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Important quotes after Saints preseason loss to Texans

Andy Dalton gives the Saints one of the NFL’s best backups.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Dennis Allen

On the loss, generally:

“Obviously, first preseason game, I saw a lot of things that I really liked out there in the game. Obviously, there are some things that we have to get cleaned up. The ball was on the ground too many times. Three turnovers in the game, especially one down there on the goal line that took some points off the board. We’ve got to get that aspect cleaned up. But I was pleased with the way the first units went in there and played. Offensively, a 10-play drive for a touchdown and defensively we go three and out and get them off the field. So that was encouraging to see. Look, we’ll get back to look at the tape and have a better evaluation. But there were some good things I saw tonight.”

On Andy Dalton:

“I thought he did a nice job moving us down the field. I thought he operated in the pocket well. I think he was 5-for-5 on that drive. I thought we did a couple of good things in the run game. I think Andy did a really good job of operating the offense. We kind of had a plan to get 10 to 15 plays, and getting 10 plays and a touchdown. We felt we had seen enough and we went on to the second phase.”

On the running backs behind Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram:

“I thought they ran the ball hard. Again, we’ll look at the tape to see exactly how they read it. But I felt like they ran the ball hard. You know, obviously, we’ve got to protect the ball better. We had the ball on the ground from the running back position. So we’ve got to do a better job there.”

On Abram Smith’s fumble:

“You can’t put the ball on the ground. You know? So that’s a huge negative when you do that. I will say this: I thought he looked explosive running the football. I thought there was a couple of really good runs that he made. But it doesn’t matter how many good things you do. If you put the ball on the ground, that’s an issue.”

On team goals as they prepare for Green Bay next week:

“You know, just like improving. Continue to work to get better. We’re going to have an opportunity to go up against a really good football team. They’re a really good offense, really good defense. They played well in the kicking game. So it will be a good opportunity for us to challenge ourselves against another good football team.”

Andy Dalton

On his play:

“When you talk about these first preseason games, you know you’re only going to get 10 to 15 snaps. That’s how you want the drive to go. Did some good things. Completed some passes and converted some third downs and got down there, and we were able to score a bunch when we got in the red zone. If you can draw it up, that’s exactly how you do it.”

On the Dwayne Washington touchdown play call:

“Yeah, it was a great call. And anytime you can get the linemen out in front on those screens, then you’ve got a shot. And so, Erik did a great job. And Dwayne did a great job cutting back, finding his way into the end zone. It was a great call and good execution by us.”

On how this Saints team compares to other teams he’s been on:

“I feel we’ve got a lot of talent. For me, when you get to free agency and you get the opportunity to join a team like this, you get excited because of the type of people that they have here. The locker room’s great, the staff is exactly what you want, and everybody’s on the same page. So, I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do this year.”

On his goals as Jameis Winston’s backup:

“I think exactly what I was able to do tonight. Just the execution of it all. You want it to be smooth in and out of the huddle, make sure the communication is there. And you want to put drives together like we were able to do to start this one off.”

On offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael:

“I thought Pete did a great job. And we knew the openers going into it. So for us, it’s just kind of being dialed in, making sure we know the execution of it. And like I said, there’s a lot of different scenarios. Converting third downs and different things. It was a good start for us.”

Lovie Smith

On whether he called conservative plays to not give away too much of the playbook:

“Everything we do is about getting ready for Indy. We wanted to just play some base football. I don’t think you accomplish an awful lot by blitzing, doing a lot of trick ‘em plays. You don’t get a chance to really see how good your football players are. So the balance goes, first preseason game, we don’t do an awful lot. Dennis (Allen) had the same approach. We kind of play vanilla football so we could get a good evaluation of our players. But as the preseason goes along, you start adding more. And one of our games that we have, we’ll treat it more like a game situation, getting ready for the season.”