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S Kevin Byard


(on if today's game was the physical struggle that they expected it to be)

I mean, we go into every game expecting a dog fight. We don't go into games thinking we are going to blow guys out. Obviously, the Saints are a really good football team. They've been a really good football team in this league for a while. No matter what quarterback they have in there, we understood that their defense was going to play pretty well. We had to match their defense. Just proud that we got a win today, that we just found a way to get a win.

(on how confident the defense is in goal line situations)

We're super confident because we put it on film before. We've done it plenty of times, getting stops down there. We could've been a lot better in the red zone though. I think they were three for four, something like that. We gave them touchdowns in the red zone. Could've been a little bit better on third downs as well. These are things we're going to get fixed, we're going to get corrected. But like I said, when it comes to those tight situations when we've got to get a stop, there's no panic on the field, there's no panic on the sideline. We just keep defending every blade of grass.

(on if he questioned the personal foul called against him and if it felt egregious)

Yeah, I didn't feel like it. Obviously, I've got to see the replay and watch the film. I wasn't really thinking about it like that on the field. I was just thinking, 'Man, that's a bad play or a bad penalty for me with the defense, giving them some good field position.' But we'll see. Hopefully I don't get fined, but it is what it is.

(on if the team relishes the dirty and lucky games in which they've been involved)

Honestly, we don't want them to be like that, but at the end of the day when it comes down to it, we understand that we've been battle-tested. We understand what kind of defense we have. Before that last drive, we were just on the sideline saying, 'Hey, this is about greatness.' We were talking about being a great team, trying to have a great record, trying to keep winning games. These are the type of situations that we've got to go out there and play well. Obviously, they drove the ball down, but we ended up getting the stops that we needed to get, especially on that two-point conversion.

(on linebacker Dylan Cole coming off the practice squad to play today and what it says about the team's culture to have players stepping up each week)

We talk about it all the time. It's stuff that we stress, that if you have a jersey on, you've got to go out there and make a play. We have high expectations for everybody on the field. So, when we don't make a play, we've got to hold each other accountable. I'm just proud of him being in a tough situation. I think last week when he came out to L.A., he was in L.A., had to fly to Nashville, and flew right back to L.A. Just being ready and being prepared for the moment. I'm just proud of him to make a play.

(on cornerback Kristian Fulton's return and what he saw out of him)

I think he made a lot of plays today. For a guy who's been out of the field for a while, you expect that he would go out there and have to knock some rust off, but I think that he played pretty well, played physical, made some plays for us. We're going to need to see Kristian (Fulton) continue to make those plays because we feel like he could be a great corner for us.

(on Head Coach Mike Vrabel telling all players in team meetings that they should be ready to play and what that means to the team this year)

I feel like it's a long time coming as far as we play 10 games straight, but we understand that every team in the league is dealing with injuries. We're not going to use that as a crutch or an excuse. The reason why guys came in and made plays, that's why we're in meeting rooms, especially in the DB room. We understand that usually everybody is going to play in some form or some fashion, so guys have to be locked in continuously in the meeting rooms, knowing what they need to do on the practice field. We're just trying to hold everybody accountable.

(on how well the team is clicking after six straight wins)

Honestly, it feels great. We understand that the past few games we've played against playoff teams, it's great. We've proven that we can beat these good teams. Obviously, they aren't handing out Lombardi Trophies just yet, but I feel like going into these tough matches that we play, we can go into these games with a lot of confidence. We're not going to be complacent. We understand that the confidence is not going to breed success, but we just have to go out there and keep doing what we're doing. I just feel like we're battle-tested.

(on how defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons is changing what's happening for the entire defense)

It's big for us. He's been a leader down there. He's been a tone-setter. We really respect Jeff (Simmons) and everything he's doing for this team. I talked about it before, me and Jeff talk all the time. He expects me to make plays, and I expect him to make plays. I feel like for us as a defense, to continue to have success with what we're doing, our best players have got to play well down the stretch and Jeff's playing well.

(on beating playoff teams and how the team can carry that over to next week against a divisional opponent that is not a playoff team)

I think that's going to be a big emphasis this week knowing the performance that we put out there against the Jets. I think we have to make sure that we have a lot of confidence. Our locker room is a real confident bunch, but at the end of the day, that's not going to just guarantee us a win. We have to go out there and play. We've got to go out there and prepare against every team. It's a division game, so regardless of what the records are, they're going to go out there and fight hard. We know each other well, so they'll put a good plan together against us. We have to make sure that we're locked in on all three phases.

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