Saints Head Coach Dennis Allen (12.24.22)


On if relying on the run game was part of today’s gameplan due to the weather conditions:

“Yes, that was the plan coming in. The No. 1 thing I want to say is that we talked all week that this game was going to be a game about mental toughness, and I thought our guys showed incredible grit. Starting out the game, we went down 10-0, but they fought back, got the field goal at the end of the first half, came right back out in the second half and got the touchdown, and then after the interception, we were able to take the lead. Then the defense goes out and finishes the game. I have a lot of respect for all of the guys that are in that locker room. I think they showed a lot of fight today. We knew the weather conditions were going to be a big factor, and we knew we were going to have to be able to run the football and run the football well. I thought all of the guys when we put the ball in their hands did an outstanding job of running the ball.”


On if he could feel the Saints starting to gain momentum with the drive to open the third quarter:

“Yeah, we came back out to start the second half with the wind in our favor so we knew it was going to be important to take advantage of that to start off the second half. We talked in the locker room that we have the first part of it done by getting points at the end of the first half and we needed to capitalize there at the start of the second half. Our guys did a great job of going down there and getting points. It felt like the momentum kind of swung in our advantage at that point.”


On if there was a reason why it took TE Taysom Hill so long to get carries:

“No, I don’t think so. I know there were some plays earlier in the game where he was involved and some of them happened to be read plays or whatever. Look, I thought we did the things we needed to do to win the game. That was run the ball effectively and stop the run pretty effectively on defense. I think they were about 3.9 per carry or something like that [3.6 yards per carry]. I felt we did those two things pretty well. If you are doing that, then you are generally probably doing something pretty well on both sides of the ball.”


On the Saints defense getting stops and then a sack on fourth down at the end of the game:

“It was awesome. None of these games in this league are ever easy. That was a great job by our guys going after them, stepping up and making plays they had to make to seal the victory. I thought that was awesome.”


On Saints S Daniel Sorenson’s interception:

“I know they were throwing an inside route. I couldn’t tell exactly who it was that got their hands on it or how the ball got tipped up. I really just kind of saw it going into Dan’s hands. Then I thought he had a hell of a run back on that play, too. Again, taking advantage of the situation and taking advantage of wind. Offense did a great job. It is one thing to get the turnover, but it is another thing to get the seven points off it so that was a huge play in the game and a big part of why we won the game.”


On the mentality to come in and get a win and what it says about the team:

“Heart and grit. It is what they have. Do you know what I mean? That is what the New Orleans Saints have been about. I know that the wins haven’t come like we had hoped, but our guys have never quit fighting. It is why I love coaching.”


On how cold it was during today’s game:

“Cold. It was cold. It was windy. We gave our equipment staff a game ball for providing us with enough to at least make it manageable for us. The weather was certainly a factor.”


On how the team prepared for tough weather conditions:

“I am going to be honest with you, here is how we prepared: we said this game was going to be about mental toughness, and the most mentally tough team was going to win. Then we didn’t really talk a lot about it because it was just another distraction to us. I thought our guys handled it great. It was a little bit of an eye opener and woke up on Friday morning and tried to walk outside. It was pretty [hard] to stand out there for very long. I thought our guys handled it awesome.”


On if the weather conditions affected strategy in the game:

“Look, we knew that the elements were going to be a factor so we definitely took that into consideration. We knew that there was probably going to be one direction that was going to be a little more difficult to kick and to throw. Then we knew that we would have a little bit of an easier time going in the opposite direction. Some of the game strategy as we went through the game and game management were really based on the wind conditions, not necessarily the cold but the wind conditions.”


On if in hindsight the Saints should have run the ball more overall:

“I think every time these games are done, you are going to start off with a gameplan and then you are going to have to adjust. I think our guys did a great job of adjusting. We did what we needed to do to win.”


On Saints CB Alontae Taylor being calm under pressure and if the confidence is rare for someone that young:

“A lot of it starts with confidence. He has a lot of confidence in himself, and we have a lot of confidence in him. He never panics when the ball is in the air. It is really good to see. He has been a welcome surprise, would be the word to say in terms of exactly what we have gotten out of him.”


On if Saints DE Carl Granderson was in coverage on the last play:

“Yes, but he wasn’t really in coverage. It was part of a four-man rush. We were just trying to get a hit on the tight end because we knew they might throw the ball to him down the seam. That is what we were doing on that play. He did a good job of executing his job, coming up and finishing it.”


On Granderson being able to secure a sack on QB Deshaun Watson:

“It says that he was able to get Deshaun Watson down. Look, Carl is a good athlete. Carl has been a good player for us. He made a great play in that situation. There were a lot of people who got some rush in there and got him out of the pocket.”


On how much the wind needed to be discussed during game prep:

“We kind of covered that a little bit. That was the major factor in terms of the weather – really the wind conditions. Honestly, we had no idea – I shouldn’t say no idea – but you don’t really know what you are dealing with until you actually get into the stadium and see what the wind is going to be like. There was certainly one direction where it felt like it affected us more than the other.”


On Saints CB Marshon Lattimore being closer to playing and when the team decided Lattimore would be inactive:

“He just wasn’t ready to go yet so we went with the guys who we had that were ready to go. Those guys went out there and performed. It was awesome to see those guys play.”


On Saints RB Alvin Kamara’s production and toughness:

“He was outstanding today. He ran the ball exceptionally well. Ran it tough. He put his pads down and got behind his pads. Just a hell of a game. I am going to let you talk to him because he is right here.”


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