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New Orleans Saints players talk about 27-24 loss

Postgame quotes from New Orleans Saints players on Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014

Quarterback DREW BREES on the fumble in overtime:

"We had vertical routes called and they were soft. I was trying to get it to the back but he was tripped up so he was on the ground and I couldn't get it him. He was on the ground so I brought it back. Then I tried to throw again as he started to get up. There was nobody around him, he could have run forever. I got hit as the ball was coming out."

On offensive pass interference on Hail Mary:

"I feel like I had a pretty good view of it. It's a Hail Mary play, there's tussling going on all the way down the field. I don't know if it was or not or just a flop. It was called and it sent us into overtime. We certainly had chances in overtime so (I) can't really dwell on that."

On losing close games:

"Unfortunately two of them we've lost in overtime where offensively we've turned the ball over in our own territory, really not giving our defense a chance. They've just brought the field goal team out and made field goals. That's obviously something we can't do. It was a close one. Their offense made some plays to get themselves down the field in field goal range and they managed to make that. They converted a lot of 4th downs, the made a 4th and 10 today. I just feel like the teams we've played in those close game have made more plays than us."

On taking pride in battling back:

"I do take pride in that. We certainly didn't play our best football in the first half. We turned it over two times: one gave them their first touchdown, then the second one at the end there, at least you get yourself in field goal range especially after your defense creates a turnover. That can't happen and that's on me. We said in the locker room at halftime, we felt like we were just starting to find our rhythm offensively and the defense felt like they had a beat then. We felt really good going out in the second half and it showed. We scored 14 points to their zero up until the last minute and a half of the game. We did everything we said we would do up until that point. Even after they tie it, we have a chance going into OT. We've got to be able to win the game at that point."

On being booed after second interception:

"Something's got to get fixed. I'm not happy about it. I can't turn the ball over at the rate I'm turning it over and I can't turn it over in the situations that I am turning it over. I'm aware of that. I probably deserved it; I would have booed myself. Also at the quarterback position you understand that there's going to be moments for whatever reason: a bad decision, a bad throw, or bad luck. It might happen, and unfortunately at times they come in bunches. You have to find a way to compartmentalize that, move on to the next play, continue to stay aggressive and do what you're coached to do, what you're programmed to do. I've been playing this game a long time; I know how to play it at a high level. Certainly when you turn the ball over it can compromise a lot of the good things. I think we did do a lot of good things out there, but unfortunately, and for me personally too, there were too many bad things that you couldn't overcome with the good things."

On touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham after eluding sack:

"They're a good football team. They did a lot of good things today defensively. I felt like we had some chances to hit some big plays that we missed on. We were able to hit on some of them; that would be an example. Making a couple of guys miss then finding Jimmy in the end zone. Then at the end of the game, Jimmy's go ahead touchdown was all out pressure. Live by the blitz, die by the blitz. I thought we made some plays, unfortunately just not enough."

On keeping momentum:

"Listen, you have to overcome. Again I think that you look at things that get you beat and you have to fix them or nothing changes. Then you take the good things, we're making some real progress in some areas. Sean pointed out after the game that we had some young guys step up and do some things today. Might not be anything to the naked eye, but we saw a lot of good things. That's encouraging and will help us win in the future. The bottom line is we still control our own destiny, it'  right there in front of us. We don't like to suffer a loss like that, we certainly don't like to suffer a loss like that at home. You don't just win at home because you're at home. You have to execute, you have to take care of the ball. You have to do all of those things. We did that for the most part today but the turnovers got us."

On the back he was targeting on fumble:

"Cadet. He had a linebacker try to engage him at the line of scrimmage that made him miss and trip him up. But the linebacker had fallen down as well. Within your route concepts you have backs in different locations. You know where he's going to be according to the coverage. That's where I was going but I had to pull back because he was on the ground. It's a game of inches and split seconds, they got me just as the ball was coming forward."

On punting on fourth down in overtime:

"You play the situation. Just because you're in a fourth-and-1 doesn't mean you are going to go for it. You look at where you are on the field, what's the pace of the game, what's the momentum, you have a great play. I think it's depending on a lot of factors. If we get it then great, if we don't then we put our defense in a tough spot and give them a lot of momentum. Or you feel good about us punting the ball down inside the 10 and make them go the distance. It magnifies the mistakes they make offensively if they are playing out of their own endzone."

On interception at end of the first half:

"It was my decision, and it was the wrong one. They were playing really soft and I had matchup I liked. The corner ended up overlapping and making a play. If I had that back would have chucked it to the back or an incompletion. Let's try to get a little closer. If you get inside the 10, you have some seconds to spare. AT least let's get some points and momentum going into the second half."

On Hail Mary flag:

"You don't see many flags thrown on Hail Marys. There's a lot of tussling going on down the field. I'm not sure what  was seen and why it was called."

On turning point plays at end of regulation:

"You obviously have to be ultra-efficient on drives at the end of the half and end of regulation with 45 seconds left. You have to get about 40 yards. How can we be aggressive and smart, take it if it's there or throw it away and take a sack. Then play for overtime. If we were five yards further, maybe we would have attempted what would have been close to a 60 yard field goal. That's something we feel good about Shayne (Graham) being able to attempt and hit, but we came up short in the yards we needed to get in range."

Tight end JIMMY GRAHAM

"It was clearly a tough loss today playing in front of our fans. (San Francisco) was great (today) and we had a really slow start. You can't turn the ball over and expect to win the game."

On his first touchdown:

"(Drew) Brees had some serious pressure. We've been able to have this connection over the last five years. More times than not when he gets in trouble, he finds me and throws it up. I tell him that if he throws it up that I will be the only one that catches it."

On the Hail Mary:

"It was definitely not a push off. I was running down the field and I'm telling myself not to push off. Just go up and get it. It's interesting that guys grab me all over the field. I put two fingers on someone and I get it called against me. That's why I left basketball."

Running back MARK INGRAM

On his third consecutive 100-yard game:

"I was just doing my job of going out there and running hard. I just tried to make plays to help us win."

On the emotions of the loss:

"We fought hard. We came back from 11 down. We played a great second half. We just made some mistakes that cost us."

On the close losses this season:

"We have to finish. A lot of these games come down to the last minute of the game. We fought hard today. It was back and forth. You have to give them credit. They played strong and made a couple of more plays than we did."

Safety KENNY VACCARO on the 49ers' fourth-and-10 conversion late in the fourth quarter:

"Everybody has got to get a man. When you are in Cover-2, that's what you do."

On the close loss:

"We are 4-5. We lost to a team that has been competing for the Super Bowl."

Defensive end JUNIOR GALETTE

"Those were two desperate teams out there. It could have gone either way. We were one play away from winning that game. All I can think about is that 4th and 10 out there."

On if it felt like a playoff game:

"It always does when we play this team. It was back and forth. We came back with less than two minutes left. We got (Colin) Kaepernick down. That's the difference this year. They had more takeaways than us today and that was the difference in the game."

On if they had control after the first quarter:

"We definitely had control. We got punched in the face early, but we settled down. We kept our composure and we played a lot better after the first quarter."

Cornerback COREY WHITE

On the 49ers' fourth-and-10 conversion late in the fourth quarter:

"You have a scrambling quarterback that likes to buy time for his receivers to get open, especially when it could be the last play of the game. He's not going to throw it out of bounds. He's not going to take a sack. He made a good play and threw it up."

On when he realized Michael Crabtree was behind him:

"When he was throwing it, I didn't know who he was throwing to. They just made a good play. We weren't defending that. They just made a good play. It was a zone and he got behind us. It was a Cover-2 zone. When coverage breaks down, you just have to find someone and cover them. All of the zones get thrown out the window. You just have to find someone and cover them."

Official team photos of Fans from the New Orleans Saints vs San Francisco 49ers game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday, November 9, 2014. Photos by Michael C. Hebert and Matthew Sharpe (New Orleans Saints photos)

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