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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Coach Lovie Smith, players talk about loss to Saints

Team dropped 37-31 overtime decision

Official team photos from the New Orleans Saints vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday, October 5, 2014. Photos by Michael C. Hebert (New Orleans Saints photos)

Tampa Coach Lovie Smith's postgame comments:

"I knew what was at stake in this game. (It's a) tough environment, a hostile environment to come into. I felt like we had an opportunity to steal a game. Whenever you get up like that on the road, you've got to be able to finish the job. That is one thing that we have been doing, is playing pretty good ball at the end (of games). It is disappointing on how we finished it. We did a lot of good things early to keep us in the game and give ourselves a chance. Of course, we lost it in the end."

On the overtime sequence:

"They (Saints) made plays. We had them in two third down situations that was favorable to us and we didn't convert. Right at the end, of course, it was just running the football (that won the game for New Orleans). It was as simple as that. It was a basic run at the end to win the game. We missed some tackles. That happens when you get tired a little bit. We missed some tackles there (at the end)."

On the fourth quarter series that resulted in a Saints safety:

"It's tough. They (the Saints) were going to get pretty good field position and have an opportunity to possible get a touchdown, so it was tough duty either way around. To give up two (is tough though). We had opportunities to stop them and take the lead from there. We had our opportunities there to still make a play."

On 15 penalties:

"(They) really hurt us. I can think of about three penalties that, you are not trying to do them, of course, but those (hands to the face) are ones that you just can't make … Like every game, there are some calls that go against you. I saw things differently on a few calls. In the end, they (Saints) had the ball and we need to make a stop. That's what stands out in my mind. At the very worst, give our offense a chance to get the ball and hold them to a field goal."

On the importance of this game:

"It was a key game for us. We put a big emphasis on it. We knew it was a road, division game. That, in itself, says quite a bit. To be able to steal one would have put us in pretty good position. We seem to do it the hard way. I feel encouraged by a lot of things that I saw. (I am) disappointed in the loss, but encouraged by some of our play as much as anything. We are getting better as a football team, and eventually the record will say it."

On the defense getting turnovers today:

"Finally. You know how much of an emphasis that we put on it. The takeaways haven't come for whatever reason. Today, of course, each one of them was big. We had opportunities for a couple, at least about two or three more that we weren't able to convert on. Danny Lansanah's touchdown is even better (because it was a score). If we just keep playing ball like that, eventually it will go our way."

Quarterback MIKE GLENNON

"Our offense, from the second quarter on, was really moving the ball well. We had them right where we wanted them. But at the same time, you have to look at Drew Brees and that offense and realize the game's never over."

"A lot of things were happening when we were down there in our own end zone, setting up on the one-yard line. We had a guy in motion and then the ball was snapped and you just can't let that happen. And I know it hurt us a lot. But once we got into that situation, I don't know if taking the safety was all that bad."

"It was not a good series for us. We knew we were up five (points) at the time and obviously would have loved to move the ball and get points and eventually end the game. But between the penalties and everything else, that drive was not well executed. And that's something we will look at – to correct the mistakes and get better at it."

"Penalties definitely hurt us. We started the game and converted two third downs that got called back; and then at the end of the game under two minutes we had another penalty that stalled us, putting us into a second and twenty which isn't good. You want to eliminate them as much as possible, but they are part of the game."

"We are not where we want to be and our record says that. Maybe we are getting better, but better isn't good enough if you aren't winning. We need to keep working and to keep staying together, and I am sure those wins will come."

"Our defense did a great job – especially in the first quarter – holding them to field goals instead of touchdowns. But, that's a great offense. And you're playing one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. Even when we had that lead I knew he (Brees) was going to rally them back. That's just the player he is, and you just knew he wasn't going to make another mistake. When you're playing the best, you have to play all 60 minutes."

Running back BOBBY RAINEY

"We can't worry what some people might say about us losing the game – even though we know we had the lead in the fourth quarter. Looking at the game, I think we just beat ourselves. They (Saints) didn't do anything spectacular out there but at the end of the day they won the game and that's what matters."

Guard LOGAN MANKINS

"Any penalty is hard to take and we had some of them called today that were questionable. I'm not going to say anything bad about the referees because I'll get fined and anyone else can sit here and criticize them. But, I guess, what we have to do is avoid situations like that where things can get called because they only end up hurting the team."

Tackle DEMAR DOTSON

"The end for us was really tough. We just didn't get the job done. We had a penalty that pushed us back, we had a false start that pushed us back, and then we had a delay of game that pushed us back and then a sack that resulted in two points for them. It wasn't a communications thing down there, it was more of a situation where the guys just didn't get it done."

"We had every opportunity to win this football game. We had the Saints right where we wanted them. But we just didn't finish. We let the game slip through our hands. We've got to learn to finish football games and that's exactly what happened out there today."

Linebacker DANNY LANSANAH

"Even in the overtime I felt we had a great chance to win the game. All we had to do is stop them on third down and get them off the field. But you have to tip your hat off to those guys. Drew Brees is an elite quarterback and he had the offense running like a machine and made the plays to win it for them."

On his interception return for TD:

"I have to give all of the credit to our defensive line. They put the pressure on him (Brees) forcing a bad pass and I just ran underneath the ball and caught it. I was fortunate to run it in for a touchdown. But that play was just one play in the game. That play – one play – didn't win the game. All we can do now is learn from this really hard defeat and get ready for the next game."

Cornerback JOHNATHAN BANKS

"At the very end, in overtime, our defense just ran out of gas. We were out on the field a real long time and the Saints drove down the field and ended the game. This is a real hard loss for us because we were right in it and we never quit."

Cornerback ALTERRAUN VERNER

"There's no question it was a missed opportunity today. We had that game won – there's no excuse for us losing. Kudos to them – they made the plays to come back and tie it up and then made the final plays to win the game. It seems they might have wanted the win more than us – I don't know right now. But we had no business losing that game."

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