HEAD COACH GREG SCHIANO
(On the final third down call)
"That's what we thought was the best way to get a first down and keep the clock moving. We felt good about the play, the way were closing in on the run. [It was] a little bit of a specialty play."
(On the performance of the defense)
"I thought there were a lot of good things on defense. Unfortunately, it'll be overshadowed by the loss, but that's team sport. We need to keep getting better. We had, really, two bad plays, maybe three, but that's life. It cost us dearly. One was for a touchdown, and one put them in position [to win]."
(On reducing penalties)
"We just need to keep working on the strike zone, make sure we're hitting where it's legal. You don't get to practice that, because you don't hit live during the week, so you just have to emphasize it. We'll continue to emphasize it. But our guys are playing very hard. [We've] been through stretches like this, and then it kind of balances out usually. So, hopefully, that'll occur."
(On the performance of the offense)
"I'm going to have to look at the tape to tell you what's going on, because it isn't just the quarterback. It, squarely, is on me. I'm the head football coach, and when we're not doing things offensively that we're capable of doing – mostly in the pass game; I thought we ran the ball very well today. I thought [running back] Doug [Martin] and the [offensive] line – I thought it was a good effort that way. We have to look at what we're doing coaching-wise, what we're doing execution-wise, and, again, it falls on me. It doesn't fall on anybody else. It's my job to make sure that we get it prepared and executed on game day, and certainly we didn't do that today."
(On if quarterback Josh Freeman will start Week 3)
"I see no reason why he wouldn't be. I have to evaluate the tape. That's out of left field a little bit. I'm not even thinking about that."
(On if he considered punting on the final drive)
"No. The only decision is: do you go for it on fourth-and-3 or do you kick the field goal? I have confidence in [kicker] Rian [Lindell], and I will have confidence in Rian moving forward."
(On how the team can bounce back after two close losses)
"This team's a resilient team, their head coach is a resilient guy – he's tough – and we're going to fight our way right off it. I understand that there'll be a huge contingent that will try to make it difficult for us to do that. It doesn't matter. These guys are tight. They'll stick together. They'll work together. We'll work at it. We've got a great challenge next week, playing a good team coming off a little bit of extra rest. It doesn't matter. [We've] got to get it ready, and go up to New England and find a way."
(On Freeman reports today that rumored Freeman to be seeking a trade)
"It's new to me. We've not had any conversations along those lines."
(On if he was avoiding putting the ball in Freeman's hands on the final third down)
"No, not at all. An incomplete pass and the clock stops. They have no timeouts. We thought it was a run that wasn't your everyday run, it was a specialty run, and we thought that it had a great opportunity to make the first down or get, at least, real close where it's fourth down and you've got to decide. It just didn't get as close as we thought it would. We certainly had time to talk about it. It was a unanimous decision; we all thought that was the play."
(On communication breakdowns)
"It's very disappointing, and, again, it falls on me. It's my job to make sure that our staff and our players understand those procedural things, and I'm not getting it done. I'm going to get it done, and we will get it done. I'll get my staff, and we'll all get it fixed, and the players - we'll get it fixed. This is a good football team. We'll be back."
QUARTERBACK JOSH FREEMAN
(On struggles with the passing game)
"Tonight we had a few shots, missed them by a little bit, but [if] you hit one of those, you get something going. A couple of times there were footing [issues], a defender had good coverage, call it what you want. We've just got to find a way to be more productive. 21 attempts – today obviously we wanted to come in and run the football. I thought [running back] Doug [Martin] did a great job with that."
(On rumors that he is interested in being traded)
"The first I heard of it was literally 10 seconds ago, or right before I walked in here. Without a doubt, I'm a Buccaneer. I'm continuing to prepare and try to go out every week and give my team a chance to win the game."
(On if there is a game plan within his 'camp' to seek a trade)
"If it's going on, I need a new camp because there is nothing I've heard [on that subject]."
(On if recent negative headlines frustrate him)
"No. I mean, the picture thing, it is what it is. I don't know – it went from a picture to a team meeting to whatever it was. It's not where I'm focused. My focus is on the game plan, it's on preparation, it's on finding a way to go out and win games."
(On if he would have preferred to pass on the final Tampa Bay third down)
"I can't say that I would have. Obviously, you want to do what's going to work. At that point in time, the Saints had exhausted all of their timeouts and if you get a first down there the game is over. And I think that Doug [Martin], the way he ran the ball today, who's to say that he wouldn't have popped one free? I'm just going along with the game plan. It's not my job to second-guess any play call. It's not my job to go out and say, 'If they had just let me…' Hindsight is 20-20. In the heat of the moment, coaches come out with a plan and I'm all for it."
(On the illegal formation penalties that wiped out big plays)
"It's definitely frustrating. We'll go back and look at the cards. You don't really see it, but I guess on the field that's what the guy saw and that's his call. I'm interested in going in tomorrow and pulling those couple of plays up and seeing what it was that we didn't do correctly."
(On the need for the offense to score touchdowns)
"As an offense, you want to score points, that's our job. You can't say, 'Oh we're going to go out and score X amount of points every game.' Really, you just have to look at it from a play-to-play standpoint and in this situation, in this play, they run this defense, we're going to have these calls and you have got to kind of formulate a plan of attack, and if it varies, you've got to find a way to vary with it. Yeah, just get more points because obviously one offensive touchdown… we've got to find a way to sustain these drives and hopefully end them in touchdowns."
(On Tampa Bay's defense)
"They've played unbelievable, especially this game. When you are playing a quarterback like Drew Brees, holding them to the numbers that they did and the score, the amount of points, they gave us a chance. Offensively, we didn't come out and have the type of game that we really felt like we needed to have to win this game, but our defense kept us right in it, even the [linebacker] Mason Foster touchdown return. Hats off to those guys. I think they played tremendously tonight."
LINEBACKER MASON FOSTER
(On losing two consecutive games by last-second field goals)
"It's tough to lose no matter what it is, but definitely when you play great as a team like [New Orleans], and it comes down to the last second. But that's the NFL; it is what it is. You have to make plays. You have to make more plays than [your opponent] makes and you have to tip your hat to Drew Brees and his receivers making great plays in the game."
(On what to take from a game like today)
"No matter if win, lose, draw or whatever, you can always get better. So you turn on the film, and I feel like we have to continue to get better. You can't be 0-2, especially losing games the way we've been losing. You just got to keep pushing. It's right there and we have what it takes to win those games, so you just got to keep pushing."
(On his thoughts during New Orleans' final possession)
"There is always a remote chance when Drew Brees is on the field; you never know what's going to happen. He's a great player, we did against him all game and we knew he was going to make his plays, so you got to tip your hat to him."
(On bouncing back following a tough loss)
"We got a very resilient group of guys and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. We are just going to keep working. We know how close we are to being 2-0. Even though you don't have to talk about that but we right there, we just have to keep pushing and close games out. We're a team so we have to do what is necessary in closing games out. "
DEFENSIVE TACKLE GERALD MCCOY
(On handling losses)
"It's the NFL – we lose games, you move on. We have an opponent next week, move on. Yeah, it sucks now, but we have a 24-hour rule, so we'll look at the film and see what we could have done better and [then] on to the Patriots."
(On the final drive)
"It's our job to stop [Drew Brees], it doesn't matter how many times we have to be on the field. It's our job to stop the opposing offense. No matter how much time is on the clock. "
(On penalties over the past two weeks)
"If they are going to come, then they are going to come, you can't blame them on the refs. We just got to get better. There are a lot of different plays where we could've been better. We got to fix those."
CORNERBACK DARRELLE REVIS
(On the Tampa Bay defense)
"The defense, we play tough, we play really aggressive. We've got a new foundation here as a defense. We've just got to keep on doing what we're doing, not let [the opponent] get in the end zone. Our offense will put points on the board."
(On improving going forward)
"We are doing what we have to do. It's just those last minutes that we [have] got to finish. I'm sure Coach [Schiano] is going to bring that up, because there were some great things that we did do today. We played our hearts out today; we played our hearts out today. We are sad about the loss but we've got to move forward."
(On playing against Drew Brees)
"He is a great quarterback. We tried to show some different looks for him. Nothing against him, he is a great quarterback, but he is not that tall, so we wanted to get guys in his face and try to disrupt some throws. That's what we did and it worked out. We did great on defense."
CORNERBACK LEONARD JOHNSON
(On the Tampa Bay defense)
"We just executed the calls that [were] given to us from the defensive coordinator. [The New Orleans Saints] are a great team. We [have] got to do a great job of finishing, just like they finished their drive, that's what we [have] got to do."
(On whether he thought the game was over on the final drive)
"You can't think like that, especially in this league. Great teams learn how to complete the game no matter how much time is left on the clock; you see crazy plays all week. We've just got to man up and finish."
(On New Orleans wide receiver Marques Colston's reception that set up the game-winning field goal)
"He just caught the ball. Great throw, great catch, but one play doesn't put a stamp on the game, it definitely doesn't. But like I say, we just [have] got to execute things a lot better."
(On frustration with the loss)
"Definitely frustrated because we're so close and we are showing a lot of great things on our defense and as a team. We just [have] got to complete the mission in all phases, not just one phase. We [have] got to come together as a team and get it done as a team."
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS POSTGAME QUOTESSUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2013
HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON
"First the obvious – we're fortunate to get a win. I was proud of the fact that they didn't quit. There are a lot of things that we need to clean up just from a standpoint of red zone opportunities – I thought defensively we certainly played well enough and did a good job against that running back [Doug Martin]. What was very important at the very end was just getting the stop, where they couldn't take a knee and win the game. For me, I take for granted that there are a lot of familiar guys on that roster, but yet there's lot of different guys. We're just talking about hanging in, fighting, kind of staying together, body language. We've been in a number of games like this and we made a few plays at the end when we needed it. We'll clean up and have to clean up a lot of things to improve. But it's hard to win on the road and especially in a division. Hats off to Tampa, I thought that they played outstanding on defense. And yet we were fortunate and excited to get the win on the road."
(On whether Tampa Bay's decision to kick a field goal on its final possession was the right choice)
"No. It was the right thing to do. It's the difference between a touchdown and a field goal. I think that's the right thing. It had plenty of distance, didn't it?"
(On quarterback Drew Brees' performance)
"There were some big throws there. He got a couple single safety-man looks. He found [tight end] Jimmy [Graham], he found [wide receiver] Marques [Colston] – those are big plays."
(On handling the early weather delay)
"They gave us kind of an initial timeframe – somewhere about a half an hour to 45 minutes. We kind of sat everybody down and waited for that 10-minute warning. We started to stretch inside and then we stretched as a team inside. Then we came out and I think both teams knew we were 15 minutes out, 10 minutes out. It was really just try to stay off your feet, stay hydrated and then it was just a matter of getting into kind of a miniature pregame."
(On struggling in the red zone late in the second quarter)
"Yeah, I take the blame for that. There's a sequence that took place and on the fourth down play we end up running a play for goal line defense. [Tampa Bay] are in one of their base defenses. I think just with 10 [players] on the field, I can't be certain of it. But anyway, it wasn't a very good sequence. The first play was a play-action pass, we had trouble getting Jimmy [Graham] out and sometimes it just gets congested where they kind of grab and reroute guys like him down there, but we'll be better there. It was just really the toss play, which was a minus play, and they played it pretty well. Look I'll be a lot better in that situation – I need to be."
(On tight end Jimmy Graham)
"Those were some big plays. We'll see on film. [Tampa Bay's defense] did a good job of covering him and [running back] Darren [Sproles] too. So we kind of went back and forth. We got a lot of different looks. They played hard in the back end and made it real difficult. They hit the quarterback a few times. That became challenging, but he had a number of big plays. He got right up after he got hit in the head and it was good to see."
(On his team handling 'crunch time')
"A guy like [Drew Brees] in the two-minute drill is very confident. It's one of the things we talked about in the locker room just with our players. Body language on the sidelines is important. This is a different team than any of the teams in years past. It's hard to win in this league, on the road in the division. Sometimes you don't know how the game is going to unfold and in this case it came down to one possession. The defense made the stop and if they were able to get the first down, you know they're [going to take] a knee. Then we made a few plays there and got out of our end."
QUARTERBACK DREW BREES
(On the significance of this win)
"I don't know about that, I mean we're still pretty early in the season. Labels like that belong in the playoffs. It was significant. It was a divisional game on the road. There were opportunities to be had on both sides throughout the course of the game. I felt like we continue to fight, fight, fight and just fight, and taking the lead and then kind of seizing the momentum there for a while in the fourth quarter. For us just have to have a chance at the end where we take three consecutive plays and put ourselves in field goal range and kick that field goal as time goes off the clock, we win. That change of events just flipped completely around and that's football. That's why we love it and that's why we never give up, because we always have a chance."
(On how vital today's win was)
"I think wins like this are vital, because no matter what you've done in the past you've got to kind of prove it to yourself that this team can overcome those types of odds and circumstances to get a win on the road, in the division. This just becomes so meaningful. Our team got better today. There's still a lot we have to work on, there's still a lot we have to improve upon, but when you can find a way to win with everything that happened today, especially there at the end, that's just significant."
(On his thoughts before the last drive)
"We're going to go win the game. Right when they line up for the field goal you just visualized it happening in your mind. This happened back in 2009 against Washington. They line up for a field goal and you just visualize that they're going to miss it, and we have this amount of time and these are the plays we're going to run and we're going to go down and score and win this game. It was the same scenario there. You just believed it would happen. Again, for those of us that we're a part of that team, which there's not many – there's only 11 of us – we can draw a lot of experience. With everybody there, the fact of the matter is we worked so hard and we conditioned ourselves to take advantage of these opportunities and you just visualize success. You visualize yourself making plays and, so really, I considered there was no doubt amongst our team."
(On establishing team identity through games like today)
"You look from last year to this year, each team had to kind of reestablish their identity and that ability to stick together and win football games like this. When you're down and things haven't been going your way, making critical mistakes, you got to prove it to yourself that you can go out there and continue to win football games like this. And there are a lot of games like this in the NFL. We proved a lot to ourselves today. We're 2-0 [with] both wins against a divisional opponent. This is where we imagined ourselves being and, obviously, the matter that we won these two games has been pretty exciting. These are the ones you have to win in order to get to the goals that you set for yourself."
TIGHT END JIMMY GRAHAM
(On his performance)
"We were looking all week on the match-ups and we knew we'd have a lot of two-show coverage and on third down we got a lot of man-to-man. [Quarterback] Drew [Brees] was on tonight, me and him were on tonight, and we got the win in the end. It was a battle, it really was."
(On the hit he took in the second quarter)
"All is well. You know, I'm a big guy, 270 [pounds], so I can take hits like that."
(On what he thought about the play)
"That's just the nature of the position, especially in our offense. We run a lot of 'All go.' Me, I'm always down the seam. You know, it's a quick play, it's a real bang-bang play, so you know it's going to be probably a big catch for a big hit. Unfortunately on that one he [Drew Brees] targeted me a little high and that's just part of the game."
(On New Orleans' final drive)
"That guy, Drew Brees, he's magical, he really is. It doesn't matter what time of the game it is, at what point in the game it is, he has belief in us, he has belief in himself, and he knows that. If you give him a minute, if you give him 30 seconds, we all have hope on this team just because of the way we're built, they way he [Drew Brees] is built and the way Sean's [Payton] built this team."
(On the aggressiveness of Tampa Bay safety Dashon Goldson)
"He's a very chippy player and I like it. I think it's awesome to have him in our division; he's a big challenge. You always got to know where he's at and you've always got to be looking for him so for me, I love it. I think that's going to be a great match-up for years and years to come."
(On being 2-0 without having played their best football)
"We really haven't, we're slowly figuring it out. We're slowly finding the identity of this team and we have a lot of work to do. We know we have a lot of work to do. We can get so much better and we're going to take this film and look at it and assess how we can get better."
(On breaking his own record of reception yards for a tight end)
"Tonight was just one of those nights for me and Drew. He was constantly looking for me and we're trying to exploit that match-up quite a bit and tonight was just a night for me. You never know what it's going to be on this offense. Last game was [Marques] Colston and you really just don't know."
RUNNING BACK DARREN SPROLES
(On winning the game as time expired)
"It was big, it was big. Our defense was playing tough all night, but we needed that drive at the end though."
(On coming together as a team to pull out the win)
"Coach [Sean Payton] just told us to calm down and relax. We've been down before, so going into that last drive, he was pretty much just telling us to stay calm."
(On what to improve on after a 2-0 start)
"Pretty much on offense. When we're in the red zone we [have] just got to score, that's our thing. That's what we need to work on. We're probably going to go back to the drawing board on Wednesday and get this stuff all ironed out."
SAFETY MALCOLM JENKINS
(On the weather delay at the start of the game)
"I've never had a rain delay, ever, in football. It was kind of one of those things, you don't want to do too much and wear yourself out. We sat around a little bit and once they gave us that 10-minute warning, we started to warm up again and go over some last minute checks and started over. We did the same pre-game ritual that we usually do, we just re-started the whole process."
(On making big defensive stands)
"The biggest thing about our team is we are going to do what it takes to win. Whether it's the offense stepping up, or the defense, or special teams. We play complimentary football, and every game takes on a life of its own. All we care about is winning. Last week and this week were huge wins for us; starting out 2-0 in the division. These kind of wins make a team strong."
(On mistakes made by the defense)
"Obviously, there are going to be mistakes. It is a lot easier to correct mistakes after a win. I thought their defense played phenomenal, obviously they have talent on that side of the ball that matched up well against us. As a team, we did everything we needed to do win the game, got some turnovers on defense. Special teams played well, gave us field position all day. That's kind of what we need to do to win, can't always depend on our offense to show up, it's a team deal."
(On his interception)
"I was just able to come out on the post, and read the pattern a little bit. I was able to get out in front of it, it was huge for us."
WIDE RECEIVER MARQUES COLSTON
(On tight end Jimmy Graham)
"He's a huge mismatch, a big guy that can run, especially through the middle of the defense. He was awesome for us today."
(On the New Orleans team attitude)
"We're just excited about this game. We were able to pick up a win against a tough divisional opponent. We can watch the film and move on to next week."
(On his catch during final drive) "[Quarterback] Drew [Brees] threw a great ball away from the defender and was able to make the catch. Then [kicker Garrett] Hartley made a pressure kick to win the game."
SAFETY KENNY VACCARO
(On the defense and offense working together)
"Both sides are going to feed off of each other. If the offense struggles, the defense steps up. If the defense struggles, the offense steps up. It was a great team win."
(On the game-winning drive)
"When you have Drew Brees at quarterback and the playmakers around him, we can score anytime. I've seen him do it at practice, we weren't really worried about it."
(On New Orleans' 2-0 start)
"It's definitely a confidence builder. This one today was a team win. It is a great momentum builder for next week."