What Dan Quinn had to say after the 20-17 win over the Saints

Here’s what Falcons coach Dan Quinn had to say after the Falcons improved to 8-5 with a 20-17 win over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday:

Opening Statement:
"As a team, we want to thank the fans. The energy tonight was great. We asked for it during the week, and they certainly answered. I hope everyone gets to use the hall pass we put on there, it's good until noon. Today you've heard me talk about resiliency and what we stand for as a group of guys, and that really came out tonight. With the team during the week, we talked about if would we be at our best at two-minute and four-minute times today. I had a sense it would be that way with this game. The situations were going to be important in the two-minute and four-minute, and we certainly performed better on third downs tonight on both sides. I thought that was the story of the game. All the way to the end we went for it, and I thought Deion Jones made a terrific play to cap it off. We had a sense it would go all the way down to the end."

On the vantage point of the interception:
"Yeah, I can't wait to see it. Anytime you have to take a while to land, you know you're up there. He definitely went up and reached for it. In terms of his ability to go make plays, it showed up again tonight. That's part of the preparation and that's part of him, the athlete. Those guys on defense stood up and showed a lot of resiliency."

On how the defense held on at the end of the game:
"We didn't know which phase it was going to come down to at the end. We hadn't even talked about that. ... Was it going to be the two-minute offense to go after the touchdown, or would the defense have to get a stop to answer? It wasn't all pretty. There were things for us that we'll clean up moving forward. Tonight, we knew it was going to be a hard-fought battle. I thought the team, on a short week, did an excellent job in their preparation to get ready. Like I said, I love this team and what they stand for as a group of guys."

On whether he felt like the Falcons had a well-balanced attack on the ground:
"It certainly felt that way, and that was part by design. We're at our best when we're able to feature the runners in their way and get our play-action game going. We'll go back and look at it again tomorrow. That's always by design with us, as well as having a chance to be physical in the run game.

On his thought process of declining a Saints penalty late in the game:
"I thought they were going to kick it. You don't get those do-overs to go. I know how good they are. I thought that here's a fourth-down stop, and they would kick it to tie it. That's why we were trying to use the timeouts there. That was really the only reason. We didn't want to move it back some and give them a chance at a potential first down. So, I really thought they'd kick it. That's why we declined it. I thought about it because I knew how close it was. In that situation, they had to choose whether to go tie it or go for it. They made the call, went for it, and we weren't able to stop it."

On whether he thought he should've taken the penalty:
"Yes, 100 percent. I didn't call timeout. It was definitely one that I thought through. After that, you make your decision. Then you say let's go for it and see where it goes from here. We had a good third-down stop on the play prior. You take your best shot and your best play to go for it."

On how he feels when the offense is struggling:
"I don't think of it in that way. I understand where you're leading with that, but it's the connection with the team. There are games that we need to score 35 to win it, and we'll do that. If there's a game that you need less to go win it, we'll do that too. So, yeah, it would be awesome if both sides were no scores or high scores. Most important to me is the connection they have between one another. Whether special teams needs a boost offensively or defensively, that's the connection I look for amongst the team. I just had a sense that this one would go all the way down to the end. Certainly, the turnovers were a factor in the game. We thought we had a chance at the end of the half to get some points. Coming back out, that's something we'll look at and work on."

On what he was thinking on the sideline after the three turnovers:
"The big thing is the next group that has to get their mindset together. We gather that group up on the sideline and talk about any alerts that could come up. I thought it was an excellent play by Julio Jones on the tackle during the return. Without his tackle, that one probably would've gone back further. I'll look at that one, but I I saw his speed go and chase him to make a good play for the tackle. That speaks of who he is as a competitor. My initial response is what's next. You're initially pissed and bummed like everybody, but then you think about what's next and how we attack from here."

On how Deion Jones has progressed as a leader:
"Number one, I think he's tackling better. From the football side of things, he's bringing his feet and he's really improved as a tackler as the season has gone on. From a football technique standpoint, I see that part of his game coming together. He has the quickness at linebacker to make alerts and make calls based on film study. That is the natural progression you would hope. You can call it instincts, but part of that is also the work you put in. This play might happen based on this formation or on this look. You see that from him. The really good linebackers have those traits. Sometimes, when they get really good, you have some plays that you think will go one way and it goes elsewhere. This division has some good linebackers and he's certainly one of those."

On how Deion Jones is adapting to his new role:
"It's the versatility between (coaches) Marquand Manuel and Jeff Ulbrich. They know how to feature him best and make sure he's in the roles that he can do, whether it's man-on-man on backs or playing in zone coverage. Those are the things that we love about his game, so we try to feature him in those roles as often as we can. We try to put De'Vondre Campbell and Vic Beasley in different roles. We try to feature the guys in things that they do really well."