Official team photos from the New Orleans Saints vs Baltimore Ravens game on Monday, November 24, 2014. Photos by Michael C. Hebert. (New Orleans Saints photos)
Transcript of Coach Sean Payton's postgame press conference Monday:
"Obviously, it's a disappointing loss and credit Baltimore, John (Harbaugh), his staff and their team. They made the plays tonight in the end that were necessary. It's a tough loss and we are going to have a short week and have to get ready to play Pittsburgh."
On the message after another tough loss:
"It's for this locker room. Obviously, it is a different type of loss, but these guys will have a quick week of preparation. There are a handful of things that hurt us tonight. I thought on third down we weren't as efficient early on as we needed to be. We had trouble stopping the run. When we have a chance to watch the tape we will have a better idea."
On being surprised struggling at the point of attack:
"When you play a team like that you have to keep pounding it, we knew it was a physical front. To credit our guys, in the second half all of the sudden we started finding some creases on some of the zone schemes. We knew we didn't want to make it a one-dimensional game."
On if changes made last week helped any:
On making more changes:
"We're not going to sit up here after a game and talk about what changes are being made, we are not going to do that. You guys will be the last to know."
On decision to go for it on fourth down on the opening possession:
"I thought it was an important time in the game for us maybe to send a message and one of the reasons why not only did we go for it, but we ran it. Listen, that's two times now, two weeks in a row we are not able to get I, but then we are not able to defend it from that position on the field so it was a gut feeling and I think our approach going in, and our players knew it, that we were going to be aggressive in this game and we could obviously look back and kicked it but it's something I decided."
On the personal foul on Kenny Vaccaro:
"I don't have the angles on that; I don't have the angles on the holding call on Jahri (Evans). That was a critical call so I won't get into that."
On if he is surprises at how many big runs the Ravens were able to make:
"They are a good team running the football and we need to be better in that area. When you're not able to defend that then it becomes tough to do some of the other stuff because of play action and the coverage it puts on your defensive backfield and all of the sudden you are getting a lot of single safety or zero looks."
On Drew Brees' interception:
"It's hard to see from my angle but it looked like he got some pressure and there was man coverage. We will look at the tape."
On getting some momentum in Carolina and then coming home to this:
"Obviously there are three losses at home, but each one was different. Last week was real tough the way we looked, but I thought we had energy tonight. We'll look at the tape and get an idea of where we broke down. In a game like this, you are emotional and last week we just continued to play and I don't know that the score was going to be different but I felt like our guys had the energy and were ready to go. It's a game that comes down to opportunities and we weren't able to capitalize on them in both areas and the kicking game as well so quickly now we have not only a short week, but the holiday we have to deal with schedule wise and we will get on Pittsburgh."
On Kenny Vaccaro's comments last week:
"Our guys are together, they are together in there. You can go ask them. I think they are pretty tough-minded, but you'd have to ask them."
On facing three teams in a row with extended time to prepare:
"We can't control that. We have to get ready on a short week. We have to get ready to play football on the short week and its part of the deal. We don't really pay attention to it."
On moving Patrick Robinson back to starter and giving Pierre Warren a chance to start:
"With Pierre, we worked a couple of different combinations during the week and we felt like he gave us the best opportunity at free safety. And then we shuffled some moves around at the corner position with Patrick, who we felt like had been playing well, then gave Corey and Brian some of the nickel looks. Those guys all got a lot of work last week and the free safety position wasn't really decided on until the latter part of the week."
On the return game hurting the team:
"I'd like to see that area improve and yet tonight we got a couple looks. We rushed a punt … But hopefully with the addition of (Jalen) Saunders, I was anxious to see how he would do tonight and he really didn't have the opportunity. He had one and the other two were kind of squib punts, but it is an area we have to be better at. That wouldn't be just one thing, but that certainly an area we need to be improved in."
On being surprised this late in the season still having so many issues to figure out:
"We're not trying to figure it out; we're trying to correct it. Obviously, our margin for error is not good enough to win close games. We have to be able to play better and coach better. That falls on me, our coaching staff and our players, all of us, and most importantly we have to make sure we have enough thick skin and be able to have the mental and physical toughness to bounce back and play next week because we are playing, obviously, an important game."
On the team not able to get out of their own way sometimes:
"I don't look at it that way."
On taking solace in at least leading the division:
"I don't take a lot of solace right now after a loss. Obviously, to be playing for something is important and yet we have to make sure that some of the things that we did better tonight we continue to build on and some of things that we didn't do well, we get corrected. That being said, the unique situation we are in is what it is. We can't control that. What we can control is our week's preparation and where we go from here."
On how much time he thinks he needs to spend building morale and how much is just asking guys to be professionals and carry on:
"I don't think building morale is an issue, I think it is just making sure they avoid the noise and the distractions. Sometimes the challenges can come from a lot of different areas and I think they are tough enough in there to handle it."
On if it is noise at this point or just the reality:
"Listen, make no mistake about it, they know we have to play better. But, with that being said, it's that inner toughness you have to have when you've lost three games in a row and you have to get ready to come back and play another game. I think constantly that noise, in a good way and in a bad way, is right outside the door. I think that is something that we've dealt with before and we'll have to deal with now. In other words, our players completely see these are things we need to be better at and if not then it is not going to matter."
On Joe Morgan being involved in a few small packages:
"The way the reps went we ended up going more with Kenny (Stills) but he was certainly involved in the plan."
On losing three home games in a row, will going on the road maybe be better:
"I don't know that going on the road is an advantage and yet I don't know that the venue really matters. I say that, I mean it matters because when you play at home you have an advantage, especially on third down. When you look at what they are able to do with a team like that and their pass rush, but it is one of those things we can't control. In other words, if there are 10 things on my mind for tomorrow and when they players are in Thursday, Pittsburgh coming off a bye or being on the road would not be the challenges as much as they would be we are going to have to deal with noise, we are going to have to deal with weather and some of these other issues."
On what is the main thing to focus on:
"I think getting off the field, tonight we struggled consistently with stopping the run and when that happens there are a lot of other things that become more challenging. Your third downs become more challenging, pass rush becomes more challenging, the pressure on the back end becomes more challenging, so that is one thing."