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Quotes from Sean Payton following the week 14 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON

(On the team’s performance in today’s game)

“I’ll try to speak above the noise. It was kind of two different games really. The first half, we hung in there defensively. We struggled offensively and we took kind of a big play in the second half, the blocked punt. All of a sudden, you know, to be able to win a game maybe where you didn’t play your best in one certain area or another was significant. I thought the defense after the first drive really played exceptionally well. I thought the special teams won that battle and then I felt like offensively, we finished. It was a good win, obviously an important win.”

(On the slow start for the offense)

“If I knew, it wouldn’t take a little while then.”

(On if the blocked punt in the second half was a called play or not)

“No, no, it was a return. Taysom [Hill] just hit a seam, and you know, you can always rush a punt, but it wasn’t a pressure.”

(On the blocked punt being the key turning point in the game)

“It was a significant play. It was like a turnover. Fortunately, we were able to capitalize and score and kind of build off that momentum.”

(On the decision to go for the two-point conversion)

“I was comfortable with it. There’s not a lot of walking, it was really just making the decision. I felt real good about what we had because we hadn’t been inside the five [yard-line], so we really hadn’t utilized a lot of calls that maybe we would have. Obviously, if you like a play down there as a two-point play, certainly you would like it when you’re inside the five. We felt like we had a pretty good set of plays.”

(On what he liked about the two-point conversion play)

“Just in the game plan during the week, there’s like three elements to it. It’s one of those late-night plays. I mean, it’s a flip play and it just had a lot of answers. And I liked that Alivn [Kamara] had the ball.”

(On Drew Brees’ quarterback sneak on fourth down)

“You get that close and he’s been exceptional with that. When you’re in goal-line defense, oftentimes it’s hard to sometimes prevent that, but I trust him with that. The guys up front did a good job.”

(On what makes Brees so successful with the quarterback sneak and if he’s ever ‘missed’)

“I can’t think of a miss. He’s athletic, he’s got a got a great feel for it and it was an important play.”

(On what the locker room celebration is like this year compared to last year)

“It’s good. Last year we won the division in this locker room, but we didn’t win the game. You’re not always going to have that perfect game. There are weeks where you get out to a good start, but I like the way we finished in the second half. The guys kind of fought through it. Defensively it seemed like we kept building on the momentum. Offensively we started to hit our stride a little bit. It was a good win.”

(On Taysom Hill’s performance)

“It’s this team and what you love about getting a chance to coach a team like this. One of the things I said prior to the game was, when it’s all done and when we’re all finished, it’s not going to be the material things you miss, it’s going to be like right now, this is what you’re going to miss. So, we had that opportunity going in and we’re all in the business of trying to make memories.”

(On if the weather conditions affected his decision making)

“I think it changes week to week. I hear you and I know what you’re getting to. The analytics of it all are if it’s pouring down rain, and your left tackle is injured, that doesn’t function in the computer anymore. So, it’s different than baseball, but I did feel like we had two or three good plays. Sometimes, as coaches, you can fall in love with them, but good enough at the two-yard-line that we had pretty good answers.”

(On the level of confidence that the defense is playing with)

“I think a lot. We finally started possessing the ball in the second half and that’s something we’ve done well all year. It wasn’t something we did well in the first half and those guys played well.”

(On how the team handled the weather and the field conditions)

“I think pretty good. We got out here early enough, equipment guys did a good job of getting them in the right shoes. You can’t slip it’s not ok. We had most of them in screw-ins.”

(On Taysom Hill’s character)

“I think he’s very unselfish, that carries over because it’s contagious. He wants to play hard because he loves the game and you feel that. There’s just some of those intangibles that he’s willing to do anything,but do it well. He’s a very important part of our team.”

(On field position being a factor in the Saints’ struggles in the first half)

“Right, but you have to flip field position. It’s not because of field position, you have to create that and I think we did that in the second half.”

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