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Sean Payton on the loss to the Carolina Panthers

Transcript of Sean Payton's postgame press conference on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014

"Obviously that's embarrassing: how we played, how we coached. You pick an area, you pick a phase and it was awful. You're not going to have a chance to win when you turn it over that frequently in the first quarter, you don't tackle, you give up almost 300 yards rushing, (and) jump(ing) offsides. You name it, check it off. Here's the thing I told them, let's make sure we're crystal clear. It's not a question of, 'What do you think?' It's crystal clear. There's no question as to why. It's right out there, we just saw it. We have to look closely at everything: preparation, who we're asking to do it starting with me. It isn't a giant mystery. To win in this league, we did all the things that keep you from winning."

On frustration after the win last week:

"Here's the thing though; it's the up and down. Those are signs of being an inconsistent team. You guys have seen that."

On if he's been with a team with these swings:

"Not like this. Not as up and down as this. There's some things that are appearing weekly that despite maybe winning a game kind of go unnoticed. More than anything else, the way that game started, it couldn't have started any worse and couldn't have finished any worse."

On the offense not generating anything for one of the first times this season:

"We turned the ball over on the first two possessions. I don't know how many snaps at halftime we had, but you only get X number of drives. We put our defense on the field twice, (lost the battle of) time of possession, then third downs."

On if the coaches have the lost the team:

"No, next question. It's frustrating, that can't be week to week. It's not an issue."

On if the team played as hard as they usually do:

"We will see that on the film. I do not like the second half. We came in here at halftime and talked about it. I am anxious to see the tape. Here is the thing. They're playing for spots. There's no entitlements or securities, that's just a fact. We'll look at the tape closely and usually it tells you what you want to see. It's pretty clear right? That's what we have to do. We can't kid our selves. That was as poor as it gets. That was bad football."

On the first thing to address this week:

"I think two or three specific things. I thought it was sloppy, I don't know how many balls we dropped. We're jumping to catch passes we don't need to jump to catch, we should be catching them in our hands. We fumbled the ball, interception. Defensively, our tackling was awful. They were almost near 300 yards rushing. It was awful. On top of that, you can't make dumb mistakes like jump offsides when a team is getting ready to punt or kick a field goal. It happened earlier in the year at Cleveland: we were getting ready to defend a field goal, offsides. Those are things that are painfully obvious before you put the tape on. That's the first thing to come to my mind."

On Cam Newton running more today versus the last game:

 "The way he was running, I would have continued to do it. I don't know what the average was, but it wasn't good. It was different."

On what was most surprising today in the game:

"Am I surprised we are sitting here after a game like that? Yes. That is a fair question. I think anytime you play (Newton), you talk about having to stop him as a threat watching the football. And we didn't do that."

On if preparation this week was lacking:

"No not at all. There wasn't anything that as we broke out of here that we felt like was different. That's the challenging thing about coaching and the challenging thing about coaching this team. I can't say that I walked out of here as the game was about to start feeling that we weren't going to play well coming off of last week. It's frustrating, it's disappointing. As a coach you take it personally because it reflects the way your team is preparing."

On if the team relaxes after wins:

"They shouldn't. We're not that good. I don't know if it's being not able to handle a little bit of prosperity or a little bit of success. We're not that good."

On if it was a good week of practice:

"Absolutely, it wasn't good enough though. Here's the thing, regardless of how you felt it was, it wasn't good enough."

On if he was surprised the fight in the end zone didn't spark the team:

"I didn't get a chance to see much of what happened on that. My concern was not getting any foolish penalties. It's a division team. My concern at that moment was playing football they way we're supposed to be playing, not as much about the fight itself."

On why so many problems at home:

"Let's be clear on this because I think it's a fair question. It's happened on the road and at home. It probably has nothing to do with the building, the bricks, the venue. It probably has a lot more to do with you're staring at it. You could be in Atlanta, you could be here, you could be in Cleveland. It's disappointing here at home because the season started off with the idea being, 'Can they play well on the road?' That was half of the year. My point is it probably has nothing do with venue. You play like that, it doesn't matter where we play: downtown, uptown, across the lake at Mandeville high school, or at another NFL venue. You play like that, it doesn't matter really. That's the unfortunate thing because you'd like to take advantage of our home crowd. We've had great support and we don't even give them a chance because it's two or three scores before they even sat down."

On what problem with this team is most surprising to him:

"I do not know that there is one specifically. The problem is there are too many. We're awful on third downs defending them. The giveaways offensively, you can't win that way."

On injuries catching up to team:

"Not buying it. I think the team we've just played has gone through injuries, transitions, turnover. Here's the best thing about what we do: there's no better lab than that field and then the film and then to see it. Someone asked about the hustle and energy, and it's hard to measure. I thought coming in we were ready. You have a ball that's out, a turnover: that doesn't point to effort. This film for four quarters will be interesting. It will be important to see."

On ever being as frustrated after a loss:

"Listen, there's been a few of these this year. This one was a bigger score, but we sat here a few weeks ago against Cincinnati and Baltimore. When you're talking about home venues and away venues and the topics we're hitting on here, the chances are we're talking about a team that's just average at best right now. That's the truth. We're 5-8 right, and that's where it's at."

On being in playoff hunt:

"I get all that, but we're 5-8 right now."

On sequence in the second quarter at the Carolina 29-yard line:

"Well you just read it: short pass then we didn't go for the jugular. We'll go through the film. I remember the sequence though. We're not attempting to call games differently. We obviously weren't good enough. We'll have a chance to see the tape."

On repeated mistakes such as dropped passes:

"Dropped passes today, I don't know how many we had. But I wouldn't say that's a frequent problem."

On how to make the team listen and fix their mistakes:

"I think Mike Zimmer said it best a few weeks ago. Their concern should be about how we see them, just as much if not more than the other way around. I am very comfortable with our approach, our program, but we keep paying attention and looking at some of the mistakes you have referenced. Tackling, third down defense, (and) giveaways on offense: those are the things that stick out in my mind. They keep repeating then we have to find other people to do those tasks. Ultimately then at some point they will find someone to be in charge of the other people. Like I told them in there, this tape will tell us a lot. I said, let's make sure we understand one thing: let's not act befuddled about what happened today. There is no one here that is puzzled. You guys have seen it. We have had some good wins, but you guys have seen it."

On if it is too late for personnel changes:

"Absolutely not. It's not too late. And that's not a threat. All I'm saying is it's madness to be here after a game like that with our fans and say we will have it right next week. We'll look at everything. That's how our business is though. Obviously as inconsistent as we've played, as poor as we've played, and we've played poor, I'd say as bad as we've played in a while, this game. Obviously we've had some other games. This one was a tough one to look at and I'm sure it'll be even tougher to look at on film. But we'll cover it all."

Official team photos from the New Orleans Saints vs Carolina Panthers game on Sunday, December 7, 2014. Photos by Michael C. Hebert (New Orleans Saints photos)

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