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Important quotes after the game include high praise for Cam Jordan

Cam Jordan is peaking at the right team of the regular season.

Wild Card Round - Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

Sean Payton

On the importance of the win:

“Look, it was our last opportunity to play at home. We always kind of talk about, when we hear people say, ‘must win games’, today was a must win game. Other than that, any game prior is not, that just means you have to win that game. Our guys understood that, and this was a good win to get.”

On Cam Jordan:

“Listen, he has played well for a long time here. It’d be hard to give it one of those “best ever’s”, but he’s certainly playing awfully well. It has been important to how we play defensively and important to how we have played as a team. It is impressive.”

On Taysom Hill:

“Yeah, it was kind of up and down at times, but he led us on key drives. He missed a throw or two. I’m sure he’ll want some of those back, but it’s another win under his belt. We will have a chance to look at the tape and really look through the sequencing of the plays to give him a grade. I was happy with the win, and you know, ball security was important. He did a good job with that.”

On CJ Gardner-Johnson:

“I think it’s hard to imagine a good defense without energy. I can’t think of one historically. He’s part of that and you know, I think you have to be a good player to play with the confidence that he does, and he is. That emotion and energy, but also the effort you see from him (is outstanding).”

On the defense:

“Yeah, look, you go back two weeks ago to the win at Tampa Bay. We felt the matchups were going to be good and I was really pleased with how we played. I thought we controlled the field position for the most part. It felt like there was a half where we were on one position of the field. That’s a big reason right now why we’re at 8 wins, because of our defense. I think it was outstanding we played the way we did with the turnovers and takeaways. It’s not an ever statement, that’s just the way we unfolded.”

On Marquez Callaway:

“Look, we’ve seen those improvements since last year. Sometimes it’s coverage-based with where he plays. I love the way he plays the ball in traffic. I think that’s one of his strong suits. We gave him a lot of opportunities today and those were important plays.”

Taysom Hill

On chemistry with Marquez Callaway:

“This goes back to training camp. We have had so many conversations about Quez since July, so this doesn’t feel unfamiliar to me. Quez is a guy that I trust, and you just have to give him opportunities. I will continue to do that, and he will continue to make plays.”

On the play of the defense:

“This is not new; our defense has been outstanding all season long. As an offense, you know you have a great defense that is playing very well. It’s part of a team game of football and it’s what we do. But I am not surprised. My hat goes off to them for a great effort from start to finish. As you said, it is such a great asset as a quarterback to feel like you don’t need to press or that you don’t need to push knowing those guys are going to prevent a lot of points from being scored.”

CJ Gardner-Johnson

On Cam Jordan:

“He sets the tone for this defense. When Cam brings himself to work, Cam’s Cam. There isn’t a day he doesn’t show up to work. To have a presence like that on the edge and to have a dominant presence up front is something we can feed off of. Can’t do anything but keep giving Cam all-time praise and keep stacking those sacks. Congratulations to him because it’s just going to keep going, he deserves it.”

On PJ Williams:

“That’s the vet. The guy taught me everything I know since I got here, and that is why I play nickel. It is just an honor to be playing with a guy like that. He’s been with this team through ups and downs. So just to see a guy be able to go out there to grind, fight, and just be him. Unfortunate circumstances today and we held him down as a team today. I think we made him proud today and I’m sure he is happy himself. I just love being teammates with PJ and learning from him.”

Demario Davis

On if the Saints defense plays better when Cam Jordan plays better:

“Most certainly. He has proven that he is one of the most effective defensive ends in the game. Just the ability to wreak havoc on offense and so certainly he’s playing the way he’s been playing. It affects the offense tremendously just because of the run game they can’t get on track because of them having to account an extra guy in the pass game. It was just a tremendous performance by him a tremendous performance by the guys in the back there and we certainly have to have that type of play coming down the stretch.”

On if CJ Gardner-Johnson is a key to the defense:

“My coach says that every week. He played big today and had a phenomenal effort. Again, he’s another player that is effective in the run game and the pass game. When they run his way, he is able to make plays in the backfield. He can take the ball away in the pass game. It was a phenomenal effort by him and the rest of the guys on the back end holding what can be an explosive offense to limited plays.”

On the coaching staff:

“It starts at the top with Sean (Payton) and how he leads and guides us. The injuries that they have had to overcome of the offensive side of the ball and all of the shifting that had to take place. I remember earlier in the season we only had four offensive coaches for one game. It was like that on special teams. We have Pro Bowl players on the special teams unit. On the defensive side, every can see the level that the defense playing. That begins with DA (Dennis Allen) and all the other (defensive) coaches. The things that have taken place this season and the coaches have continued to shift around and to get us to play at a high level no matter who’s on the field. To have a shot at the end of the year, you have to give credit where credit’s due. I am not taking away from the players on the field, but the coaches have been a big part of that success.”

Cam Jordan

On his play the last few weeks:

“It’s like the stocks. There is self-correction. It’s the season. It’s a marathon. It’s not a short sprint. Early this year I was missing a lot of guys. Once my D-line came back, then we came back strong. You start getting those double and triple teams early in the season. When our D-line came back, then they just can focus on me. That’s where you see the change. It’s a full blown push from the defensive line. We have always played the run well. That is why I don’t look at the sack numbers. Look at my entire game. I play first down. I play second down. I play third down. I play overtime. I play whatever it takes to win. That’s with all of the guys. Don’t just look at one facet of our game. We are not just edge rushers. We are edge defenders and I think that goes a little bit further than sacks.”

On his sacks coming in bunches lately:

“I think my D-line coach (Ryan Nielsen) has done a phenomenal job of just cooling me down. There is so much that I want to do in a game. It’s just take a breather. Once the D-line is at full speed they can’t just focus on one person. I’m going to give it up to the entire D-line and all of the work that we have put in. What we do on the defensive line and the way that we attack practice and push each other to be better, that’s where I see real culture. That’s why I don’t worry about the sack numbers. You guys worry about the sack numbers. We can talk about sacks, accolades and whatever else after the season. What’s important to me is pushing my defensive line to be the best that they can be.”

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