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Below are post-game audio clips from WWL's Sports Talk. In order, it's Sean Payton, Randall Gay, Marques Colston, Drew Brees, Hokie Gajan and Bobby Hebert.
"Are we out it?" said Saints linebacker Scott Fujita. "Probably not. Is it going to be easy? Probably not."
"We had a perfect chance out there today, and we didn't take advantage of it," Brees said. "So it's disappointing, very disappointing. It's probably one of the more disappointing losses I've ever been a part of."
"I was just trying to get it out there to Lance before the corner could drive on it, and he ended up cutting in front of Lance,"
"If there's something this defense has, you get a lot of guys who have pretty good ball skills. So if there's a ball up in the air, they're going to get it,"
"This one hurts, no doubt about it," offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb said. "We knew the importance of it, and Tampa's a good team. You've got to beat good teams, especially down the stretch. You have to find ways to keep the ball moving. That's our job as an offense. There were stretches of the game where we were faltering."
"I was proud of the effort, especially on defense," Payton said. "In the end, we just didn't have enough in us, and we ended up losing a close game to a good team."
"Unfortunately, for every big play we made defensively, we gave up a big play," said linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who forced two fumbles. "That eventually did us in. We obviously didn't do enough, because .¤.¤. they won the game."
"I think they just finished better than we did," Fujita said. "And defensively they came up with the BIG plays, the game-changing type plays. We were unable to do that. We had a few of them, but theirs were bigger."
That's all you can ask for," Goodwin said after the game. "When we began both of those drives, no one in this whole stadium could have told me that we weren't going to score - both times."
"On the first one, the safety (Phillips) robbed the middle of the field," explained Brees, who was trying to hit Marques Colston on a crossing pattern. "I didn't see him until the last minute, and he stepped in there and made a nice play.
"On the other one, I was trying to get it to Lance before (Buchanon) could drive on it and he ended up cutting in front of him. Both of them were balls that I forced in there and the first one I really didn't need to. So I wish I had it back."
"I have that much confidence in our guys on offense and our quarterback," said Goodwin. "This is definitely tough to take because we had a chance to win the game and we didn't get it done. In that situation, we want to have the ball in the end."
"After we crawled back from 10 points down, we missed some plays and they made some great plays," said Colston, who caught six passes for 106 yards. "As a whole, I think the offense felt confident in what we could do there at the end. But unfortunately, we weren't able to make the plays."
"It hurts right now. It hurts a lot because I know how well we played and deserved to win this game," said Brees, who hit on 25 of 47 passes for 296 yards with a pair of TDs and three interceptions. "I give (the Bucs) a lot of credit because they played very well. But the fact is we had a chance to win in the end, and we didn't do it."
Tampa Bay Buccaneer Transcripts
HEAD COACH JON GRUDEN
"I would just like to say that was a great win for us, a team effort. Our defense was tremendous today, particularly at the end of the football game. I thought our offense came out and started the third quarter with back-to-back scores that were big. Clifton Smith once again made a huge impact, and I thank our fans for hanging in there today. It was a tough day. Not a great day to watch a football game but we’re happy to be 9-3. We won four straight games now in the third quarter [of the season] to set the stage for an exciting finish to the season."
(On the return of Jermaine Phillips to the lineup)
"It was big. He’s a clutch player. He made some big hits and obviously, some big plays in the passing game, but he’s got a presence about him that exudes confidence. He’s a great playmaker and it was great to see him do what he did today."
(On the defensive game plan today)
"It was a tough day to throw the ball. We couldn’t throw it very well; it was hard to grip. The wind is going sideways, the footing isn’t good and both defenses are pretty good. We tried to run it. I think we were a little bit more deliberate in trying to run the football and they put the game in Drew’s [Brees] hands, and rightfully so. I think the conditions were hard on them to throw and I thought Monte [Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin] did a great job once again mixing up his defenses. We played some man-to-man, we blitzed, played some different kinds of zone, and our guys played well. Our defense played really well and I hope they get a lot of credit. The players, they’re playing their hearts out and I’m really proud of them."
(On the play of Josh Bidwell)
"We asked him to do the impossible today. He’s a great punter and an outstanding directional punter. Sometimes we try to kick the ball left, right but we don’t ever want to kick a ‘bomb’ down the middle of the field to give these guys a great look. We asked him to do a hard thing today; directional punt in these conditions. He did an excellent job, making it hard on Reggie [RB/PR Reggie Bush] and their return guys to get great looks and set up their returns. I think he just mishit a ball, but for him to step up when we needed him most, just goes to show what kind of performer he is."
(On the performance of RB Clifton Smith in recent weeks)
"He’s the real deal. It has been a long time, for Tampa Bay fans, since we have been able to return kicks and punts like we’re doing now. I said it a couple weeks ago: ‘Clifton Smith, get a ticket if you want to see him play. He’s something else.’ He is really helping us."
(On the speculation of Monte Kiffin joining his son Lane at the University of Tennessee)
"There’s going to be a lot of speculation. That is a big job that Lane got. This was addressed to me a couple weeks ago. It’s an outstanding opportunity for Lane and I’m happy for him. He’s a good coach and a great guy. Monte can answer those questions. I know this, we don’t want to lose him. He’s my friend, and obviously, I want for Monte to handle those questions. He knows the internal work as to what’s going on. I have said all along I’m a big Tennessee fan, my wife was a cheerleader there and I’m happy for Lane Kiffin. I wish him the best."
DE GAINES ADAMS
(On knowing if he got a half a sack)
"I was not even aware of that. It was a great overall performance by the defensive line and we just got after them today."
(On the learning curve from last year to this year)
"Just being able to get more snaps under my belt and play with these veteran guys. It has been a blessing."
CB RONDE BARBER
(On Drew Brees)
"Well we knew he was going to throw the ball 45 times, that’s just what he does. I’m not sure, but I believe that the first 15 plays were passes, so you know you’re going to get your opportunities. We’ve got to relish, we feel like we’re one of the best secondaries in the league. We had the opportunities today, at least in our minds, to prove it. It’s always important to play well at home. Obviously the weather conditions helped a little bit in that regard. Drew Brees is awesome. He’s tough to deal with, he’s smart with the football, he sees the field better probably than anybody we play other than Peyton (Manning), but we just got after it. We had a good push with the front four, and in the second half of this football game, when we had to make plays, we got three interceptions and that won the game."
(On the NFC South)
"We have the situation we want. We have to do it ourselves, and we got that chance. We have Carolina this week on Monday, we have Atlanta in two weeks in Atlanta. That’s the best scenario we can ask for, because we don’t have to sit around and wait for anybody. We can take the NFC South the way we want to."
WR ANTONIO BRYANT
(On catching the touchdown pass)
"The win is what is more rewarding than anything. I am just out there playmaking, trying to make the plays. That is the types of games that we are finding ourselves in, the close games. It is great for a guy like myself, that gets up, to make the big plays but you don’t want to put yourself in that position too many times."
(On if the touchdown was a planned play or a read)
"It is a play that we probably went over maybe, two or three times in practice, but the coaches trusted us enough and when the number was called we were successful at it."
(On beating an offensive team like the Saints)
"Most definitely. Give our defense and the linemen, both offensive and defensive line a lot of credit. Those guys did some amazing things in the trenches today. If there is one thing that we are consistent at, it is team effort."
CB PHILLIP BUCHANON
(On his interception)
"I was reading his eyes. An opportunity presented itself, and it was my time to make a play to help this team win."
(On defensive performance at home)
"Pretty much at home, we definitely get the job done. Sometimes it doesn’t look good, sometimes it looks good, but Drew Brees, I have to tip my hat off to him, because he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but we just happened to get the victory."
C JEFF FAINE
(On being 9-3)
"We will take it and love it. We still control our own destiny."
(On playing Carolina)
"That is what we have to do. It is going to be a playoff atmosphere. It is going to be a huge game, everything is on the line, with division titles, playoff placement, everything. It is going to be huge."
QB JEFF GARCIA
(On if the game plan changed because of the weather)
"I don’t think so. I think it was pretty much the same, normal stuff. I don’t think coach really tried to adjust things. There is really a run emphasis here and that was something we were working to establish throughout the game. I don’t think the weather necessarily took away from what we were trying to do."
(On if the footing was bad for the receivers)
"Not necessarily. I trust that they are going to be able to make their breaks because they know where they are going. I think if anything it makes it more difficult for the defense to clamp down. New Orleans did a pretty good job today, throughout the day. They played tough. They were tight on the receivers at times. More so than anything in the second quarter when the rain was really coming down, it was probably more difficult to grip the ball than anything else. It probably took away from my accuracy or being as efficient or accurate as I need to be."
(On why he decided to run with the ball more today)
"There were a couple of times when I stepped up and probably forced a throw or tried to make a tight throw and there were lanes for me to take off and run and I probably could have moved the chains. When those opportunities presented themselves later I was able to do that and convert some first downs and pretty much do whatever I had to do to make something work. It wasn’t happening as easily through the air today so we needed to basically just battle through it and do what we could do. That’s where I just thought if I could use my legs at times then I would just go ahead and do that."
(On the touchdown pass to WR Antonio Bryant)
"He had a double move and it’s a play that we pretty much have built off of the things we have done in the past, some of the plays he has made running a similar route and their defense sat on the initial route and he broke through beyond them. I was able to just get enough on the ball to reach him, fortunately, and he made a great play to get it in the end zone. It was a big play for us at that point."
(On how big the win is)
"It’s huge. You can’t downplay the significance of this game to further separate ourselves from an explosive, scary team like New Orleans. Again, we can’t say enough about our defense here because they just have played outstanding football and did a great job today once again. But now, to put this one behind us and focus on a big game in Carolina, one step closer to potentially grabbing a division title, that’s something to be excited about. To play it on Monday night is a great opportunity for this team."
G DAVIN JOSEPH
(On getting a win in these conditions)
"It is unrealistic to think that you aren’t going to have days like today. It is going to be a sloppy game sometimes, things aren’t going to be as clean as you would like it to be, and they are going to change things up. They did a good job on defense, holding us in the fourth quarter. But really, you have to lean on your defense a little bit to make a few plays."
(On if weather was a factor)
"Not really, not really, we just weren’t converting. We weren’t getting first downs in the fourth quarter. We really got ahead and it just seemed like we took our foot off of the gas pedal a little bit and let them back into the game. The defense really stepped up, made some plays for us, big plays for us in the fourth quarter."
(On the team overcoming adversity to win)
"We have been able to overcome a lot of different things this year; on the road, playing bad with turnovers, losing the turnover battle, penalties in the red zone, we have been able to overcome a lot. When it is time to make a play, there is always somebody to step up and make a play. It is not something we take pride in doing, but it is something that if you have a good team, you can do sometimes."
LB CATO JUNE
(On the win)
"It was a team victory, and that is what it is all about."
(On your interceptions)
"It’s all about getting to the ball and on that, CB Ronde Barber made a great play on two receivers and knocking the ball down and when you hustle to the football great things always happen as you can see in our defense all year."
(On finishing the game strong)
"It’s a standard, we have a standard as a defense to score and get the ball back and when we went out there up by three we had to stop the offense and no matter where the ball is put that’s our place to stand and we will go out there and make plays. We are an opportunistic defense, and we are ready to go out and make plays and have fun hustling to the ball."
(On a big game next week)
"It will be a great atmosphere to go down there. It’s a division game and it’s for all of the marbles, for right now at least, and it’s put up or shut up time. Someone will rise up to the occasion and become a premier team in the NFC and why not us."
S JERMAINE PHILLIPS
(On the challenge of playing against Drew Brees)
"It brings out the best in you, our whole team, period. I mean the Bucs are used to having this type of game that comes with the rivalry with the Saints."
(On his interception)
"We were just in a zone coverage, and I was just looking at Drew Brees, following his eyes, and he just looked to who he was trying to throw to."
LB BARRETT RUUD
(On the defense)
"I thought when we needed to step up, somebody always did, and that was what was great about today. When somebody had to make a play; and it came from everywhere, somebody did it. That was the best part of today."
(On playing against QB Drew Brees)
"When guys needed to step up, like S Jermaine Phillips’ first game back from a broken arm, make a great play. S Tanard Jackson had a great pick in the end zone that should have stood, I thought. And then CB Phillip Buchanon made a great break and you could see him come flying across the field and makes the pick to seal the game, and those DB’s, they really stepped up today."
(On S Jermaine Phillips)
"The one thing is when he was hurt he would come into meetings. He wanted to stay in the game, and he is always a guy that works extremely hard at practice, and even when he was hurt and couldn’t practice he was out there running and stuff and he really stepped in like he hadn’t missed a beat."
TE JERRAMY STEVENS
(On the win)
"It is a huge win. We know that we have to take care of our division first to reach our goals. It was a hard fought game but our defense stepped up big, made some huge plays. Anytime you try to throw against our defense that much, they are going to get after it and that is what happened."
(On playing another close game against New Orleans)
"It just seems to be that in this series against New Orleans, it is always close. We would like it to not be so close one of these times, but as long as you get the win, and that is we got."
(On the offense)
"I think we made plays when we had to and that is kind of the way we have been all year. We weren’t really moving the ball all that well in the fourth quarter, end of the third. We came out with two big scores early in the second half but we kind of stalled out a little bit. Everybody just stepping making plays when we really needed to have it, had huge plays out of Antonio Bryant and Jeff Garcia and Cadillac Williams, everybody just stepping up when they have to."
(On the touchdown pass to WR Antonio Bryant)
"It was a huge play, especially in weather like this, you don’t expect big plays like that. We did a great job up front giving Jeff time to get that ball out to Antonio and he was wide open."
DE GREG WHITE
(On the win)
"We went out there and played Buccaneer ball and anytime we do that, it’s a W. So far so good. We are 9-3."
(On the second half performance by the Buccaneer defense)
"We went out there and kept playing relentless. Jermaine Phillips came back and made big plays. Ronde Barber is the man. Everybody is taking turns. Everybody is playing unselfish football."
(On winning games and pulling them out late)
"We find a way to win. It may not be pretty but we always find a way to win. We have been doing it a lot lately this year. So we keep finding ways whether it is high scoring, low scoring, exciting or boring, we are going to find a way to win."
RB CARNELL WILLIAMS
(On his touchdown run)
"I was just like, ‘Wow!’ It just put me back to all the hard work I had put into the rehab. For me to go out there and score, I was just ecstatic."
(On the win)
"It’s one step closer to our goal. We want to come out of the South, we want to continue to get better, we want to finish up strong. So I just feel like if we continue to get better, continue to work hard, this team can do great things."