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Quotes from Sean Payton following the Week 17 game against the Carolina Panthers

Head coach Sean Payton spoke to the media following the Saints' week 17 game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Dec. 30

New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers - Mercedes-Benz Superdome - Dec. 30, 2018 - Head coach Sean Payton

On evaluating the game today:
"It's easy to evaluate. Just look at the film. We can spin it any way we want to. We didn't play well. We can put our own little stamp on this. It starts with me and we'll get the corrections made, but we didn't play well. Credit Carolina. They came ready to play."

On Marcus Davenport's snaps:
"He played a lot. He's been playing a lot this season. We will look at the tape. He had some pressures in the second half, but a little too late."

On Teddy Bridgewater starting the whole game:
"The plan was to play him most of the game. I thought the one interception was a play he'd like to have back, but he did a good job. He had a great week of practice."

On the defense's first half performance in the first half:
"It was not good. We did not get any pressure on the quarterback, we did not tackle well, holding the receivers. Pick something. Run fits were not good. Disappointing."

On if it was difficult to generate emotion for this game:
"That's our job though. That's the business we're in. We can't just turn it on and off and decide what you want to on your terms. It's not like that. This game never has been and it never will be."

On the schedule for this week:
"I'll keep you posted."

On if there was a moment he knew the team wasn't inspired today:
"From the get-go it was obvious. You take that personally as a coach. It's disappointing. We played poorly."

On the offensive line's performance today:
"We had a couple new guys in there starting. We will look at the tape. I thought we got some things going in the second half, but it's too hard to make an evaluation on all five guys 20 minutes after the game."

On Michael Thomas breaking the Saints single season receiving yardage record:
"He has so many other significant things that are going to happen in his career. He's a fantastic player for us. It was good to see him get a milestone like that and yet for him it's always about winning though. I don't know how old the record was. I had a year to coach Joe Horn. He was a good player for us in 2006, but I'm happy for Mike."

On if the record was important enough to find opportunities for Thomas to get the record:
"He needed 24 yards coming in. I don't want to downplay the significance of the record, but his career and what he does, the team stuff I think is so much more important than what was a record on a loss.

On whether Thomas would have stayed on the field if the record wasn't achievable:
"You can only list seven inactives. He probably would have been (out) at halftime."

On drawing comparisons to the 2009 season's playoffs after losing a three consecutive games heading into the playoffs:
"It is different. We've been in this situation (having clinched a specific playoff seed) multiple times. 2006, 2009. I don't like losing games period. That's a game you don't get back for those players, for me as a coach, our staff. It is what it is."

On Dwayne Washington's performance:
"I thought he ran well. It was good to see him going."

On what it was like seeing Teddy Bridgewater play after everything he's been through:
"Obviously a lot of adversity. In a pinch, we had two new guys playing (on the offensive line)."

On the overall health of the team going into the playoffs:
"I would not begin to start with (that). We do not discuss injuries. I think it's good."

On whether this performance was a good teaching moment:
"It is what it is. We didn't play well and you're upset about it. You don't come in here and say that's going to be a great learning (experience). There's nothing about it that's good. It's disappointing. I told the players the same thing. You can try to spin it any style you want. You can try whatever you want. That won't work in the end. There are some things (we need to do better). Coaches and players. All of us."

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