NEW ORLEANS SAINTS COACH SEAN PAYTON
"First off, obviously it's a disappointing loss and credit Cleveland for coming in here with a real good plan and taking it to us. I think it starts with me, our coaching staff and our preparation. We had far too many penalties and turnovers. We lost the battle of field position in the kicking game and did all the things that you can't do in order to win a game regardless of who you are playing. So, if we continue to do that then we will muddle around and win some and lose some, and that's just something that will get you beat in this game and obviously got us beat today.
"There are some things that we did pretty well. Defensively, I thought we did a lot of things well. Third down was good defensively, but there are enough mistakes here. Like I said in the beginning, you have to start off by crediting Cleveland, Eric (Mangini) and his staff; they were well prepared and certainly better prepared than our team was."
(what did you have trouble establishing or what did they give you trouble with) "Listen, whether it was an inopportune penalty or a turnover… We wanted to make sure we had balance in this game with the running game, we felt field position was going to be important and obviously the turnovers were critical… We had too many and then you get to the point in the game where you are no longer running the football."
(on Cleveland defense) "No, we saw pretty much what we worked on and talked about. They play a lot more two-man than other teams and a couple zone pressures. We will go back and put the tape on, but obviously we didn't do a good job executing or scoring. We had some opportunities and we have to be better than that offensively."
(on Cleveland's trick plays) "When you are looking for a win you are going to be aggressive whether it is a throw back to the quarterback or a fake punt or a throw back on kickoff or punt, whichever. We failed to recognize and handle that."
(on special teams trick plays) "Those are gutsy calls and yet they are plays you expect from a team that is trying to get a win and trying to create some offense."
(on the injury to the chain operator) "It was a collision with Courtney (Roby) as a gunner. A lot of times those guys get run out of bounds. He is out of bounds running and he collides with the guy operating the chains. I did see that. Hopefully, he (chain operator) is doing alright; it was a pretty good collision."
(on Fujita being here four years benefiting Cleveland) "Like I said this week, your tape is out there. I think maybe it helps a little bit when you discuss the various personnel within the framework of the team."
(On Fujita waiting to see what packages he sent in) "He (Fujita) is their signal caller. That is what he does each week. He's in charge of getting the call in and getting the defense lined up, much like Jon Vilma does for us."
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS PLAYERS
QB #9 Drew Brees
(On his thoughts about today's game)**"It was very similar to two games ago against the Cardinals. Any time you give up two defensive touchdowns, where you turn the ball over and that results immediately in a touchdown, you don't even give your defense a chance to get out on the field and defend. When it happens once, you probably have about a 20% chance of winning after that. If it happens twice, you might as well throw it out the door. We have now had, in those two losses, four touchdowns scored against us where the offense turns the ball over and the defense scores. What is so frustrating is in both of those games if you take those touchdowns away, the defensive touchdowns, we score more points than they do. We outscore them. I guess that's another thing that's so frustrating is that I feel like our defense has played very well in both of those games and yet you walk away having it really not even be close when you look at the final score. When you work so hard throughout the week, we put in so much time and effort, this team, myself, I feel like we have had great game plans. All of that stuff you can throw out the window when you don't execute and you turn the ball over. That's the frustrating thing at this point is that we are working hard and we have good game plans and we just aren't executing them.
(On the success of the Cleveland Browns' defense) "I was actually surprised by the third down numbers. I thought we were a lot better on third down then we were. We were only 33% and we have a 50% average on the year. I looked at it and thought we were a lot better on third down, but obviously we weren't. For us, I felt like we did a good job of mixing the run and the pass. We had a few big plays. Penalties, we had seven for about 100 yards today. That's not good. Obviously, the turnovers, are what's going to get you beat everytime."
(On his first interception of the game)**"That was one of those option routes, where the guy has kind of a three way go. The guy can go in, go out, or he can hook. Obviously, the guy was on me, so his body language told me that he was going to hook so I threw it for him to hook and he ran away. There was a defender standing right there to catch it."
(On his performance both overall and statistically)**"Whenever you throw a pick, you are going to be upset about it. Anytime you throw two, you are really upset. Anytime you throw three, you are really, really upset. Four, I don't have days like that. I have had one of those days in my entire career. Despite how they happen, whether they are bad decisions or bad throws or tipped balls, it doesn't excuse the fact that the ball was turned over. Are interceptions going to happen? Yes, they are part of the game. In order to be a good quarterback, you have to be able to anticipate and trust. There are times where you are throwing the ball to a spot feeling like a guy is going to be there and maybe he is not. At times they are going to fool you. Four interceptions are hard to swallow."
(On whether the problems encountered by the offense is more than a little slump) "I think we are all doing a little soul searching. We know how good we are and how good we can be. Obviously, we aren't playing that way right now. We are doing things that are not like the things that we talk about, the things that we preach and the things that we understand win and lose football games in this league. We understand those things. We have won that way in the past. Yet, now, we are doing it to ourselves on the flip-side. I think that is the part that is so frustrating. We need to come in tomorrow, watch the film, be very open- minded. Very diligent and disciplined in regards to evaluating our own performance both as individuals and as a team and find a way that we can get better each and every day. Just stay disciplined to that fact. Eliminate distractions, take care of our business, and continue to prepare. That's the thing, I don't feel like we are doing anything different. This year, it's not like we aren't spending as much time. I am in there more now than I ever have been. For things, then, to not happen, at times you say "this is puzzling." There are going to be peaks and valleys in this game. You have got to fight through adversity at times. A lot of times that is what molds you, shapes you, and strengthens you and brings you together as a team. I hope and believe that is what is going to happen to our team. It will bring us tighter together and we will be playing our best football as we move forward from here on out."
(On Scott Fujita)**"I guess he had a good day. They won. A sack, a pick. You can tell that he is a pretty integral part of their defense. He stays on the field all the time in their base packages and nickel and dime packages. You see him do a lot of signaling and calling out. He is a smart player. He is a good friend and a guy who is a good football player too."
G #77 Carl Nicks
(On the offensive line play compared to last week) "In football, every game isn't going to be dominant. It stinks that we played the way that we did today. We just have to go back, look at the film and keep our heads up. We have to battle back."
(On what Cleveland's defense did well) "They did a lot of blitzing and moving around. Sometimes you didn't even know where it was coming from. We just didn't execute at the end of the day."
WR #16 Lance Moore
(On if the mistakes are correctable) "We've had a lot of penalties and turnovers all year. We have to fix it or we are going to be going down the wrong road. We have to do what it takes to get back to playing Saints football. It starts tomorrow."
(On if Scott Fujita assisted the defense with the play calls) "He pretty much runs their defense anyway. He is a smart guy. He's going to study up on his film. He's seen us before, but we still have to go out and execute against whoever we are playing. Next time we have to do a little bit better."
DE #96 Alex Brown
(On today's game) "There is nothing positive about today's game. There's nothing positive about this team losing to that team. We have to play better. We are going to have things like that happen until we start doing that. There is a much better team coming in here next week and we have to put out a much better team out on that field or it's going to get bad."
(On the Browns long fourth-quarter drive being deflating) "We had chances. We had them in the backfield and missed a tackle. We missed a couple of tackles on other plays. They had the toss sweep pass to the quarterback that was a first down. They had nothing to lose. They came in and played like it. They made plays when they needed to and they deserved to win. We need to go back and figure out what it is to play better. We need to find a recipe for that."
DB #27 Malcolm Jenkins
(On the adjustment of playing corner today) "It was a little tough. I hadn't played corner on the outside since mid-season last year. I played a lot of nickel last year. I think I did a good job of what they asked me to do. With a couple of guys banged up, we are going to have to make it through a few games with guys in uncomfortable positions."
(On the fake punt) "I'm not sure what happened. I was the jammer with an outside release. When I looked back, he was running down the field."
24 CB Leigh Torrence
(On the throwback of the punt) "We thought they were going to come in and do some unorthodox things. We got caught off guard there with the first throwback. You don't see that play very often on this level. It was a good call by them. The kick just happened to set up right for them. Our coverage unit was out there and Marvin Mitchell did a tremendous job of running him down. We were able to hold them to the three points. That's all you can ask for when you get caught off guard. It was a tremendous play on Marvin's part and it gave our defense a chance to go out and stop them. It was just one of those plays where you wish you had the crystal ball to anticipate it coming. You have to have guys rally and react to get that guy down. That's what we did."
(On the fake punt) "You don't see the punter running like that very often. It was a well timed, well executed play on their part. Malcolm Jenkins was able to run him down and we were able to get on the field and get them off on defense. That's all you can ask for in a situation like that. As a punt return unit, we need to go and see what we can do to prevent those types of plays. You don't want to have vulnerabilities in your kicking game. It adds momentum for a team like that and gives them the opportunity to believe in themselves. We knew we were in for a dog fight and in the end we didn't have enough to get the job done."
42 FS Darren Sharper
(On his knee) "It feels fine. It doesn't bother me. It's not achy or sore at all."
(On the defensive play) "We didn't play as well as we could have. We didn't get the ball away like we should have. You need to find a way to get turnovers. We pride ourselves in doing that and we didn't get it done. I think that would have changed the complexion of the game if we could have forced turnovers."
(On the plan for him today) "The plan was to play third downs, passing downs and red zone. That's what we went with and it felt pretty good throughout."
CLEVELAND BROWNS COACH ERIC MANGINI
"I'm just really proud of the guys. What I said to them in the locker room is, 'You see what's possible when we play complimentary football. When we play together, we win. When we do that, I think anything is possible. We got some big plays from our special teams group. Whether it was the throw back from Josh (Cribbs) to Eric Wright or the keep (fake punt) by Reggie Hodges, I thought that (assistant head coach/special teams coordinator) Brad (Seely) did an excellent job with that….not just designing it, but talking about it during the course of the game, as to when he wanted to call it and when we thought we had the looks."
(on the play of the defense) "Defensively, this is a really difficult offense to stop. There are so many weapons. They're on turf. There are a lot of challenges. I thought that the defensive staff and the defensive players did a great job of mixing up the looks, disguising, and letting it be clean, which is really important against a guy like Drew Brees and an offense like this.(The Saints) cut the lead to ten points and go on that long drive that took up seven minutes and picks up the field goal. That was as an important a series as any of them were."
(on a team effort) "I'm just really proud of the group and I'm proud of the way that they played."
(on lateral from Joshua Cribbs to Eric Wright in the first quarter following a Saints punt) "It had to be on the correct hash. It had to be (dependent) on where the kick was going to go. You have to get the right kick. There are a lot of factors that go into that play (for it to be called). (It was a) lateral. We did it a couple of times in practice. I was thinking, 'It looks pretty good.'"
(on the fake punt) "I think he (Reggie Hodges) was shocked by how open it was (in the middle of the field). We were looking for a first down. He was pretty winded after that play."
(on the play of Scott Fujita) "I gave him a game ball. I know about that transition going from a team that you've invested so much in and helped build (to be) very special like they have in New Orleans and then transitioning (to a new team). The thing that I admire about Scott is he's a great leader and a great person, but he relishes the opportunity to go somewhere else and to build that next program. He did outstanding."
(on if this is the best that his team has played in two years) "We've faced a lot of challenges. We've got a young, rookie quarterback. We have a lot of guys playing that are young. We've had some injuries and other different things that we've faced. They (the Saints) have a potent offense, (many different) looks on defense…I think that it was, arguably, our most complete game."
(on what his team did best today) "I think the best thing that we did was not show our hand pre-snap. That is really important, because with a guy like Drew who has seen so many things, and if he knows (what the defense is doing) it goes…and it goes a long way. You have to make that post-snap read and the group has to be coordinated in the concept of not making it look coordinated. It's hard to do when you've got 11 guys who have to be in the right spot when the ball is snapped, but can't give it away pre-snap."
(on the play of Colt McCoy) "I think he did another good job of poise. They brought a lot of different looks. There are a lot of things that they do that are very different and challenging…and specific things that they do (to confuse the quarterback). Regardless of what the numbers were, I thought that he did those things well."
CLEVELAND BROWNS PLAYERS
LB #99 Scott Fujita
"It felt great to come back. The last time I was back here was when we won the NFC Championship game. And after this win today, I look at it as this might be the last time I'll ever come back to the Superdome. Just to come back and be received as well as I did last night and to enjoy this city that I love, it's just awesome."
"This was a great win. We had a great defensive game plan coming in. It was a fun day and this is a win we can definitely build upon."
"I tried to do my best early this week in practice to prepare our team for what we would face today, as it's no secret that I am familiar with the Saints. It's one thing to plan the X's and O's, but it's another to come out and execute it. The way we did it was pretty impressive."
(on Brees' interceptions) "I don't recall ever seeing that happen. We tried all day to make him uncomfortable. And for me to get an inception was real special. I didn't come into this game saying it was a vindication game. There is no vindication and hard feelings for that team or for this city. We came here to win a game. I mean we came in being 1-5, and the Cleveland Browns needed a win. It had nothing to do with payback or anything like that."
QB #12 Colt McCoy
"I talked to Drew real briefly right after the game, and he said something like,'Way to go on your first victory even though it was against me.' I've looked up to Brees ever since I was young playing football. There are a lot of great guys in that locker room and today's win is real special.
"If we manage the game like we did today and not turn the ball over, we always have a chance to win a ballgame. The offensive line played tremendous because with the crowd noise it's hard on them to hear the snap count. They could barely hear me in the huddle – as you can tell I am little hoarse."
"I couldn't be happier. That locker room is so happy right now. To be able to come out and win as a team is real special."
DB #21 Eric Wright
"It's always a possibility that we are going to come into a game and run some trick plays. Even with our record, we look at it as a brand new year. We're trying a lot of new things in practice and then trying to see if it works during the game and today it did."
RB #22 Mike Bell
"This entire year so far for me has been a roller coaster. I didn't even know when the season started that I would return here. But even with the ups and downs, you've got to see it through. It's crazy if you think about it; that I would be playing for a team that would play a team I just left and we would come down here and win a ballgame."
"You can't put your selfishness over the team and today we just came out and wanted to win. I've tried to put all of my feelings aside and work hard for the team."
P #2 Reggie Hodges
(on fake punt): "That's how we had it designed in practice. We felt that if we had most of the line run to the right then there would be a hole there and that's just what happened. Their defense went off and chased the line and I just ran."