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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

12-27-2009 - Post Game Quotes

Head Coach Raheem Morris

(opening Statement) We are obviously really excited. It was a hard-fought game by a proud football team.

(on what he learned about his team today) It wasnt a learning process for me today, but it may have been for you guys. They are starting to get there. They like winning. They found that out last week. They found that out against Green Bay. This team has the talent and the ability. I am just really proud of them. They went out there and fought. I am completely exhausted right now.

(on second-half adjustments) We were getting diced in the first half. We went back in the locker room and I tried to settle the guys down. They believe in me and I believe in them. We went in and made some adjustments. We did some different things and mixed it up a little bit. We put some pressure on them. It was really helpful toward winning the game.

(on Michael Spurlocks punt return for a touchdown) He provided us the play that put us in this thing. He gave us life. He did a great job.

(on the defenses play) Lets not kid ourselves. They are arguably the best offensive team in the National Football League. We didnt handle them well early. They went down the field on us three times in a row. We bounced back and stayed composed. All of our young guys came back and composed themselves. They came under control and we went out and won.

(on the teams effort) Winning is always a group effort. Today was no different. Running the football is key as well as getting Josh (Freeman) completions. We try not to turn the ball over. We did that a little bit, but we were able to fight through it. Winning the field position game. You have to play good defense. Thats a testament to all of those young men in there. We had too many penalties today. We had mistakes that we cant have as a young football team that we have to get better at in order to compete with this type of talent. We need to get better at it.

(on if the team is progressing) I know this team is getting better. I could see it every week even when we were losing. Thats how we play and how we should play like all of the time.

WR Micheal Spurlock

(on punt return for touchdown) I saw the ball way up in the air and knew instantly that I could make a play because of the distance between me and their special teams coverage. I caught it and then hit daylight. I caught a few nice blocks from my guys and then it turned into a foot race and I just took it in. Obviously it was a big play and I had to do something; be it a big play on the kickoff return, a punt something. All we needed was a break and we got one in the second half. Our organization is real proud and it feels great to get two in a row.

RB Carnell Williams

(on his big game) All the credit goes to the offense line. We knew we could run on them from the last time when we played them in Tampa. We knew coming in that we could move the ball on their defense. This is a huge win for us. I know the entire season is not want we want it to be, but to win a game like this is real special. And it feels great to win two in a row. I think this organization learned something today: that no matter how far down you are you can still get back up. And thats what happened out there today. I am so proud of our offense line. They did all the work and all I did was hit the holes.

K Connor Barth

(on the game-winning kick) It feels great. Its not every day you get a chance to make a game-ending last-second field goal and when you get that opportunity you have to take advantage of it. Like Coach Morris told me later, it (the kick) didnt look pretty but it went through.

(on hoping Saints K Garrett Hartley would miss his kick at the end of regulation) Of course I wanted their kicker to miss his. As a fellow kicker you have to feel for Hartley. We are a small group. But I knew when he missed his that we had a real chance to win the game. In fact, the way our entire team held in their the entire game I knew we had a chance to pull out the win.

QB Josh Freeman

(on the win) We showed tons of composure out there today. To come in here and play in their building for what they were playing for; well, it feels real special for us. Our season is not over even with our record. No one is out there hanging their heads. We are a proud team and it showed today.

(on the comeback) We battled and battled until the end out there. Weve come back in games before. This team never gives up. And we knew we could run the ball on them. We had a great week of practice and saw on film that we could control the ball today.

(on the team playing hard throughout) Even when we got behind early and trailed in the first half, it wasnt a feeling like, oh no, here we go again. In the half time locker room everyone was fired up and knew that if we just hung in there, we would win the game. And at the very end, in the overtime, it was great to see us just pound the ball and get into field goal position. This was a great win two in a row for us. Its a great victory and something we can build upon for us next year.


Head Coach Sean Payton

(on the loss) Obviously, a difficult loss for us. They hung around in the second half and credit them for having the resolve to fight back. We really struggled in the second half offensively. We gave up the big punt return. Its frustrating, its disappointing. Well have to bounce back. Obviously, itll be a tough one for us, but we get a chance to see how well handle it.

(on what needs to be corrected) You want to take care of your inconsistencies. Some of those are more glaring than others. Theres a lot weve got to clean up. Well get back to work this week. Speaking on behalf of this game, theres a lot of things we did well early on and some things we didnt do well later on.

(on the defense) We did a pretty good job of just hanging in there defensively. We made a big defensive stop in the fourth quarter. We just couldnt make enough plays. I think it would be a mistake to point just to the kicking game, just to the defense or just to the offense.

(on the offense) I think in the end, we struggled with some third downs. We didnt have any penalties in the first half; we had some in the second half. We had the strip-fumble. Weve got to clean some things up.

(on the Saints still trying to get home field advantage) Were playing for something, so yeah, its not like its all locked up or decided. Were still playing for something. I think we said that at the beginning of the week and nothings changed today.

(on the game-tying TD) Its a punt return. Weve got to get off blocks and cover it and do the fundamentals of covering a punt.

(on K Garrett Hartley) Hes played well for us. Hes been battle tested. I think its a mistake if we just point to the missed kick, if we just point to the punt return, if we just point to one specific area. Its all of our jobs to get it cleaned up.

(on two straight losses after 13 straight wins) Ive said this before. In our league, its crisis or carnival, cause the stuff in the middle doesnt sell. Now you hit some adversity. Weve got to get ready to play a team thats playing well, Carolina."

QB Drew Brees

(on the loss) Its hard to explain it. I guess at this point, not having been able to see the film and some of the things that cost us. We started off fast with 17 straight points. After that, there was a big lull. Its hard because all you want to do is give yourself a chance to win at the end. In overtime, unfortunately, they get the ball first and it was over.

(on the difference after the Saints' first three drives) We got really three possessions in the first half, with the exception of the two-minute at the end. Even on that, we set stopped and its maybe six inches. It didnt feel like we had a lot of possessions in the second half until that two-minute drive.

(on facing adversity) These are the types of things that bring your team together and make you stronger.

(on if pressure is mounting on the Saints) I dont know if Id call it the pressure mounting. The fact is, we need to play better. I dont think weve played our best football in a while. This is just the type of game we need, going on the road against a divisional opponent thats playing very well.

(on bouncing back) You always find out more about a team when you start facing adversity. In the Sean Payton era here, weve faced adversity very well. Well always turned them into positives. This is one of those situations where we have the right type of character, the right type of leadership, to handle it very well.

(on the four games since the win over New England) What I liked about those last four games was our ability to finish the first two (Washington and Atlanta). Last week, we got down so much and scored two touchdowns and almost scored a third. Today, we had the ball at the end with a chance to win the game.

K Garrett Hartley

(on attempting the game-winning kick) I felt great going out there. Just an opportunity to win another game and give us home field advantage in the playoffs. I kind of rushed myself a little bit. It was all me, the snap and hold were great; I just rushed myself.

(on missing the kick) Knowing I let my team down is the worst thing. Its definitely humbling. You have to learn from these experiences in order to prevail the next one.

WR Robert Meachem

(on the last offensive play of regulation) I was trying my hardest to get in there. I didnt get in."

(on the Saints' last two games) Thats something weve got to work on. Start from scratch, see what we did wrong. Weve just got to take the coaching, the criticism, and go with it.

DT Sedrick Ellis

(on losing to the Buccaneers) Thats football. You got to hand it to Tampa (Bay). They came out and played good football today and came out with a victory.

(on the difference in the two halves) I think they were able to run the ball a little bit better, and thats something we have to look at and get that fixed.

DE Will Smith

(on the missed field goal at the end of regulation) We shouldnt have never been in that situation to have it come down to a field goal. We know they have a lot of talent, but I think we came out with a good plan."

(on next week) I dont think this changes anything. Every game is important. You have to go out and finish strong.

CB Tracy Porter

(on losing to a team with two wins) Were not worried about anyone else and what their record is. Were worried about what our record is. Whatever the Vikings do, they do. The two losses weve had, we have to put them behind us and look forward to Carolina.

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