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Important quotes after the Saints preseason win over the Chargers include high praise for a local Louisiana product

The second year UDFA is starting to impress.

Los Angeles Chargers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Head coach Dennis Allen

On the win, generally:

“Good to get a win. It’s good to see offensively, I thought there that the first half we had a good rhythm offensively and thought we did some really good things (with) Jameis (Winston) and Andy (Dalton) at the quarterback position. (I) Thought Mark (Ingram) and Alvin (Kamara) had a couple of nice runs in there. It’s good to get some points. It’s good to get some points at the end of the first half. Defensively we started out three and out which was good. I didn’t like the explosive play or the third and long. It was not the best call I’ve ever made. They ended up scoring a touchdown on that drive. (I) Didn’t think the tackling was good as we need to in the first half, but I thought we kind of responded in the second half. We were much better on third down in the second half and tackled a lot better. We did what we needed to do to win the game.”

On seeing his starters play together:

“Yeah, you wanted to get Jameis out there in some game action. It’s been a while since he’s, he’s been in that environment. Jarvis Landry is a new player in our system so it was good to kind of get him out and playing. Marcus Maye and Tyrann Mathieu out there playing together. So, obviously we’re going to take a look at the film and there’s certainly a lot of things that we were still putting up, but (I’m) overall pleased with the result.”

On the play of Jameis Winston:

“I thought he was confident in the pocket. I thought he was decisive with his reads. There were a couple of plays where he really stepped up in there and rifled the ball in. So I was impressed with what he was able to do. It was good to see.”

On trimming the roster to 53 men:

“Well, a lot of tough decisions. You know, I think by Tuesday at three o’clock our time I think it is we’ve got to get down to 53 players on the roster. And so we’re going to go back and reevaluate this tape. There will be a lot of meetings, a lot of discussions to make sure we’re keeping the right 53 for the New Orleans Saints and what we feel like gives us the best opportunity to win.”

On Kirk Merritt:

“Yeah, yeah. Look, I think there was a lot of things that were encouraging. There certainly (are) still some things that we’d love to see him clean up a little bit. We had one alignment error that cost us a penalty, so yeah, there were some encouraging things, but yeah, I think he’s still got some development to do.”

On Justin Evans:

“Well look, I’ll be honest with you that was one of the areas that we had a discussion with him [Evans] about improvement in that area. So that’ll be part of the evaluation process, but he made a nice play punching that ball out and there’s another, I think it was a third down stop, that he made a nice play on to so he’s a guy that’s caught my eye a little bit.”

QB Jameis Winston

On what it felt to be back:

“Grateful. I’m so grateful just to be back in the dome (Caesars Superdome), playing in front of our fans.”

On the first drive:

“There is always room for improvement. We want to (work through) some procedural things. Like I said, I’m just grateful for the opportunity to be back.”

On if he feels ready for the first game:

“Like I say, I am grateful for every chance I receive out there on the field. I’m happy that I was able to go out and execute today.”

On getting tackled:

“I know that’s going to happen. Like I said, I’m just grateful that I was able to be out there with my teammates and compete, and be back out there in the dome (Caesars Superdome) in front of these fans.”

LB Eric Wilson

On playing in the Super Dome:

“I loved it. I have played here before when I was on the (Minnesota) Vikings. I love it being our home stadium. The fans get involved. They get loud and I appreciate that.”

On the play of the defensive starters:

“The plan was to start strong and start fast. I think we did that. Even going forward when some guys went out, we played really well. They had a couple of drives. Sometimes you are going to get punched in the mouth and it is how you respond to that. I think after that we responded well on offense, defense and special teams.

RB Mark Ingram II

On the offense’s first drive:

(On the first drive):“I felt like we did well. We had the two penalties that took away some good plays. We need to clean that up, but we were able to overcome it. We put together two good drives and scored touchdowns. It’s definitely what you want. We started out real well as far as coming out (of) the gate. We had a long drive with successful plays. We want to get rid of the penalties, but we were able to get into the end zone despite the bad things that we did. It was good.”

On Jameis Winston’s play:

“He was comfortable. He was high energy. He started the game. He’s a great leader and he was poised. I think he drove us down the field. We got a touchdown. He stood in there and made some good throws. He got us in and out the huddle and that’s what you want from your guy. I think he did a great job.”

WR Kirk Merritt

On scoring a touchdown:

“Just being able to play here and score in the endzone is a feeling like no other. I ran an ally split on a delay route. Ian (Book) trusted me enough to throw the ball and I’m really appreciative of that.”

On if he thinks he’ll make the team:

“I’m going to leave it up to the coaches to decide that. It is all out of my hands. I did what I could do for the preseason. Hopefully it is enough.”