Interim Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator] [Dennis] Allen to step in and fill that role. Those guys were locked, loaded, and ready to go.”

On the defense:

“You can’t say enough about what they did, to pitch a shutout like that against a [Tom] Brady-led offense is incredible. So, I can’t say enough good things. I think part of our play calling and all that was reflective of how well they were playing and how much confidence we had in them. They played incredibly well.”

On the team’s current mindset:

“We are aware of the situation. We are 7-7 now and we are doing everything we can to get to the playoffs. We have to approach every game like it’s a playoff game. We are aware of the situation and what’s in front of us. We are going to continue to battle and do everything we can to get in the playoffs.”

Demario Davis

On Dennis Allen:

“He (Allen) gave a game ball to everybody on the team, just congratulating the win. I wanted to give him a game ball, but I wasn’t going to step outside my job responsibilities. But he definitely deserves it. He’s a great leader. He took his leadership to the next notch. It’s a ‘next man up’ league, and when Sean [Payton] went down he stepped up. Did a phenomenal job just pretty much being the same guy and extending himself outside our room to the entire team and made sure we were locked in on the gameplan that Sean had put in place for us and made sure that the team knew the importance of coming in and executing it. He did a great job.”

On Dennis Allen’s game plan:

“He’s one of the smartest coaches I ever been around. He’s smart and can anticipate what other teams are doing. He doesn’t overthink himself or over-complicate it or try to stop everything, he just understands what they’re going to do before they’re going to do it and does a good job of teaching us that and puts in gameplans that are simple enough to execute but complex enough to keep other teams on their toes. He’s one of the best that I’ve been around. Just a special coach and it’s a lot of fun playing for him.”

CJ Gardner-Johnson

On his interception:

“I’m a ball player. Ball players make big time plays in the game. I knew how close the game was, I knew with them guys having guys down, I had to make a play. Can’t force it but… we need to win. That’s it.”

On Dennis Allen:

“We just appreciate D.A. [Dennis Allen] for letting us be ball players. We don’t really complain, we just thank him for letting us go out there and be us, and just do the best we can do.”

Cam Jordan

On getting to 100 career sacks:

“It feels amazing to win. It feels super to be a part of a defensive line that ended up with what, four sacks on Tom Brady? The fact that this was a byproduct that happened in this game against a divisional opponent. I’m going to worry about that after the season. I’m trying to stick to my guns here about talking about accolades until after the season, but it feels good. God has blessed me truly to not only be healthy, to play throughout the whole game, to play these last 11 years, to accumulate the amount of sacks that I have. I mean I first and foremost want to thank you know, Jesus Christ. I want to thank the ‘fam’ for being the foundation and ‘Pops’ for giving me the bloodline to be able to put something like this together.”

On Dennis Allen:

“I don’t know. Is he allowed to leave? I’m going to do the opposite. What can I say bad about him? I’m not helping him leave (laughs). But no, when you think about what he’s able to do with the x’s and o’s. God knows I don’t know everything about what happens behind me. I rely on guys to be exactly who they are. But when you talk about Dennis Allen and what he brings to our defense, he brings that edge. He’s poised. I mean you know he loves blitzing quarterbacks. I love running to four d-lineman. So, we have some conflict there. But is that a negative? That means he has to with us, right? I’m not helping you guys get him to another job.”

On Tom Brady’s fumble:

“Everybody knows Tom is a scrambler. When he goes, we have to be able to get after him. We made him uncomfortable in the pocket that he tried to get out. Marcus [Davenport], I thought he had him and again, scrambler Tom took off and we were able to make a play and get off the field and put our offense back on the field. Put ourselves in a great position to make a run at this game where we ended up 9-0. Who would’ve thought that would have been the final score of the game? We go into the fourth quarter and we’re all rallying. Look, we’re up 6-0, they don’t score, we win. Who would’ve thought that we were putting up three points on the board and finished the game the way we did?”

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