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Saints Coach Sean Payton talks about loss to Tampa Bay

Transcript of Coach Payton's postgame press conference

"Obviously, it's a disappointing loss. It's frustrating in that we were able to get some takeaways defensively and we never were able to take advantage of it, whether it was we turned it over the following possession offensively (or other factors). We really struggled in the first half generating any type of momentum, both in the running game (and in the passing game) and our first and second down efficiency in the first half struggled. Give Tampa Bay credit, Lovie (Smith) and those guys, clearly they were the better team today. Like I said, it's a disappointing loss, because it is a chance for us to open up at home and try to get our first win. It is going to be difficult if we are turning the ball over like we did, I think we had three, but we got a punt on the ground, (and also) had a PAT blocked. There were a lot of things and yet we were still hanging around in that game. Defensively, there were a lot of positive signs. We have to do a better job starting with me, as coaches obviously. I felt we were ready to come in and play well and we didn't in certain areas. I am sure we will look at the tape and there will be some guys that played real well."

On a hard hit on Drew Brees taking a toll on him:

"I didn't see that. Pete (Carmichael) mentioned it. I don't know, not having talked to him about it."

On this being one of the most frustrating games he has coached in a long time:

"Yes, when you have a game like today you get frustrated as a head coach, you are frustrated as a play-caller, you are frustrated in a lot of areas, but I was encouraged with the takeaways we got defensively. I thought when we needed some critical stops we were able to get it. We were put in some short fields so I think there are going to be some things defensively we are encouraged with, but we were averaging a little over a yard a carry (rushing) in the first half so we have to take a peek and see where we have to improve. Obviously, we have a lot to do though."

On whether team was operating from a limited playbook with Drew Brees struggling with throws:

"Part of the deal is that I'm looking at (the play sheet) with the idea that we have to get the ball out a little quicker maybe to help our offensive line out a bit, tempo-wise, timing-wise. Certainly, the running game in the second half I think improved and I think that can help (neutralize) a good pass rush. That was kind of where my mindset was."

On a concerted effort to get more pass rush:

"We got some sack production. We had a speed rush out there. Those two, with Ha'(Hau'oli Kikaha), a handful of guys, with Cam (Jordan) on the field in those third down situations we felt would be able to help us."

On the choice to punt on the game's first possession from the Bucs' 35-yard line:

"It was right at that miss or make and I didn't want ... a low trajectory kick, and I didn't want ... (to give Tampa Bay good) field position. The punt team did a good job, we pinned them down in there, but obviously a few more yards I would have attempted it. And look, it's inside with the elements we have, but early in the game I felt like it was right there at his distance."

On the defensive sequence at the end of the first half and start of the second half:

"There were a handful of things; when our defense needed to be off the field and our offense needed to do something. Early on we struggled and all of the sudden they are back out on the field because we have a fumble or something. We really did not play complementary football today. We had opportunities but the kicking game was poor, we gave up a long return, we had a blocked ball on the ground, (and) there are nine guys on the field at one point; that's not good football."

On Drew Brees' toughness overall:

"It's interesting when you get in a game where things aren't going well; he's very competitive, very tough. I don't know when you watch him play if you can tell if we are ahead or behind. That's a good trait. He looks at it maybe a lot like I do, 'hey, it's on to the next drive.' We'll clean up the past drive and make some adjustments during the game. I thought we were able to do that in the running game, but he is a great competitor."

On the late Mark Ingram fumble and thinking the call might be reversed:

"I did. I put the offense on the field. It happened right in front of me. I didn't have the angles or the view of specifically whether he was in or out, I thought his elbow was on the white line. It's probably one of those calls that they didn't have a clear picture of, but obviously didn't go our way."

On the current six-game losing streak in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome:

"It is a fair question, but this is a different team in this locker room. They're dealing with an opening home loss. We talked it about all week, the advantage you can have of playing at home here, the history of playing here all those other things. There are just so many guys that are new to it and we need to embrace that. The ones that have been here need to communicate how important it is for this to be an advantage. And looking around the league, teams want to play well at home but this is a unique environment. We have great fans and it is disappointing not to play well for them."

On having a lot of young guys and not being further along at this point:

"We'll look at the tape tomorrow. We knew ball security was going to be an important issue. Obviously, I have to look at how we are protecting the football and the drills that we are doing. That is not just Tampa Bay, that's everyone. I was encouraged defensively that we got some of those fumbles. We had (10) penalties; I know they had (11), but ... too many pre-snaps we don't know what we are doing. It just looks sloppy. That is coaching, that starts with me. That will change or we'll find someone who can do it right."

On Zach Hocker's troubles today and if he'll look at other guys:

"I'm confident he's our kicker right now so to answer the last question, no. We'll get back and see on the extra point and the other one he just missed. I felt like he was striking the ball in pregame well. I couldn't tell if the trajectory on the PAT was low or if it just got blocked, we'll have a chance to see it."

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