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Important Saints quotes after the game include high praise for Jameis Winston and Juwan Johnson

This duo could be special.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Payton

On the win, generally:

“I felt like it was a good win for us. This early in the season I thought we played a really good, complementary game. Time of possession, rushing yards, all the numbers we talk about when you look at the call sheet at the end of the game and all three units were really good. I am sure when we watch the tape there will be a bunch of things that we have to get cleaned up because early in the season all of these teams, us included, are in a race to get better. But I was proud of how they played, I thought we were physical and played with a lot of energy.”

On Jameis Winston’s decision-making:

“Those were big plays that ultimately helped us with the first field goal. I thought he played very well. He was locked in, focused, we spread the ball around and we’re going to go through that tape and look at some of the throws and there might be a progression or two but I thought he played very well.”

On the performance of the defense:

“Look, we’re playing, if you went back and read the reports, one of the top third down teams and one of the top overall total offensive teams. There’s so many things that they have been able to do well. Those guys on the backend played exceptionally well. I thought we rushed them, contained the rush, we got some turnovers and we did it against one of the better quarterbacks that this league has seen in a long time.”

On the decision to go for it on fourth-and-seven:

“You have to pick your spots where you want to be aggressive and it’s a little bit easier on that end of the field even though, call it the 40, I felt pretty good about the calls we had. Sometimes in a game you want to use a call and you’ve already used it but I felt pretty good about what we had.”

On the decision to relocate to Jacksonville:

“We felt like the hotter the better, and it’s no disrespect but let’s just say this game was in the winter time and the circumstances were flipped you’d get a team like Chicago, Cleveland finding cold weather against a team that plays in a dome so we appreciate that we had this. The surface was great, the people of Jacksonville were great.”

Jameis Winston

On the win, generally:

“We did that for them. We knew how much it would mean to get a victory. They’ve been through so much, and for us to celebrate this victory with them is amazing. Hats off to (the people of New Orleans) for their resilience. They inspired us to go out there and ball.”

On his decision-making:

“Drew (Brees) always preached that “it’s about the decision, not the result”. Sometimes the decision is throwing the ball away, sometimes the decision is tucking it and running, and sometimes the decision is to take a sack. The more times we make the right decisions, the game will take care of itself.”

On the deep touchdown to Deonte Harris:

“When Sean (Payton) called that play, I told him I was going to throw it (to Harris). I was on Deonte all day, “keep your speed, it is going to come”. Sean called an amazing game. The offensive line did an excellent job. With the way we dominated the line of scrimmage and the running game, I knew it (deep ball) was eventually going to come. It was open, and we hit it.”

On if the fourth-and-seven play:

“Well, I had a feeling what play he (Coach Payton) was going to go with. I told him I really didn’t want to come off the field, but that’s just who coach is. Before the game I told him it was a privilege to finally hear his voice on the (helmet) mic. We have to keep getting better and we’re going to keep growing. It was a great complementary win today.”

On Juwan Johnson:

“I was excited, man. I told him that was from countless hours of working together in the offseason and building a rapport. He showed up today. I told him before the game, “when you’re in the game, I’m going to be throwing you the ball”. I think he did a good job of going up and making some big catches for us. It was really a great team effort. We had some people stand out, but our defense was outstanding. When you hold Aaron Rodgers to 1-10 on third down, that’s just incredible. Our offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage. When you’re able to hold one of the top offenses from last year to 3 possessions in a half, that’s the type of stuff we preach about doing: dominating the line of scrimmage and playing complimentary football. That’s how you win football games.”

On his confidence in Juwan Johnson and Sean Payton on the fourth down call in the first half:

“I trust Sean wholeheartedly. Anytime he’s speaking to me and talking about details, I tell him “Coach, I trust you. We are always going to rock with you”. With the specific look on that play with them playing a soft zone coverage, screens are very good against that. We had Za’Darius Smith on Juwan (Johnson), so we knew there was going to be a good rush. We set him up and Juwan slipped right in. The offensive line did a great job of building a wall for him to get behind and he did a great job to pick up that extra yardage.”


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