<span style=""> <span style="">New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton</span>
<span style="">Opening Statement:</span>
"I think I would be remiss if I didn't start by crediting Washington for playing an unbelievable game. They did so many things well today. They had good balance offensively. I thought Jason [Campbell] played well. his receivers played well. I thought, defensively, they got after us some. They won the battles early in that game, in the kicking game, too. In the game you just saw, the field position swung in their favor. We were fortunate to kind of hang in there, obviously, and they missed a short field goal. It's just one of those games where you get back on it and the guys kept hanging in. Credit Washington for the game they played today. They're a good football team. We're glad we won. Obviously there is a lot we can look at to critique and correct. It was a tough week coming off a short week. I thought our guys played with energy and like I said, I think Washington did a real good job for most of that game. I'm just proud of how we finished. As that game went on, slowly, we got the big plays defensively. We almost didn't get that fortunate, but, good win."
On winning the NFC South on the field today:
"We had spoken, the last time we won the division, in '06, was coming off of a loss against the Redskins after a big Sunday night game against Dallas. It's nice to do it with a win. It's one of the steps, it's one of the goals along the way and we're very excited about that. We'll just keep battling now and the excitement is unbelievable."
On going with Garrett Hartley, rather than John Carney in the kicking game and the game that Hartley had
"He kicked well. I told this to John, 'I think the one thing that we had a little bit of a luxury with right now is being able to carry two of them.' I felt like Garrett had really been kicking well in practice. We tried to pay attention to the receivers, the tackles, the defensive line and the linebackers, and Garrett, really to his credit –
John [Carney] has been doing a good job – but Garrett has really been exceptional during the week of practice. We made the move today based on how he's been practicing. He finished last year 13-of-13. He's cool, calm and collected and he obviously made some big kicks for us today. I was proud of him and I was proud of the way John handled it. He's really been a great asset and a tremendous ally for Garrett. There are a lot of things there that Garrett can really learn from him. We'll continue to work with both of them and both of them can help us win games."
On the challenge of the fumble recovery in overtime
"It wasn't a challenge. The replay is upstairs in overtime. It appeared that there was a fumble and I ended up calling a timeout just to slow things down to see if they could get it upstairs. Fortunately, the timeout bought a little time for us and we felt like it was a fumble. The replay is out of our hands so it was not a challenge."
On if somebody upstairs in the coaches booth told him to challenge
"We felt right away, after the first replay, it's a catch, it's a hit, the ball is out, it's on the ground, and we recovered. I'm not hesitant to throw a flag; I just didn't have one to throw at that point in the game. We called a timeout just to see if we could slow things down and let them look at it. Fortunately, we got them to look at it upstairs. I don't think that it would have happened if we didn't use a timeout."
On the feeling after the Redskins missed field goal
"There is confidence in this quarterback (Drew Brees). You've got a long ways to go from the 20-yard line, but you have the feeling that, in the clutch, in the critical moments, he is something. He hit [Robert] Meachem on the long play. We've worked on some double moves. [Marques] Colston got behind [LaRon] Landry in the first half, Meachem got behind him in the second half. Those are big plays. We felt like the safeties on this team were going to post some of those in-cuts, and certainly they did and the quarterback made some plays behind the defense. Overall, I think Washington did a good job, today. I felt like we had our hands full, obviously. I think this is a good team. They played good offensively and credit Jim (Zorn) and his staff. They put together a good plan, and the players to come out the way they did. We had our hands full."
On getting the win for defensive coordinator Gregg Williams
"It's the nature of our game. I think the important thing is us; it's not revisiting old homes. We've already been to Buffalo this year, we've played the Jets with (Jonathan) Vilma, and we played the Giants with (Jeremy) Shockey. I think too much is made of that. At the end of the day, next week we'll play somebody and we'll find somebody on the roster that has been there. I just think that a lot has been made of that and Gregg has handled it well. I'm sure he's just worried about stopping them on third down and forcing them to punt. At that point in the game, you're not thinking about anything other than that and I think that is the same for the players when you get into a game like this; the (Pierson) Prioleau's, (Mark) Brunell's and all of those guys that have been with Washington."
Saints Players Quotes
Running Back Mike Bell
On the importance of the win and the feeling after the game:
"I almost feel speechless, but that's a big win. I really have nothing to say. Our team has so much heart, we work so hard, and it started from the offseason, this is just a special team. We played a good team out there and they never gave up. We don't want to take anything from them, but our team is special."
On the thought of possibly losing the game:
"You can go ask Nick Leckey over there if you want to. I said 'we're going to win this game, he's going to miss the field goal, and were going to win this game.' I swear to God I said it."
On Robert Meachem's play after the interception atnear the end of the first half:
"I just saw him running the other direction and us scoring. It's just unbelievable that we find a way to win. You can put us in any situation and we are going to find a way to win, and that's what we did. We didn't take no for an answer when we were down by a lot and we came back and won."
Quarterback Drew Brees
On his belief in destiny:
"I definitely believe in destiny and I believe in karma and what goes around comes around. We have been on the other side of this deal probably too many times, maybe its our time that we start catching some of the breaks and start being the team that wins them like this in the end. I feel like if you continue to do things the right way then good things happen to you."
On the way the end of the game played out:
"You could see it on our sideline, hey it's 30–20, seven minutes left, we go down, offensively, get points, there's no doubt ,defensively, we're getting that ball back. Then offensively, we get the ball back no doubt we're going down and score, take this thing to overtime, no doubt we're going to win it in overtime. Just that feeling of we're going to make the plays, that things are going to go our way to win this football game, and sure enough they did."
On Robert Meacham's progression:
"Play of the game is when he snatched the ball away from the guy [Kareem Moore] on the interception and ran it in for a touchdown. What a heads up play. Obviously we are just trying to get the guy down and Meacham has the wherewithal to think about stripping and getting the ball and then taking it to the house. That was unbelievable. He just continues to come up with big plays in big moments, I got to hand it to him, he's coming along."
On winning the NFC South:
"It means a lot to win it with a win. We earned this, we absolutely earned it. It is really just one stepping stone toward our ultimate goal."
Running Back Reggie Bush
On what this win proves about the team:
"Proves we have heart. But I didn't need that, I didn't need today to learn that or know that, I knew that we had a lot of heart because we have been in games before where we've had to overcome adversity."
On winning the division:
"It feels great. This is what we set out to do. Obviously, nobody in here wanted to win it by default so it feels even better and more special that we won the NFC South today with a win."
On progression of Robert Meachem:
"He's come a long way. I remember the days where he couldn't even line up correctly. Now he's making plays out there for us and he's playing great. We're happy to have him on our team and hopefully we can continue this run into next week."
On the overall strength of this team:
"It's a really good team, but I think a lot of people who have been on this team since the beginning of the career of Sean Payton appreciate where we are now because of the struggles we had to go through the last few years. I know I can, so it's very special, it's special to be here and to know that this wasn't handed to us overnight, we had to work for this, and this is something that has been in the works for a couple years now."
Wide Receiver Marques Colston
On what the Saints general thought was before the Redskins missed field goal:
"We are always in the game. Anytime we've got the opportunity to win this team is going to capitalize."
On today's win:
"It means that we have another big one next week. We are going to enjoy this one. I think we clinched the division (NFC South) today, but we are just going to enjoy it for the day, move on, make the corrections, and get ready for next week."
On what is different about this particular Saints team compared to other teams he had played on previously:
"As you can see, it is a special group. Teams like this don't come around too often. So, just to have an opportunity to be a part of something like this is truly special."
On what is different from this Saints team and the Saints team from 2006:
"I think in '06 we kind of backed into our division crown. We came into the game knowing that we had a chance to go out and if we won we would clinch the division. We came out it wasn't pretty, but we handled our business. Like I said, make the corrections and move on to next week."
On the touchdown pass that he caught:
"It was a great play call. I ran the route, got the reaction that we expected, and Drew [Brees] just threw it up. I was able to make the catch."
On whether he feels this team was given a little luck in today's game:
"To be honest with you, it doesn't matter what it was. We are walking out of here with a 'W'. Like I said, make the corrections, move on, and we've got another big game next week.
Wide Receiver Robert Meachem
On if Gregg Williams taught him to strip a ball like that
"We've been working on drills like that since we started in OTAs. The defense always works on those types of drills."
On the touchdown to send the game into overtime
"It was a double move. The safety kind of bit. We ran a crossing route and the safety kind of jumped and Drew (Brees) threw a perfect ball and I caught it."
On what it means to be a part of this team and healthy
"Twelve and zero means a lot to us. It's bigger than just the team. All of the fans, that's what it means because they've been through Hurricane Katrina and Gustav and they've been through a lot of bad things."
Safety Darren Sharper
On whether the Saints culture has changed:
"Definitely changed, Sean Peyton has done a great job. Mickey Loomis (general manager) has brought in the right type of players. The culture has definitely changed. This is a winning organization and it is going to be like this from hear on out."
On how important it was to win this game for Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams:
"Gregg is a guy that is a leader on defense. He keeps preaching to us that if we keep grinding away, things can turn. He's seen so much football that he knows that a game like this, sometimes the momentum can change. You have a chance like we saw at the end of the game and still win. No matter how much disbelief everyone watching might have had. People on the field still believed that we can get it done and that is why we kept playing."
Tight End Jeremy Shockey
On today's win over the Redskins:
"We just outlasted them, I think. Our whole goal this year was 'finish' and I think we did that today and we did it all year. If we can keep to our goals, finishing like I said, and stay together - it is up to us. It is a great win. Obviously it wasn't a perfect game, there never is one, but there were a bunch of plays – it was a crazy first half. Just want to enjoy the moment. It definitely brings team unity to a win like this."
On whether he is injury-free this year:
"I feel alright, I am not really going to talk about injuries and stuff. It's football, you are going to injured. That is how it is. It's a physical sport. That is just the name of the game. We all knew how physical it is when we signed up for it in seventh grade, or Pop Warner. Again, it is a great team win. Wins like this bring you closer together as a team. We are all going to enjoy it and go home. Thanks to our fans that travel well with us. Washington played a great game – they had a great game plan for us. Luckily, it bounced our way the last two seconds there."
Running Back Pierre Thomas:
On playing in a game like this before:
"Never have. Well maybe not since high school; that was a long time ago, but in high school I played in a game just like this. This game was amazing, a lot of big plays, a lot of bad plays, but we kept fighting, we never gave up."
On reason for successes in this game:
"For me, I really think it's a blessing from above. You can just see in these guys' eyes, when we we're down and they just kept putting points on the board and we're just trying to catch up, catch up, catch up, you can see in these guys' eyes that we weren't done, we're not finished. Everybody showed that we weren't finished and the game was not over yet."
On the feeling after the missed field goal:
"We were sitting there praying, we had to believe in our defensive team that they were going to stop it with our field goal rush, and we thought they were going to stop it, but as soon as we saw they missed it, it was a blessing from above. And then we got another shot to go down field and score and that's what we did."
On being champions of the division with four games left:
"It's a great accomplishment, and we have worked so hard. We put in a lot of work in the offseason just to try to be in this position we are in now. It's a blessing to be in this position, to be the champions, to be the NFC South champions, it's a wonderful feeling, and we're going to have a great time."
Linebacker Jonathan Vilma
On his interception in the 4th quarter:
"I had to first make sure I caught the ball and then I tried to turn it up but I don't have hips like Reggie Bush. I was just excited that I was able to eliminate their scoring opportunity and give our offense a chance."
On his thoughts on the game:
"That was definitely one for the record books, it was a very good game, a very exciting game, and you just have to be able to manage your emotions in games like that."
Redskins Head Coach Jim Zorn
On Shaun Suisham's missed field goal:
"It wasn't good. I thought the snap was a little high. I thought Hunter [Smith] did a nice job getting the ball down, and when he came through he didn't expect the ball to be slammed down and he had to make the adjustment. I'm sure he feels terrible. I haven't talked to him about it, because the game goes on. That was the situation at that particular time; we still had the lead by a touchdown. It was unfortunate."
On losing this game compared to losing against the Dallas Cowboys:
"This is hard. I felt sick about [the Dallas game] because it was a division opponent – a rival game. This game I felt like our team played really well. We had some great coverages, kicks and defensive stands. We put points on the board and we had over 300 passing yards. We really connected on a lot of things, but they did as well. They took it to us like we took it to them and it was a great game. It just feels awful to stand up here and be the losing head coach again."
On why they chose to run the ball rather than pass at the end of the game:
"We wanted to take time off the clock because they didn't have any timeouts, and we had been running the ball pretty well. We had to hold onto the ball. They're a team that would strip the ball and I didn't want the ball bouncing up in the air. I wanted to keep the ball on the ground. We were in great field position. Ten points [ahead] was going to win that game. You play it as it comes and at that particular point we had an easy field goal and we missed it and it turned out to be costly, but at that particular time we had the lead."
On if he thought they were going to win because they were up by 10 points:
"I was thinking we were sitting pretty well in the game but this is a high potent offense and they maintained their composure and road the ball down. It's hard to stop that offense when they're throwing the ball every down. The risk of playing defense at that time is to slow them down and get to the QB. They protected Drew [Brees] well and he did a masterful job of getting down the field."
On Jason Campbell's game performance:
"Very sharp. I thought today he really extended himself down the field with his vision. He saw receivers that were wide open. In the past he's missed a couple of those things, but he was right on it. We took some shots today and made some big throws down the field and extended our offense. It was due to our protection and Jason reading. The one thing that we have been trying to push is our receivers separating from defenders, and we got some separation today and it really pays off. It makes the game easier for Jason."
On if he feels the Redskins have a habit of losing:
"No. I think each game is unique and we earn the right by finishing each game. There are no superstitions going on, there's no habit, we'll find our way."
Quarterback Jason Campbell
On if this was the worst loss of the year:
"The last three have been. We go to Dallas and play our butts off, and could have won that one. Then we go to Philly and we do the same thing. Then today, we do the same thing. To come out on the short end of the stick, that is definitely frustrating. You're looking at it and saying, 'We could have gotten all those games.' We would be 6-6 and our season is totally different right now – fighting for a playoff spot. We are 3-9. We take our hats off to the Saints. They are a great football team. Drew Brees is a great quarterback. We just have to continue to fight."
On how tough this on loss was:
"This one stung the most. There were a lot of guys out there fighting today, trying to make plays. I think Devin – it was one of his best games as a pro since he has been in the league. Malcolm [Kelly] and Fred [Davis] continue to step up and make plays. Santana [Moss] and [Antwaan] Randle El continue to make plays. One thing that you will see us doing offensively now is not just forcing the ball. We are trying to get the ball to all the guys, giving all the guys an opportunity to make plays. If you look at the New Orleans Saints, they aren't going to have a 1,000-yard rusher, they aren't going to have a 1,000-yard receiver. They just do what it takes to throw the ball to the right guys."
On how hard it is to dominate an entire game, then lose in overtime:
"It's disappointing. It teaches you a lot about finishing. It's a four-quarter game, and you have to continue to fight until the clock goes all zeros. The last couple weeks have been tough losses. You can be a really good football team, but you like to be on the opposite side of the losing streak."
On if this was the strangest game he had been a part of:
"Yes. Definitely the strangest game I have been a part of. Kareem [Moore], on the ball, then you see it going back the other way - then the call on Mike [Sellers]. You have to take your hat off. They continue to make plays and we knew coming in it would be one of those types of games. You have to try to move the ball successfully and score points because you know that at some point in time they are a good enough offense to move the ball all the time."
On if the team expects bad things to happen because of the last few weeks:
"You try to block that out. Everyone keeps saying, 'Oh no here we go again.' We definitely still thought we had this game even when it went into overtime. We felt like we were the team to do
what we were doing offensively, not having to worry abut, 'hurry up hurry up' – just work the time into our favor. We feel like we could have won that game in overtime. We were just going to run our basic offense all the way down the field."
On what felt different for him today:
"A lot of it was just people being in the right place at the right time. That offensive line did a great job of picking up their stunts and blitzes, giving me an opportunity to see downfield. It was totally a group effort. It wasn't just about me, it was a group effort because you see guys catching short passes and then going deep. You see guys continuing their routes downfield. Like I said, with the protection that the offensive line gave today, along with the receivers, you couldn't ask for anything more."
On if Greg Williams came after the offense:
"He came after us a couple of times, but when he did we were able to hit the big plays off of it. I think that kept him from coming more and more. Every time they brought a full out blitz, or a lot of guys, we were able to hit a couple of receivers and they were able to get open. For the most part on all those stunts we knew that there was going to be one guy coming free that we couldn't protect. We were able to have time to hit the short route or throw it away."
Redskins Player Quotes
Defensive End Andre Carter
On how to describe this loss:
"You really can't. You constantly got to bounce back. One thing I think about our guys is even though it started with the Dallas game, we keep on fighting and we will continue to fight. The character is there, the men in this group are there [it's] that one last element, that one extra inch to keep on fighting and finish the game."
On how they find that extra desire at this point in the season:
"It's just inside. There is no secret, there is no secret remedy to it. It's just to continue to be driven and we are driven, don't get me wrong, it's just that one additional piece."
Running Back Rock Cartwright
On if this is the most disheartening loss of the season:
"Yes. Those guys were who we thought they were. We knew they had weaknesses. We exploited those weaknesses. I'm sure other teams other teams will see that and somebody will get those guys. We wanted to win the game. We should've won the game, but we came up short. All we can do is get ready for Oakland next week. That's all we can worry about."
On if the career days by quarterback Jason Campbell and wide receiver Devin Thomas are as substantial with the loss:
"No. Stats don't matter when you lose a football game. The main stat is the W and we didn't get that so all the other stuff doesn't matter. Congratulations to Devin, he had a great game. Jason had a great game. But at the end of the day, we wanted the win and we didn't get that so nothing else matters."
On if he has ever been involved in a game with so many strange plays:
"This is my first game where we've had so many unlucky bounces. We had a chance to put them away. We just didn't. I came up short three times on the goal line. We had a chance to put them away, going up ten by hitting the field goal and we missed the field goal. They had no timeouts and they came down and scored. We had things going in overtime and the last couple of seconds of the game, but we just weren't able to finish."
On if he's ever seen such a change of momentum in the last two minutes of the game:
"I've never seen anything like this in my life, but this is the NFL and things happen. Things happened to us today and we didn't get the win so nothing else matters."
Tight End Fred Davis
On if it is frustrating to play so well and yet not be able to enjoy a win:
"Yes. We were clicking together. We were doing things together as a team and driving down the field. We just didn't finish at the end. It does feel like, 'Man, we were doing what we were supposed to be doing and it didn't work out again.' We've just got to keep pushing."
On the amount of bad breaks:
"I've never seen anything like that happen, an interception and then a fumble for a touchdown. It's a lot of different stuff. You expect some crazy plays. Those guys get paid too. I feel like, as offensive players, we need to score still. We were still driving the ball every time we got it. You've got to make plays."
On if he felt like the best team won today:
"No, I definitely feel like we were more physical than them. I feel like we should have won that game. I feel like we were robbed a little bit. I feel like we didn't do what we were supposed to do at the end. That's what counts. Dominating teams finish at the end. We didn't dominate. We had a good day, but we didn't have a great day offensively. Great would have been scoring when we missed that field goal."
Safety Reed Doughty
On if losing the same way the past three weeks has become frustrating:
"I think we got a lot of veteran leadership on this team. I don't know what to attribute it to but really good teams find ways to win these games and we're not doing it now. It is not enough to be in the game. It is not just we are in the game, oh we played them close, we've had games in our hands and we let them slip away and that is incredibly frustrating."
On what head coach Jim Zorn told the team after the game:
"He said there is not a whole lot to say and it is incredibly frustrating, we are going to keep fighting and that is pretty much all that was said because what do you say. Enough has been said and there needs to be more that is done."
Safety Kareem Moore
On what happened on the interception at the end of the first half:
"Just when I was running, I was trying to make a play, trying to go score. He had me by the arm and I tried to spin out of it and then he used my momentum and just took the ball from me. He made a good play."
On if he was given the opportunity again would he do the same thing:
"I would try to score. That is every defensive back's dream, get a pick six. I wouldn't change anything about it just probably hold the ball high and tight. Other than that, I would try to score again."
Center Casey Rabach
On if this was quarterback Jason Campbell's best game:
"He was on today. He made some big throws for us. Our wide receivers made some big catches for us. Everybody on the offense really played hard today and did some great things. It stinks that we came out with a loss."
On if there is consolation taken from how well they played today:
"Win or lose that is all that matters. There are no moral victories in the NFL. We lost."
On if he has ever been a part of a game that has ended like this:
"I really haven't. This one, I don't think the best team won today. We had some bad breaks and some bizarre things happened today and this one hurts."
On if there was anything different about quarterback Jason Campbell in the huddle:
"I think Jason is always confident. He really is. I think we gave him time today. I think we had two quarterback hits and I don't think we gave up a sack today. If he doesn't have pressure, he can play."
Kicker Shaun Suisham
On if there was anything wrong with the snap and the hold of the final kick:
"No, the operation was perfect."
On how he is dealing with the missed field goal:
"It's about as difficult as it gets. You have the New Orleans Saints come in here, the guys played an unbelievable game, and I'm disappointed. I wish I could get back out there, but the game is over and we lost. It's difficult. I won't allow that kick to define me. The only thing I'm going to do is go to work this week and come back ready for Oakland. I sure wish there was something I could do. I just apologize to my teammates, coaches, Mr. Snyder and the fans. I feel terrible."
On what other players said to him following the game:
"We're a team. They're very supportive. I just wish I could get back out there."
Wide Receiver Devin Thomas
On his solid performance in such a tough loss:
"It's bittersweet. It feels like a situation where we should've won the game. We had a chance to win it but, once again, failed to do it. We've got to find a way to get over the hump and fight this adversity."
On what it means to him personally to have such a big game:
"It just shows that there's more to come. I'm building each week, trying to get stronger and step up my game. I'll just continue to do that and finish out the year strong."
On quarterback Jason Campbell:
"I think Jason stepped it up today too. Despite the interception, I think he had a solid performance and I think we're going to continue that success as the season goes on."
On if he feels like the best team won today:
"We didn't win so you can call it what you want to call it. We've just got to find a way to get over the hump. You've got to give them a lot of credit. They found a way to come back. They were down in a hostile environment here at FedExField and they got it done."
On if he can take anything away from this game for the future:
"I'll take this whole season as something for my future. It's been a tough two years for me. This season has been up and down, but mainly down. You've got to take the positives with the negatives and the positive is that we keep fighting every game despite the injuries and what people say. We're going to continue to do that because that's the makeup of our team."