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New Orleans Saints Coach Dennis Allen, players talk about loss to Tampa Bay Buccaneers | 2022 NFL Week 2

Allen: 'That is a good defense that we played'

Check out team quotes from the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers following their Week 2 matchup during the 2022 NFL season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the New Orleans Saints 20-10 in a close defensive struggle that got away from the Saints following a fourth quarter fight Sunday at the Caesars Superdome.

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New Orleans Saints Coach Dennis Allen:

On Marshon Lattimore being disqualified:

"He (Mike Evans) was the first one to push and shove Lattimore, but I've been around this league long enough; usually they don't get the instigator, they usually get the responder. I think what happened after that was a little bit excessive so we will see how that goes."

On his thoughts if Jameis Winston's back was bothering him and affecting his play:

"No I didn't really see that, necessarily. Again, that is probably a question for him a little bit more. That is a good defense that we played. They do a pretty good job in terms of their rush coverage and some of their pressure packages, so we will get back and look at the tape and see where we can improve. There are a couple of throws we missed that he typically wouldn't. We will have to evaluate the tape and see."

On his plan for Jameis before the game if there was any question of him not being able to play:

"No, he was going."

On late third quarter fumble:

"That was a game-changer I think the ball was on 10-yard line at that point in time and we were in a good position with how we were playing defense that if we were able to put some points on the board; I think there was a minute to go in the third quarter when that happened so I thought that was a momentum changer in the game."

On if the disqualification was the factor of the momentum change:

"I don't think that was a factor. I mean we lost momentum and we lost momentum because we turned the ball over. I don't think that was the factor."

On the decision to not kick a field goal before the half:

"Look, we knew this was going to be a field position game, which it was. Unfortunately, we played the game on our end of the field a little bit too much the first half, but it was a three to nothing game at that point in time and I didn't feel like taking an opportunity on a long field goal at that point in the game was the right thing to do."

Saints quarterback Jameis Winston:

On how his back feels:

"It feels like my back."

On how his back felt going into the game:

"What's the most important thing is like our team hauled our tail off. Defense played a great game. Offensively, we just got to give it on third downs and protect the football. For myself I have to get better on third downs and protect the football.

On the offensive performance:

"Like I said, we have to get better on third downs and that's on me. We had a great chance in the redzone to end up with seven and not three, and I missed Chris (Olave). We just got to continue to get better."

On the offensive struggles the past two games:

"Early, early. I think we are going to get better. You know, we had some momentum here early in the third quarter. The biggest thing is ball security. I think we still had a chance to get in this game. They won the turnover battle and that's why they won."

On whether Tampa's defense was different than previously:

"No. We were prepared. It's just on me. I have to take what the defense is giving me and keep the ball in our possession because when we keep the ball in our possession a lot of good things can happen."

On the missed connections with Chris Olave:

"I missed him. Man, I just got to hit it, I got to hit it. When you have opportunities like that, you got to hit them. Especially in this league, this game is a game of inches. Chris did a great job of creating separation and getting open, but I get better. Those are going to be touchdowns real soon."

On his back, if it impacted his play, and how it could affect him moving forward:

"Yeah, what's really important is protecting the football. I have to do I have to do a better job of doing that to give ourselves a chance to win the game."

On the extent of the injury:

"Yeah, you know, everyone in the locker room was playing with some type of banged up or something. But like I said, what's important is offensively I have to do a better job of executing third downs, and I can't give them the football."

On his various previous injuries leading to this one:

My main thing is focusing on execution. I didn't execute. Like two weeks in a row where we were (around) 4 for 13 on third downs, and that's on me. It's just this time I turned over the football. So we're going to get back to the drawing board and I'm going to protect the football. That's the big thing."

On Marshon Lattimore getting ejected:

"I don't. I don't think he should have at all. But these referees get put in a tough position. Everyone from New York, they have to make that call. But I think he bit the bullet. He made a huge sacrifice for his team because it was not on him. But when the emotions get to flaring, they're humans. The referees are humans and they've got to make a decision."

On the contentiousness of this game having been on both sides of the rivalry:

"I mean, I think we're just two good football teams. And the big thing is it's early in the season. I hate to drop a division game like that. We just got to bounce back. Defense played a heck of a game, they did phenomenal. We had some good things on offense too. But my focus is on eliminating the negatives and building on the positives. Because there's some positives there."

On finding a sustained rhythm:

"I think it just starts with me. We got to just get completions early. It was some opportunities out there that would have really set this game apart, some big plays down the field to Chris that we fell short on. I think that is just it. We are going to just keep hitting the drawing boards, keep on building the chemistry of this offense. We got great playmakers, we just have to execute."

On how he feels right now:

"I don't like to lose. So the biggest thing I hate losing, especially to that group. But, man, they competitors, you know, they compete too. And I just hate to let the team down by turning over the football and not giving us the chance to win."

On if he ever thought during the week that he may not be able to play:

"I never think that. I'm so focused on preparation and how can I execute? I think DA (Dennis Allen) does a good job of putting it on the team. The team is bigger than yourself. So as a team, we were preparing together and we were ready to roll."

On if he felt that there were any plays where the injury may have affected his decision-making:

"Well, I think that I do a better job of protecting the football. That is the most important thing. And when we get in those situations, when you play against a good team like that, whoever wins the turnover battle is going to win. Coach said it - win the turnover battle, you win this game. When this team has won the turnover battle, we won the game. When that team has one the turnover battle, they won the game."

Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu

On the fight and Lattimore being ejected:

"Obviously, he is one of the better cornerbacks in this league. For the majority of the game, guys weren't able to catch balls on him. I think that's a tactic that guys will use playing against him to get him out of his game. I think in that moment we all kind of have to respond."

On how the defense played:

"I thought we played really well. I mean obviously you always want a few plays back. Anytime you play this quarterback you have to put him away early or he'll find a way to make one of those types of plays.

On the defense coming together after the Lattimore ejection:

"I thought we bonded well. I feel like we have a deep DB unit. It was good to see Alontae (Taylor) come into the game and hold his own. P.J. (Williams) can play multiple positions. That's what we are going to need."

Running back Mark Ingram II

On the fumble:

"I have to take protect the football at all costs. We were going in to take control of the game. That was the turning point. I had the ball high and tight and I think it was a punch. Whatever the circumstance is, whatever the situation. I have to protect the football. That's my job. It's something that I take pride in, but I'm accountable. I have to do better. We were going in to take control of the game and that can't happen."

On if there was a change after the fumble:

"I don't think there was a noticeable change on the sideline. I think everyone was still in tune. The defense went out and got a stop. Essentially, they didn't get points off that turnover, but we took points off the board by having the turnover. I think it was a turning point. We started having turnovers. We started having penalties. We started having plays that are uncharacteristic of us."

On moving the ball but not scoring and the frustration level:

"Obviously, we are frustrated. We know what we are capable of doing. We have to do a better job of all the small details and making sure Jameis (Winston) is protected and making sure we can get the ball downfield to our receivers. We have to improve and continue to detail all of that stuff, so we can transfer it to the game."

Wide receiver Michael Thomas

On if he felt Winston was 100 percent with the back problem:

"I was just focused on getting my job done and being where they wanted me to be and executing the game plan. I'm sure when we watch the film we will see if there is anything like that going on, but I was focused on my assignment"

On the Tampa Bay defense:

"They are a sneaky defense."

On the chippiness going to a different level:

"That's a little bit out of control what those guys are doing. It's hard not to react like Marshon does when you are getting pushed in the back. That's reactional. You are trying to protect yourself. That's not tough. That's not cool. Whatever you want to call it. It's getting old. We can't allow that to hurt us as a team. We have to find a way to lock in and stay disciplined."

Defensive end Cameron Jordan

On how Lattimore's absence affected the defense:

"I think we went out there and had another three and out. I think the series after that we were headed toward another three and out and then there was a random penalty that was made up on a tackle that was missed. Again, we have to fight everything and play a complete 60 minutes. We are not going to be satisfied. Clearly, if you don't play 60 minutes, then this is what happens. I think defensively there was a game plan put together and that first half showed what we were executing. You can talk about the fourth and one stops and the three and outs that happened. When you feel like you are the better team and you look up and we have five turnovers, then that's tough to come back from."

On having Tom Brady under control:

"He was exactly who we thought he was. He gets the ball out fast. He doesn't allow you to hit him. He doesn't let you get that extra pass rusher to rush the passer."

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