HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON
(Thoughts on the game…) "First, I would like to give credit to Seattle. Obviously it's a good win for them. It was a hard fought game, it's disappointing. Obviously we planned on playing it differently. At the end of it we weren't able to make enough plays. The one turnover in regards to the first half fumble, resulted in points. We thought it was going to be a field position game, especially with the early weather. I think as the game went on that became a little less of a factor from a wind standpoint. But I'm proud of the way our guys competed. We weren't able to get it done and we just go from here. It's tough, its always tough when you get this far and your not able to finish."
(What was Seattle doing defensively to mix things up…) "Well, Seattle was playing their defense. One of the things they do a very good job with, is they don't do a lot. They play a single safety zone. They kind of keep the ball in front of them. There patience and they force you to be patience. I will have to go look at the film but I thought we were able to move the ball in spurts, especially in the running game but then there would be something to keep us from taking advantage of that middle field yardage. But Seattle is a tough defense, they have been all season long. They force you to be patience in regards to what we wanted to do, both run and pass."
(Thoughts on Graham's late field goal attempt instead of going for it…) "With the numbers (converting a fourth and fifteen), I didn't consider it."
(Thoughts on the weather conditions…) "In the first half I felt like it was swirling. The wind was blowing left to right on our sidelines, which was different than the last game. As we were going in to it, it was just off and on. There would be a gust here and there. It was tough conditions for everyone. Credit the plays they were able to make. They made more than we did."
(What was Seattle able to do to slow Jimmy Graham down…) "Again, they (Seattle) force you to be patience. They play a lot of that deep thirds coverage. We have to find ways to get him more touches early. He obviously grabs a lot of attention, its good on their part."
What was the game plan you told your team before the game…) "We talked about playing not just the field position battle but understanding the significance of the takeaways and making sure that was something we found a way to correct from the last time."
(Thoughts on your team's defense and the defense against Lynch…) "I thought they played hard. They (Seattle) got the big run late because we were in an all out run defense and he (Lynch) was able to make a great cutback. But shoot, they played hard. We'll look at the tape. We had opportunities but we weren't able to get enough points. Again, its disappointing."
(Was Lynch your team's focus entering the game…) "Yes, it's a team we feel like's to run the football. They do a good job with their play action pass. With the elements the way they were in the first half, I think both defenses felt it was going to be more challenging to throw the ball down the field. I thought as the game went on, some of that changed some but obviously that's a starting point with what they do."
(Do you think that Colston lost track of time at the end of the game…) "We'll look at the film, next question."
(What are the positives going into next season…) "Well look it's early, I was proud of how our guys fought and competed this year. They found a way to win twelve games. Obviously it wasn't enough for what we aspire to do. It's a young team with a lot of new faces. We have an important off-season. We have got time, we'll have meetings on Monday and begin our work towards improving. I thought they fought hard this year, that's one of the things that I told them. Its disappointing, its disappointing to lose in a playoff game, so close to where your final goal is and yet I thought there were a lot of good signs from a lot of good young players and veteran players to."
(Do you think your team handled the crowd noise pretty well…) "I would say a little bit better than the last time. It's always challenging though. There's a penalty in there, a miscommunication, not hearing. You can't say that it doesn't factor in but you just try to minimalize how it factors in. Maybe it went a little better than the time before but its problematic, its still challenging."
QB DREW BREES
(On if this was a missed opportunities day all around…) "Well I mean when you look at the numbers we felt like we moved the ball really well in both the run game and the pass game. I think the run game early, and once we established ourselves and got in the second half and obviously had that deficit, we needed some bigger plays, and we got some big plays in the passing game still with the ability to run the ball well and effectively. We had some drives that were right on the outskirts of field goal range, opportunities to get points, and we weren't able to cash in, and in a game like this where every point, every opportunity counts so much, you have to be able to take advantage of those. Obviously we had the two missed field goals, and we went for it fourth down where maybe if we were just a tad closer it might've been another field goal opportunity, and then we got knocked out of field goal range with a sack on one third down. In a game like this where it's a game of inches and it's a game of one play here or there, obviously that makes a difference. I felt like our defense battled and did a great job. Offensively I felt like we battled. We all hung together despite the 16-0 halftime deficit. Unfortunately we had the one turnover that gave them a touchdown, otherwise they just get three field goals and maybe this is a different game. They're a great team, this is a tough place to play, obviously the conditions were very unpredictable at times, it seemed like both teams handled it as well as they could, but at the end of the day if you want the most key stat it's obviously the turnover differential of which they get one that results in seven points. In a one possession game that makes a big difference."
(On if there is anything he regrets…) "I don't know if there is one regret. Like I said I felt like we might have had two other opportunities at field goals or at least to sustain a drive, and we were just not able to convert. I feel like if we were then maybe that results in at least a field goal, maybe you continue the drive down for a touchdown. The momentum shifts can change a lot of things. It's hard to point at something in the second quarter and say that would've made a difference in the game, but it came down to the wire."
(On if he liked where he was at down 6-0 with the wind to his back…) "Yeah we did. We obviously knew the wind was going to be a factor in this game. Like I said it seemed very unpredictable at times. It was swirling, it was from our bench across, but then it favored one direction or the other, but man you just have to play. You just had to play and look for those opportunities to make big plays. Early on I felt like we really established the run well. The offensive line did a great job of moving people, the running backs did a great job of getting chunks, and then obviously the passing game opened up in the second half. We were able to take advantage of some down the field opportunities, but we just came up short."
(On if he leaves here with a different feeling this time than what happened six weeks ago…) "Well obviously we played a lot better today than we did then. We still ended up on the losing side of the turnover ratio which resulted into seven points for them that week, and it resulted into seven points today for them which obviously this game was much closer and that becomes a big difference. Then you say the field goal opportunities, then the others where we just on the outskirts of having an opportunity to kick a field goal. Every little bit of points matter because it changes the mindset and the outlook on their last drive where they ended going down and getting a touchdown, but it's an eight point game at the time. If it's a five point game then maybe that changes. Obviously you don't know how things in the second quarter or third quarter would've changed the mindset you have in the fourth quarter, but certainly you know if it's less than a one possession game, if a touchdown wins it for you versus a touchdown and a two point conversion, I think the mindset is different."
(On the big completion to Robert Meachem…) "Well we felt like we have thrown some balls kind of in that intermediate range, and there guys were falling off a little bit so you felt like this is an opportunity to test them down the field. I felt like we caught them flat footed a little bit so I launched it out there as far as I could. Good thing they tipped it to us and Robert Meachem makes the play. It was a big momentum shift there, big gain, and then obviously we get the penalty. I can't remember what the penalty was, it might've been a holding so now it's second and 15 or so and we just couldn't get any closer. I think we were a bit in that mindset of taking a shot and looking for a big play. We knew were on the outskirts of field goal range, we knew we were going to attempt a field goal, but obviously we were going for the touchdown, two point conversion to tie the game."
(On if this team in Seattle is as much of a challenge that he has come across…) "I say it is. Obviously conditions have a lot to do with that. They're a very stout defense in all phases; front four, linebackers, secondary. It's as complete a defense as there is in the league. There's a reason that they were top ranked in so many categories; points, turnovers, just creating opportunities for their offense, playing at home with their crowd, there are a lot of reasons why they're one of the best."
TE JIMMY GRAHAM
(On what Seattle did to take him out of the game…) "I'm not sure if it was something that they did. Drew is going to throw it to the open guy, and if you've got people on you, he's not going to throw you the ball."
(On if he saw a lot of double-coverage today…) "A lot of different looks. Some of my routes were kind of underneath, so, progression-wise, maybe not me. When the ball comes my way, I've just got to make a play. Some of the calls, I thought, were a little different."
(On what transpired pregame between him and Seattle's Bruce Irvin…) "He tried to disrespect me, and I'm not going to let anyone disrespect me. I don't want to talk about it."
(On if he was frustrated he did not get more throws…) "I like to do a lot more to help this team win, obviously. That's the type of player I am. I want to help put us in the right position. It's just the way it is. If this team wants me to go out there and catch 10 balls, I will, or block or whatever. I will do it for this team, because that's what I'm here for. Tonight wasn't one of those nights."
(On what lies ahead in the off-season…) "Well, I have to figure out what's going to happen. We'll see. Obviously, this is a great city, a great team. I love Drew Brees. I told them I would like to retire with him. Hopefully it will happen."
RB MARK INGRAM
(On what led to his fumble…) "He got up on me at the last second. I didn't see him. Not until the last second, and he just knocked the ball out. It's critical that we take care of the football. We can't help them out. I fumbled it on their side of the field, and they went and scored a touchdown. It's my responsibility to take care of the football. I didn't do it on that drive, and it cost us. I lost it in a critical moment. I take a lot of responsibility for holding the football. I just made a mistake."
(On what impact mistakes had on the outcome…) "We had plenty of opportunities to capitalize and take advantage of different opportunities. We just didn't make enough plays. We know we're a great team, and if we bring our A game we know we have a chance. We still had chance. We didn't play that good, but that is a learning experience. They're a great team. We have to play better to beat them."
(On knowing he is not known for fumbling, it that makes this fumble hurt even more…) "It definitely hurts. Every time I carry that football, I'm carrying the team's dreams and aspirations. I let them down at a critical moment in the game. That's unfortunate. I work awful hard, and it wasn't enough today."
(On what role the weather played…) "I don't think it was much. We ran the ball effectively when it was raining. We took care of it for the most part when it was raining other than my fumble. I think that we played decently. We just didn't make enough plays. We had a lot of opportunities. We just didn't make enough plays to beat a good team in Seattle."
K SHAYNE GRAHAM
(On the impact of weather conditions…) "It gusted at different times, always blowing in different directions. You know, I could lay all those excuses out there, but I'll never be one to let those be my defining moment for something I didn't perform on. It hurts. I don't think anyone feels worse for my situation than I do. I hate not making the kicks when the team needs it. It's just something that will motivate me. It's going to be hard just to forget about. There's a reason that certain people are professional athletes. We work hard, and we have to perform. I feel like I gave it good effort, but sometimes effort isn't enough. You have to execute, and I didn't execute."
(On if the weather had an impact on his kicks…) "Of course it's a factor. You've got to kick it harder into the wind. When you do that, it just a matter that you've still got to execute. If it was easy, everyone would do it. My job as a professional athlete is to make those kicks, no matter what the situation is. It would have been big plays to help the team if I would have made them. Who knows if it would have made a difference in winning or losing the game? But we know we get opportunities when we get opportunities, and I hate it for everyone that I wasn't able to make those kicks."
(On what can be done to prepare for kicking in such conditions…) "We kicked in weather during the week. We had wind at practices. That same kick in practice, I missed short. I hit it really hard; it just didn't get there. We had some strong winds we were kicking in. It was right on the cusp of one of those situations of making a decision, should we kick it or not? I knew I wasn't going to leave that one short. I hit it hard. I just didn't put it between the yellow posts.
S MALCOLM JENKINS
(On today's outcome…) "It went down to the wire. We still had a chance there at the end. Obviously, [Seattle is] a great team. It's a tough place to play. We just didn't get it done today."
(On what he will take away from this season…) "There are a lot of positive things to take from it, and some negatives. I thought we handled the adversity that we had throughout the year pretty well. We started out fast, we dealt with injuries, especially in the secondary, and we kind of kept that moving all year, which was positive. We dealt with a couple of losses, fought back. Same thing with a couple of losses late, but got ourselves back into the playoffs. Got a big win on the road. We just didn't make enough plays today."
(On the improvement on defense…) "I think the guys have a sense of pride in what we did here this year, where we came from. Instead of winning in spite of us, we won because of us this year. I think we played a big part in most of our success. We're looking forward to continuing that and getting better in Rob's system. I think the numbers speak for themselves. It's night and day. He was able to take players who we already had here, put them in positions to really drive. He brought in new guys that obviously brought some versatility and some stability to our defense, and brought a scheme that everybody trusted and believed in. He allowed the players to have input in that, so everybody has their hand in what we're doing defensively. I think that's when guys can really own it and play with pride. I think that was the biggest change. It allowed everybody to kind of get involved."
S RAFAEL BUSH
(On the trying to send a message early…) "I just wanted to set the tone. We just wanted to be the more physical team and for the most part I think we did that. It was one of those plays just trying to set the tone early."
(On the ability of Marshawn Lynch to gain yards after contact…) "He is a strong runner and he has always been a hard runner throughout his career so I think for the most part he had some plays where he broke a lot of tackles and that is what he is known for so my hats off to him."
DE CAMERON JORDAN
(On the season ending here…) "Just as you said the season ended here. We have to see what we can do to get better this off-season. We have a great nucleus of good young players so it can only get better."
(On what positives you can take from this game…) "You can take positives all you want but we are out of the playoffs. We have to focus on getting better this offseason."
(On the Seahawks getting the run game going scoring on the 15-yard touchdown…) "Clearly we didn't shut the run game down completely. They had three great runs. There is no point in saying we have to do this or that better the game has been played and we lost. At this point we are headed back home to watch the last film and take it in the offseason."
(On what changed in the second half that really shut down the Seattle offense…) "I think we had a pretty good defensive game plan. Our job was to be more phyiscal than their offense and I think we did a good job of that. That being said we didn't get the job done enough and they ended up scoring two touchdowns and had we had a perfect game we still would have been in this ball game and we would have been going on."
(On what they were expecting from Percy Harvin…) "I didn't expect anything from Harvin, we have Keenan Lewis. Answer."
DE AKIEM HICKS
(On his thoughts on the game…) "It was unfortunate the way that we didn't do what we wanted to do coming into this game. But definitely something we're gonna work on this offseason and come back stronger and better."
(On his thoughts on team 2nd half performance) "We're a resilient team, everybody in here has the mindset and mentality to win and to be the best at what we do and that's something that won't leave. Regardless of what the score is, regardless of how far we're down, it's something we have to work towards. It's not enough, we've just got to get better."