<span style=""> <span style="">[Tampa Bay Buccaneers](http://www.buccaneers.com/) vs. New Orleans Saints</span>
Sunday, December 27, 2009
SAINTS HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON
"Obviously, a difficult loss for us. They hung around in the second half and credit them for having the resolve to fight back. We really struggled in the second half offensively. We gave up the big punt return. It's frustrating, it's disappointing. We'll have to bounce back. Obviously, it'll be a tough one for us, but we get a chance to see how we'll handle it.
"You want to take care of your inconsistencies. Some of those are more glaring than others. There's a lot we've got to clean up. We'll get back to work this week. Speaking on behalf of this game, there's a lot of things we did well early on and some things we didn't do well later on.
"We did a pretty good job of just hanging in there defensively. We made a big defensive stop in the fourth quarter. We just couldn't make enough plays. I think it would be a mistake to point just to the kicking game, just to the defense or just to the offense.
"I think in the end, we struggled with some third downs. We didn't have any penalties in the first half; we had some in the second half. We had the strip-fumble. We've got to clean some things up.
"We're playing for something, so yeah, it's not like it's all locked up or decided. We're still playing for something. I think we said that at the beginning of the week and nothing's changed today.
(on game-tying TD) "It's a punt return. We've got to get off blocks and cover it and do the fundamentals of covering a punt.
(on Garrett Hartley) "He's played well for us. He's been battle tested. I think it's a mistake if we just point to the missed kick, if we just point to the punt return, if we just point to one specific area. It's all of our jobs to get it cleaned up."
"I've said this before. In our league, it's crisis or carnival, 'cause the stuff in the middle doesn't sell. Now you hit some adversity. We've got to get ready to play a team that's playing well, Carolina.
"Having to get back to work and play better football, clean up those mistakes. There will be a challenge for us. When you're going well, it goes pretty smoothly."
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints
Sunday, December 27, 2009
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS PLAYERS
QB #9 DREW BREES
(on loss) "It's hard to explain it. I guess at this point, not having been able to see the film and some of the things that cost us. We started off fast with 17 straight points. After that, there was a big lull. It's hard because all you want to do is give yourself a chance to win at the end. In overtime, unfortunately, they get the ball first and it was over.
(on difference after 1st 3 drives) "We got really three possessions in the first half, with the exception of the two-minute at the end. Even on that, we set stopped and it's maybe six inches. It didn't feel like we had a lot of possessions in the second half until that two-minute drive.
"These are the types of things that bring your team together and make you stronger.
(pressure?) "I don't know if I'd call it the pressure mounting. The fact is, we need to play better. I don't think we've played our best football in a while. This is just the type of game we need, going on the road against a divisional opponent that's playing very well.
"You always find out more about a team when you start facing adversity. In the Sean Payton era here, we've faced adversity very well. We'll always turned them into positives. This is one of those situations where we have the right type of character, the right type of leadership, to handle it very well.
(on 4 games since Patriots game) "What I liked about those last four games was our ability to finish the first two (Washington and Atlanta). Last week, we got down so much and scored two touchdowns and almost scored a third. Today, we had the ball at the end with a chance to win the game."
K #5 GARRETT HARTLEY
"I felt great going out there. Just an opportunity to win another game and give us home field advantage in the playoffs. I kind of rushed myself a little bit. It was all me, the snap and hold were great; I just rushed myself.
"Knowing I let my team down is the worst thing. It's definitely humbling. You have to learn from these experiences in order to prevail the next one."
WR #17 ROBERT MEACHEM
(on last offensive play of regulation) "I was trying my hardest to get in there. I didn't get in.
(on last two games) "That's something we've got to work on. Start from scratch, see what we did wrong. We've just got to take the coaching, the criticism, and go with it.
"A loss is a loss, no matter how you lose it."
DT #98 SEDRICK ELLIS
"That's football. You got to hand it to Tampa (Bay). They came out and played good football today and came out with a victory.
(on difference in two halves) "I think they were able to run the ball a little bit better, and that's something we have to look at and get that fixed."
DE #91 WILL SMITH
"We shouldn't have never been in that situation to have it come down to a field goal. We know they have a lot of talent, but I think we came out with a good plan.
(on next week) "I don't think this changes anything. Every game is important. You have to go out and finish strong."
CB #22 TRACY PORTER
"We're not worried about anyone else and what their record is. We're worried about what our record is. Whatever the Vikings do, they do. The two losses we've had, we have to put them behind us and look forward to Carolina."
BUCCANEERS HEAD COACH RAHEEM MORRIS
(opening Statement) "We are obviously really excited. It was a hard fought game by a proud football team."
(on what he learned about his team today) "It wasn't a learning process for me today, but it may have been for you guys. They are starting to get there. They like winning. They found that out last week. They found that out against Green Bay. This team has the talent and the ability. I am just really proud of them. They went out there and fought. I am completely exhausted right now."
(on second-half adjustments) "We were getting diced in the first half. We went back in the locker room and I tried to settle the guys down. They believe in me and I believe in them. We went in and made some adjustments. We did some different things and mixed it up a little bit. We put some pressure on them. It was really helpful toward winning the game."
(on Michael Spurlock's punt return for a touchdown) "He provided us the play that put us in this thing. He gave us life. He did a great job."
(on the defense's play) "Let's not kid ourselves. They are arguably the best offensive team in the National Football League. We didn't handle them well early. They went down the field on us three times in a row. We bounced back and stayed composed. All of our young guys came back and composed. They came under control and we went out and won."
(on the team's effort) "Winning is always a group effort. Today was no different. Running the football is key as well as getting Josh (Freeman) completions. We try not to turn the ball over. We did that a little bit, but we were able to fight through it. Winning the field position game. You have to play good defense. That's a testament to all of those young men in there. We had too many penalties today. We had mistakes that we can't have as a young football team that we have to get better at in order to compete with this type of talent. We need to get better at it."
(on if the team is progressing) "I know this team is getting better. I could see it every week even when we were losing. That's how we play and how we should play like all of the time."