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Sean Payton, players discuss Sunday's loss to Atlanta Falcons

Quotes from Sean Payton and players after Sunday's loss to the Falcons

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON

Opening Statement:
"Look obviously that's a tough game to lose. I just finished telling our players every once in a while you get one of these games where the scores go back and forth and the small details especially when you are in overtime just magnifies any little mistake. I thought we played hard yet it still wasn't good enough. Credit Atlanta they did a great job today and again it's a tough way to start but we will bounce back."

Defensively, obviously Matt Ryan had a great game do you put this on them or was it on the coaches:
"No, listen we don't put a loss on anybody. That's just, someone smart told me once you are going to have games where the scores are going back and forth and we need to score one more. That's a good offense, obviously some real talented players. Yeah, do we want to play better, absolutely and we'll make the corrections. We lose a game like that as a team."

Are you discouraged by the play of the defense:
"No, it's tough when you have a loss like that.  There are a lot of plays you look at. You want to do a better job defending, you want to do a better job offensively getting into the red zone."

Is there anything you tell a guy like (Marques) Colston who's been so sure-handed:
"He's won a lot of games for us and when you get in overtime it can appear to be one play, but there are a series of plays throughout the course of the game."

Obviously, not the score that you wanted but the rhythm of your offense in this game was that what you wanted to see:
"Well, look, it became that type of game. It became a possession game where both teams were having success. If you look at the numbers, statistically third down look at the numbers in a lot of areas, the turnovers still ended up becoming something that was very important. We were trying to take advantage of as many opportunities as you have when you get into those scoring positions. We ended up coming up short. It was tough."

The play of WR Brandin Cooks:
"I thought he made enough plays, he looked sharp. I thought he made some good plays in space. Hung onto the football and the thing with him is he is prepared and it's nothing we haven't seen and that you have seen in practice and looked very comfortable.'

Can you comment on the frustration of RB Mark Ingram, he threw his helmet and had to be restrained on the sideline:
"I didn't see it"

Can you comment on Mark Ingram's performance:
"I thought he ran hard and did a good job."

Will you comment on safety Jarius Byrd and the touchdown saving strip:
"It was one of the things we pointed to with this team in our games last year. Opportunities create turnovers with the receivers in space. There will be enough film evaluation for us to look at. We will look at some tough plays defensively, some tough situations, they ran the ball pretty good when they needed to and I thought we were able to get the yards when we needed to. Both offenses had success today."

QUARTERBACK DREW BREES

How this game was similar to Green Bay game:
"The only thing similar about it is that we lost. But, we lost to a good team. We believe the Falcons are a good team. I just got done looking at the stats sheet and it's amazing just how identical both sides were in third down efficiency, red zone efficiency, throwing the football, running the football, number of plays, time and possession. If you look at everything, it's pretty much identical. So, it just kind of lets you know how this game was played. It was back and forth. That's the way this game has been for about five or six years straight, where it just comes down to one or two plays here and there. I'd say maybe the most glaring statistic and obviously what cost us was the turnover ratio. We got one and we gave two. It reminds me of the game that we played here back in 2010. We went into overtime, we got the fumble, we kicked a field goal and we won. So, this matchup has gone back and forth quite a bit. Obviously, we've won our fair share. Unfortunately, we just fell a little short today."

On Matt Ryan's performance in the game:
"He played great. You know, almost 75 percent completion, over 400 yards, and he took care of the football. It can't get any better than that."

OFFENSIVE TACKLE ZACH STRIEF

How important was winning the coin toss in overtime:
"You want to get it.  We had just forced two field goals on defense.  We felt comfortable as we've been in this situation a bunch of times here.  We just didn't find a way at the end.  We were one play away from this being a totally different discussion.  I'm not going to change my feelings on the whole game because we didn't find a way at the end.  The general perception from the outside would be that the defense has to get a stop but in games like this the offense has to score.  We take that completely on us (the offense).  When the game gets going at that especially at the end where it seems like no one can stop anybody, it'son us.  If you look at it you would say that the biggest play of the game was on offense and not on defense.  We didn't find a way at the end and that's the result."

WIDE RECEIVER BRANDIN COOKS

Your thoughts on today:
"I felt that the coaches and the quarterback put me in a great position to be able to do what I did.  At the same time on the overall game it was one of those games where the last team that has the ball is going to end up winning."

Did the coaches want to put you in different places today:
"That's what you get in this offense.  When you have a great head coach and a quarterback like that they are going to put you in great positions."

On your emotions:
"To be honest. I had an alright day but at the end of the day you want the win.  I would rather have zero catches with a 'W' then what I did.  It's one of things where you have to find a way to get on top at the end of the game."

On the interception in the end zone was Drew trying to squeeze it in to a tight spot to you:
"I wouldn't say that.  It was just a good play by the defender.  It was a great throw."

RUNNING BACK PIERRE THOMAS

On why these games are always dogfights in this rivalry:
"Coach put up the scores of games in the past between these teams since 2006 and you see every last one of those games where we either won by a touchdown, lost by a touchdown, won by three points or lost by three points.  We knew that this would be a tough game and that these guys would come out fighting and that we would have to do the same thing.  I felt that we did a good job. "

What was the feeling when you were up 20-7 in first half?
"We felt like we had the momentum on our side. We felt like we had a chance to win this but we would have to put them away.  We can't go out there and make mistakes and hurt ourselves.  We put ourselves in bad positions with penalties, fumble the ball, whatever it is.  We are all accountable so we all know what we have to do out there to seal this game.  It goes down to the wire.  You have to take your hat off to these guys (Atlanta) as they came ready to play."

CORNERBACK KEENAN LEWIS

On if the loss was discouraging:
"We'll get it together, I promise you that. Definitely. Only one team went 16-0. We'll be ready."

On mixing up the back end with the receivers:
"They have good players too. Julio (Jones) is a great player...Roddy White. They brought in Devin Hester. He made some plays, but, we will see them again."

LINEBACKER JUNIOR GALETTE

On the loss to a division team to open the season:
"Very tough. It already happened. Can't do nothing about it, just have to fix everything we can for the future. "

On trying to put pressure on Matt Ryan:
"It was almost nonexistent. I felt he had great pocket awareness and when he stepped up, we missed a few (sacks). We left some on the table, but it doesn't really matter whether we got him down or not."

On giving up that many points and yards:
"This reminds me of 2011, we were at Green Bay. We lost. Close call. After that we picked up the slack and just bounced back. It's all we can do  right now. "

DEFENSIVE END CAMERON JORDAN

On preparing for the next game after suffering the loss:
"Coming off the first loss on the first week, you never want that to happen, and doing so in this manner of fashion. Can't wait for this week to breakdown the film and understand how we went awry. "

LINEBACKER CURITS LOFTON

On opening the season with a loss after last season and struggling through the game:
"Overall, we had a bad day. We won't make excuses. They came out and made plays. One of the things that stood out, they stayed on the field on third down. We didn't get off the field on third down. We didn't tackle well and didn't play great red zone defense. So, when you have a combination of all three of those, then that is what the outcome is going to be."

On losing a rivalry game to a division opponent:
"At the end of the day. We have a lot of season left. This loss; yes it hurts. Anytime you lose in overtime to a division opponent, it hurts a lot. I went around and talked to the guys, told them to keep their heads up. For me, this is, one of those games I always want to win. Losing it, stings a little bit more. "

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