"I felt like Pete did a great job of getting play calls in and all that stuff that we could have called in those situations. He deserves a lot of credit, as does the rest of the coaching staff, just to pick up the slack for what Sean would have done as head coach and play caller."
(On Tampa Bay's defense) "I thought they played great today. They took the ball away four times, which if you can do that, you're going to win a lot of games. We gave it away four times, and we got none. Granted, the last play of the game, it's fourth down, you throw it up anyway. The fact of the matter is, they'll get you beat. We've got to do a better job with that. I'm confident that we will. Other than that though, I felt like we moved the ball. We just kicked a couple of field goals when maybe we could have kept some drives alive. The turnovers hurt us. It's hard looking back on it now because you're still kind of focused on what happened at the end of the game, but they played well. They played us tight. It was back and forth, and like I said, the turnovers gave them some good field position on a few occasions, which can't happen. That just puts our defense in a tough spot, and we can't allow that."
(On setting an NFL record) "I don't even know what it is and don't really care because it was all about coming here and getting a victory. I mean, everything that happened, you lose your head coach on the third call of the game, the play caller. Everybody stepped up and did a great job This is a long season. It's a marathon. We're sitting at 4-2, dropped a divisional game on the road. It hurts, but there's a lot of of football left to be played. There's no doubt we've got to get better. We will."
DE Will Smith (On if Payton's injury affected the game) "No it didn't. You said that he got hurt, but it wasn't any factor for our defense at all."
(On Tampa Bay's big plays in the first half ) "Just mistakes on our behalf. The Buccaneers came in, we came in the game, and we're going to press them and do a bunch of different things and they came in again and they were prepared for it. They made some big plays here and there, and we made a couple of mistakes here and there."
WR Lance Moore (On the mistakes) "Anytime you have four turnovers it's impossible to win. We just can't ignore what happened today; we have to take a look at the film and see the things we did wrong. To have those turnovers, we can't ignore the fact this happened."
(On Payton's injury) "You can't let something like that affect the way you play. Whoever is calling the plays, it really doesn't matter because we still have to go out there and perform. We just came up short today."
RB Mark Ingram (On Payton's injury) "We just tried to handle our play the right way. We have a lot of other great coaches on our staff, so they know the game plan and know our playbook. We're a family here, so we trusted they put us in the right position."
(On poor performance) "We just have to do better, it's simple. Go back to the drawing board tomorrow and get better."
WR Marques Colston (On the strategy of the coaching staff with Payton not on the sideline) "The guys that were put in that position came and did the best they could. They put us in a position to score a touchdown late in the game and to go up."
(On the interception at the end zone) "This offense is definitely confident. When the game is on the line, we are going to make plays and it didn't happen for us today. We got to try and make corrections and get on to next week."
The sideline at Edward James Stadium in Tampa wasn't a good place to be on Sunday. Saints coach Sean Payton suffered serious leg injuries in the first half of the Saints-Bucs game, and the Tampa Bay defensive backs coach suffered a self-inflicted wound in the second half. Stephen Holder of the St. Petersburg Times reports that defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake suffered a torn patella tendon late in the game while celebrating the Bucs' game-sealing interception. The Bucs head to London this week, but it's hard to imagine he could make the trip after the injury...
Sean Payton wasn't the only NFL coach in the news on Sunday. Following the 49ers' 25-19 victory over the Lions, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh decided it would be a good idea to jump around Ford Field celebrating like he had won a Super Bowl. Lions coach Jim Schwartz took exception to the excessive celebrating and chased down Harbaugh to let him know of his displeasure. The two had to be physically separated when Schwartz caught up to Harbaugh, and the teams also decided to get involved. When asked about the incident, Harbaugh responded: "I was really revved up. That wasn't me...That's on me. Handshake was too hard."
(Photo Mark Ingram)
bowl games, 4-0, including two national titles.
by Ed Staton
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