*Head Coach Bruce Arians *
"Not participating [today were] Carlton Davis with a hip, Demar Dotson [with] just a vet day off, Anthony Nelson with a hamstring and M.J. Stewart with a knee. [It was a] good start to the week. Obviously, it's an excellent team coming in here. [They are] a little bit different with Drew [Brees] than with Teddy [Bridgewater]. Obviously, Michael Thomas and Drew have a heck of a combination going with all the targets he had last week, but it will be a big challenge and same thing defensively."
(On the team's decision to waive CB Vernon Hargreaves III)
"The statement said everything."
(On how he would judge QB Jameis Winston's performance after nine games this season)
"The last [three], very good – I think three for sure. [He is] still a little bit up and down at times, but [in] two-minute situations and bringing us from behind, he's been excellent."
(On how difficult it was to waive Hargreaves with the cornerbacks dealing with injuries)
(On if he is hoping that the decision will serve as a message on accountability to the team)
"Yeah, I don't really want to get into it, but it's a decision Jason [Licht] and I made."
(On if he thinks CB Carlton Davis III will be able to play)
"We'll see tomorrow."
(On what makes Saints WR Michael Thomas difficult to defend)
"He's big, strong, physical and he can separate. He's got quickness for a big guy, very much so like Mike Evans, but he's long. He doesn't drop many passes, that's for sure. He's legit."
(On if he will look at previous seasons when evaluating QB Jameis Winston)
"I don't [care] about the last [four]. I only care about when I had him. It doesn't have [anything] to do with the Saints."
(On what the timeframe on CB M.J. Stewart's recovery is)
"Possibly three to four [weeks]."
(On if increased playing time is an opportunity for the young defensive backs to continue their growth)
"Yeah, I think they learned about preparation. Mike Edwards needs to get out there and join that crew. I think all those guys, I've got confidence in that they'll do a heck of a job. They've got a heck of a task in front of them."
(On if he expected CB Jamel Dean to respond the way he did on Sunday after his performance in Week 9 at Seattle)
"I knew [Jamel] Dean would. That's just his makeup. He was embarrassed and he went out and fixed it."
(On if he thought the defensive backs would respond the way they did to his prior comments regarding their performance)
"Yeah, I would hope. I try to just tell the truth."
(On if waiving a player in the middle of the season is a sudden or cumulative decision)
"It's a cumulative thing."
(On C Ryan Jensen's progression)
"He's doing a heck of a job. He does all the identification up there and he's playing at a really high level right now. I love his attitude when he plays."
(On if there will be representatives from the organization at QB Colin Kaepernick's tryout on Saturday)
"I'm not going, but we usually have somebody at all of those type of workouts, so [we'll] see what's up."
(On the league's decision to schedule the tryout)
"I don't really have an opinion on it."
(On if the tryout being on a Saturday discourages coaches from attending)
"I don't know of any coaches going anyway unless it's on his campus."
(On his comments on the officiating)
"Don't get me fined now [laughs]."
(On how much his previous fine was for commenting on the officiating)
(On if he was surprised that he wasn't fined)
"Not really. The truth comes across sometimes [laughs]."
(On being conscientious of when to challenge a non-call in relation to how many challenges he has remaining)
"That's where I probably lean on Larry [Rose] a little bit more. I haven't had anybody in the past – I always just had to gut it. Larry stays abreast of all those things. We know the crew we've got. We kind of know what's been handed out from New York and what hasn't. I still think Larry Fitzgerald – that pass interference was on him, but I still lose."
(On the discussions between him and the officials throughout a game)
"If you ask them, they'll say there is no line with me."
(On if he does not hold back his words when talking to officials)
(On if the officials do not take his words personally)
"Yeah, it's all good. They know when they come in the locker room before the game what it's going to be like."
(On if playing hard is his biggest point of emphasis with the players)
"Yes – you control your attitude and your effort. You don't control a lot of things, but you control those two and they better be good."
(On the potential RB Ronald Jones II has in the screen game)
"I think even more than just screens – just being a receiver. He's starting to build confidence in his hands, his route running ability is starting to grow [and] that tree of his has grown a little bit as we get more comfortable with him. When he gets the ball in his hands, a lot of great things can happen, so the more you can use him [the better]."
(On the work that Running Backs Coach Todd McNair has done with Jones II)
"Todd's done a great job with him on and off the field."
(On what kind of challenge it will be for the young defensive backs when facing Saints WR Michael Thomas)
"You can be a 10-year vet – it's a challenge. Those two guys have been playing together. Drew [Brees] knows when the ball is coming out [and] when Michael is going to break. For one guy to cover him, it's tough."
(On if all of the cornerbacks are being trained to play in the slot and on the outside)
(On what he has seen from CB Mazzi Wilkins)
"He's a competitor. I loved him in the preseason. He gives us everything he has out there every single day and I really like his future."
(On if he was concerned about Wilkins' speed)
"He plays fast. A lot of guys don't time fast [but] they play fast. He plays fast."
(On if he is alright with his wife, Christine, or son, Jake, commenting on the officiating on social media)
"I have no control over that. I don't fight it either – I'm losing."
(On Blake Shelton giving him a shout out on The Voice)
"He's a good friend."
Quarterback Jameis Winston
(On DL Vita Vea lining up on offense on the goal-to-go situation in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game)
"He's a monster. He got us in there. He willed us in the end zone – he and Peyton [Barber]. It just shows the type of player he is to play probably 60-something snaps on defense and come over to the offensive side and help us get the ball in there. We'll probably get him the ball pretty soon."
(On what it meant for the offense to score the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter)
"It was good, but that's what you want. That's what we go in expecting every week. We know we've got to earn it. I'm very happy that our defense had bounced back and had an incredible game with Jamel [Dean] getting that basically game-clinching interception, so big ups to him. But, we go into every game knowing that we have to finish. Coach B.A. (Bruce Arians) says it all the time – the first five minutes of the third quarter and the last five minutes of the game is where you win."
(On what goes into being successful in two-minute offense situations)
"I just think the guys having great awareness of where they're at on the field. We've been having good protection and we've been having good calls, so [it's] a culmination of all that. If we do our job, we're a tough team to stop."
(On if he goes into a two-minute drive knowing what defensive looks he will see)
"Definitely – that falls into the preparation of knowing what the team is going to come with, what type of pressures they may have, what's their main coverage and we go off that."
(On his reaction to the team waiving CB Vernon Hargreaves III)
"It was eye-opening to me, but I know Vernon, I know the type of player that he is. I've been playing against him for a long time – I know he's going to bounce back and he'll be a superstar again."
(On if the decision sends a message to the team about accountability)
"No, I think that's just something that we hold ourselves to – every one of us individually – is just being dependable and being accountable, and that's just our job."
(On CB Jamel Dean and other defensive backs putting in extra time last week to study film)
"It says a lot about them. It speaks volumes on the coaching staff spending that quality time with them and them being engaged and wanting to learn, because we are young. For them to just want to gain more knowledge, get more comfortable with the scheme and know the positions that they're being put in, it shows that they care, and the fact that they care is the only thing we can ask from them."
(On the defense being able to create turnovers after the offense turned the ball over on Sunday)
"That's the big thing – when your defense gets turnovers, you want to score touchdowns. When you put your defense in a bad position, you want them to get you the ball back. I just think that's called being great teammates – not saying, 'Why are we in this situation?,' but going over there and saying, 'How can we make the best of this?,' and finding a way to get the job done."
(On where he is now in being decisive with the ball compared to where he was going into the first matchup against the Saints)
"I'd just say I'm continuing to get better every single week. They have a good front and they'll do a lot of new things, but we've got to be good at what we do and we'll be fine."
(On what C Ryan Jensen has done to take his game to another level this season)
"People don't really understand – last year was like Ryan's first full year of playing center. So, I just think he's owned the position that he's in. He knows that he's a leader for us and it's me and him making the show go, and he's just done an incredible job. I love Ryan, and just to speak a lot about him, he goes out and [is] having great games in and out, but last Saturday we just were at his house celebrating his son's birthday party, and then he goes out there and has a great game, so talking about being a great player and a great father. Shouts out to Ryan."
(On Jensen drawing personal foul penalties)
"Again, l think it's different with him playing some guard and being in and out at center before he was a full-on center. That's the type of mentality that we want our offensive linemen to have. I think he's doing a better job of being decisive when to do that, but he's done an excellent job for us. I love that I've got him as a center and he just needs to keep doing what he's doing."
(On if a lot of rookies don't realize how much extra work is required to be a successful professional player)
"I think it's just a choice. Some people have natural ability, but when people really care about if they messed up or how they can get better, they spend that extra time. It just shows you the type of guys that we have in our locker room that are dedicated to wanting to be great and make this football team better."
(On WR Mike Evans being 76 yards away from 1,000 on the season)
"I'm pretty lucky to have that guy, Mike Evans. I'm just excited for him – he's definitely going to be a Hall of Famer one day. But, we've got to keep on giving him the ball and we're going to find a way to give him the rock this game."
(On how important winning one-on-one matchups is against a team that they are familiar with)
"It's huge. They're going to give us a chance to execute and we've just got to do it. One thing when you know an opponent – it's just going to be 'Mano a mano.' We've got to play our best football, expecting them to play their best football, and whoever does the best out of each, will win the game."
(On what he remembers about CB John Franklin III from when he played at Florida State)
"I remember he was a quarterback when I was at FSU, but he's an incredible talent. [I'm] excited to see him out there today with us and I just know he can play – he's a football player. That's one thing I do know about him – he's a football player. I'd rather be a football player than just have talent any day of the week."
(On what it's like to play for Head Coach Bruce Arians when he is fighting for the players)
"It's incredible playing for B.A. (Bruce Arians) because he's fighting for all of us. [There] isn't any hiding about it. He's going to give it all he's got and that's what he expects from us. That's just the type of love that we have in this locker room with this team. That's how our coaches are and he leads the pack."
(On the term 'No risk it, no biscuit')
"B.A. has a lot of those one-liners – those slogans."
(On Blake Shelton calling Arians one of his idols on The Voice)
"I don't watch The Voice that much [laughter], but B.A. is the man – swaggy."
(On if players coming in for treatment and lifting on 'Victory Monday' shows the commitment of this team)
"Yeah, absolutely. It's victory Monday, but we know we've still got to work and it's onto the next week. We're just trying to go 1-0 every week."
(On if wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin should both be voted to the Pro Bowl)
"I just want to keep doing my best to get both of them the ball, so [there] isn't any doubt in the fans' minds that they both deserve to be in that game."