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Saints Coach Sean Payton talks about loss to Cardinals

Transcript of his postgame press conference

Opening statement:

"Obviously, it's a tough loss. At halftime, we felt kind of good with where we were. We felt like it was going to be a game that we were going to have to be patient, really pay attention to the turnovers, the field position, and I felt pretty good about that at the half. For the most part we eliminated the big play. We gave up a third down touchdown early in the game. There was a sequence there that obviously swung the momentum. We had an opportunity after Mark's (Ingram) long play and we ended up settling for a field goal. They were then able to come down and score in the next series and put it to a two-score game. There will be a handful of things I'm sure that we will have to look closely at and clean up. It will be important that we make that progress from week one to week two. Give those guys credit, Bruce (Arians) and that team did a good job. They made enough plays in the second half, more than we did."

On if they had to take what was given to them on offense:

"One of the things we saw others have success with a year ago was misdirection. It is a pressure defense, they do a good job of getting after the quarterback. We had a few of those different plays in for this plan. We had some opportunities though. (Zach) Hocker did a great job. You hate to be kicking four field goals, and as that game was unfolding, he did a very good job."

On how tough it was to run the offense in the red zone:

"I have to look at the film. The play sequence down there is a little different, but we will take a peek at it in the red zone. We will see."

On the decision to punt in the fourth quarter:

"Just go back and forth. You look at the clock and we have two timeouts, if you go for it and you're 4th and 8 inside your 10. I think with the two timeouts and the situation that we had, two minutes, it's something that we would normally do. I think most people would."

On if the decision to punt was an easy or difficult decision:

"There is an aggressive side of you that wants to go for it, but to put our defense on the field on the seven or eight-yard line … if the distance was inside of three, maybe four yards. Having the two timeouts, you are going with your gut there. I think more often than not, in that type of situation, we would punt it. I think that would be the normal approach."

On if the red zone struggles are the things that eat him up:

"The two sequences there were 'shoot I have to do a better job.' Things that stood out I would say we have to clean up. We had seven penalties tonight; handful of those were costly. We have to be better when we get in that area of the field and coming away with the touchdown. Those are the two things offensively. I don't have the split on the penalties, I just know we had seven. I can think of three on offense. I know we had a handful of holding and pass interference calls."

On how crucial the sequence was where the defense recovered the fumble then gave up the interception:

"It was a real quick back and forth. It was 3rd and 7 and the ball kicked off of Marques (Colston) and into their player's hands. The guy made a play. We really went into the game with the mindset of paying attention to ball security and trying to win that battle and feeling that was going to be extremely important to win a road game. That is why that the mood at halftime was pretty good for where we were at. Starting out with the ball, I think the guys felt pretty good."

On if there was a part of him that expected the game to go the way it did with so many young players:

"I would say for three quarters of it, I thought there were a lot of good things. I'm sure when we watch the tape we will see a lot of things we have to correct. Then you hit that stretch in the fourth quarter and there are two series that really set us back. For any team, no different than Arizona, guys are going to be playing some young guys and we have to get them ready and get the mistakes corrected here this week and get ready."

On Mark Ingram:

"I thought both of our backs played hard, both in the running game and we were able to get underneath them with some screens and get on the outside with some screens. I thought both backs played well. Mark had the big reception, the swing pass late in the fourth quarter and early in the first, with a couple screens. Both of them gave us some juice. I feel when we look at the tape we will see that."

On if he felt that the Cardinals were susceptible to running screens:

"We felt like we couldn't sit back there and allow that pass rush to rush five and pressure the QB. We needed something to counter that a bit."

On if the defense got better as the game went on:

"Part of the plan was to be patient and eliminate the big play knowing that a lot of the running game is going to set up what they really want to do and get down the field. There is a little bit of a cat and mouse game. The third downs are the ones that are disappointing. The first possession where he (Carson Palmer) was able to flush and make a play. I thought there were a handful of things when we watch the tape we will be encouraged with."

On if he thought they would be running a lot of small ball offense:

"We were just going to be smart about the approach to this game. A lot of it had to do with their offense and their firepower. First off, we knew running the football was going to be sometimes pretty difficult with their front, and yet we still needed to establish that."

On if Delvin Breaux's holding penalties are just part of the learning curve:

"It is a tough start with the receivers he saw. I thought he competed. We will see the film and have a chance to watch. It is hard to see it sometimes because you don't get a replay. I thought he competed and I'm sure there are some technique things that he will want to point out."

On if he called the plays tonight:

"I did."

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