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Sean Payton talks about win over the Buccaneers

Quotes from Coach Payton's postgame press conference

Saints Coach Sean Payton's opening statement:

"(We) Just got done meeting with the players. I thought we did a lot of things well today at a time where we needed to. It was an important game for us obviously and I am proud of how they finished and got 11 wins. It is hard to get 11 wins in this league. We are waiting to see how this thing unfolds. We kind of have an idea. We are getting ready to go to work this upcoming week."

On how important it was to score on the opening drive:

"Starting fast is something we talked about and emphasized. I thought we came up with some big plays, a lot of chunk plays. That was encouraging. Getting that lead and kind of forcing them (Buccaneers) to be one dimensional certainly helps."

On how Terron Armstead and the pass protection has improved:

"Like I said, he did a pretty good job last week obviously with tough conditions on the road. Without having looked at the tape, we were getting a lot of pressures, a lot of safety blitzes today, a lot of linebacker pressures. It made the running game feast or famine if you will. We had some big plays and yet there were some snaps where we were fortunate to get back to the line of scrimmage. We felt that way coming into the game that we were going to see that. I thought those guys up front really did a good job in giving Drew (Brees) time."

On having three long scoring drives:

"I thought we took advantage of especially of first maybe three quarters of the game our third down percentage was good. I thought we did what we needed to do against what we were seeing defensively. I thought Drew (Brees) was outstanding with his location with a lot of the throws down the field, which allowed the receivers to run after the catch. That was encouraging. I thought defensively we came away with a takeaway in the second half. We knew we were playing a pretty good team, a team that could really play well in the second half of the season. You see a real young talented quarterback in Mike (Glennon). They were able to spread us out early on and I thought we caught on and did a good job defensively getting (the Buccaneers) off the field, the kicking game the same way."

On how important it was to block out the early games: ![]( "new orleans saints")

"We talked about it during the week and overall as a team, eliminating all the distractions and playing this game like a playoff game. I thought we did a really good job of that, handling the challenges with that. It is easier said than done. I thought they came pregame ready to play. I didn't feel at all like we were focusing on anything other than our own game with Tampa Bay and playing our best football. I thought it showed a little bit when we looked up and saw how the finish was. We typically have the televisions on about an hour and a half prior, but we had them off. We had them off earlier and just didn't turn them on."

On how your defense has improved from last year to this year:

"I thought, there are a handful of things. I thought getting Rob (Ryan) in here and bringing that change and that enthusiasm and the rest of the coaches on that side of the ball. We had a few pieces that we are able to add. I could go through and name them, so we added a few guys and I think a handful of things, it is an ownership to it where the players are believing in what they are doing, feel good about what they are doing and I think that is a part of teaching. For the most part we played a complementary game throughout the year offensively, defensively and (in) the kicking game. That success and confidence becomes contagious. It can go the other way, but I think Rob (Ryan) and his (defensive coaching) staff have done a great job on defense. We still have work to do, but that's encouraging. I just finished telling them, it is hard to win 11 games in this league. It is hard to do. Obviously your goal at the start of every season is to finish the best you can, win your division and get into the postseason. We're looking forward to playing in the postseason and will find out how it all unfolds and where we go. I congratulate Carolina. They had a tremendous season. I know they certainly deserve everything they have earned."

On Drew Brees' touchdown run:

"He will do that occasionally. Typically it will be a coverage that will dictate it. This team plays a lot of bracket-man where at times within the framework of a play everyone's back might be towards the quarterback playing an underneath technique. He is quick enough and did a very good job of recognizing it. It was an important score."

On how important it was to not have any significant injuries today:

"I think we got to a point in the fourth quarter where we made some substitutions to try to get some other players an opportunity to get in and rest some guys. Fortunately we were able to stay healthy and it is going to be important leading into next week."

On if the way your team played today sets you right for the postseason:

"You always want to play your best football (at) this time of year. We felt we played well last week. We didn't think we played as well in the end as we needed to. We felt like we played a good game against a really good team on the road (Carolina). We were good enough today to get the win and now it is just putting together a good week of practice. We are going to play what appears to be the NFC East winner from what I understand. We will make sure we get plenty enough preparation for that. We will know more tonight."

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