NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Just 24 hours after the Saints snapped a four-game losing streak, Head Coach Sean Payton pointed to his team's success on third downs and contributions from veterans as keys to a 24-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The following is a copy of Payton's conversation with the media, as transcribed by the New Orleans Saints:
What can you tell us about the evaluation of Damian Swann?
"Yes, before I issue a statement on that will make sure that we have all the information from the doctors and the specialist and (I) will get it to you guys."
What about Marques Colston's performance yesterday?
"Shoot, he has done well. His role was crystal clear going in. I thought it was great to see the production yesterday some big plays in the red zone and we have been smart about how we have practiced him, looking at each week with our Wednesday work and it was good to see the milestone that he and Drew set together."
How tough is that to see yesterday when Damian Swann goes down?
"Yes, I mentioned I'm not going to comment anymore on it. (I) Will wait and see what the doctors come back with and go from there."
What did you do well yesterday on third down conversions?
"Well I'm not overstating the obvious but if you charted the third down distances relative to games when it hasn't been as good, we were much better on first and second down and we converted some long situations, but by and large the distance we were converting by (on) average was a lot more reasonable."
How do you view Marques Colston's performance and what he still has left to offer to this team going forward?
"He has optimized consistency. Looking at the number of milestones that he has hit, he has always been very reliable he has strong hands in traffic and you know exactly what you are getting in regards to his location catching radius there are so many things he has been consistent with over his career. He has optimized which you look for in a pro player, especially at the time he has done it."
How much does it set the tone when an early penalty negates a big gain for them, while your offense converts in the red zone on your first drive?
"I thought that the start of the game was important. There was a little bit of a breeze and we (would've) elected to differ if we won (the toss). We were able to get the touchback and felt like we were able to play a good portion of the first half on their end of the field. We were able to make the plays that we needed to defensively, and offensively take advantage of the field position."
It seems like the disparity of touches between Tim Hightower and C.J. Spiller, did that have anything to do with how the game played out? It seemed like they were splitting time more early in the game, and that changed as the game went on.
"Some of it did. A lot of it were (the) personnel groupings and what we were trying to do. We were into some five receiver sets. Some of those packages are C.J.'s packages as well. A lot of it had to do with the direction the game flowed."
Yesterday you had 12 penalties, which was the third time this year that you've had that many. Oddly, you've won all three of those games. Is that just overcoming some of the self-inflicted wounds?
"It puts you behind the eight ball. There are a handful of those penalties that are senseless. The only significant scoring drive that they have until later in the game is caused by two personal fouls. That's 15 yards (plus) 15 yards, and that leads to a touchdown. Those are the ones that frustrate you as a coach. There are some situations where a penalty takes place and you can get past it. There are some others that really aren't acceptable."