The Buccaneer defense was facing one of the elite quarterbacks in the league, who just so happens to be on a 48-game passing TD streak entering the Sunday’s game with the Saints. Drew Brees is now up to 49 straight games with a passing touchdown. The Bucs offense was able to rack up 513 total yards against of one of the NFL’s worst defenses, making the loss even tougher.
Below is a sample of quotes gathered in the locker room following Sunday's loss.
QB JOSH FREEMAN
(On the final play)
"I thought the offensive line did an amazing job on that play. You know, (on) that play, everyone is working in the end zone. It's kind of run, an initial run and try to get open, and the saints did a good job of covering the initial routes, sitting there and going through. The O-line held up, sort of converging a little bit, but they gave me an opportunity to escape. Mike (Williams) caught (the ball), he was in bounds when he caught it, and you don't really see anything leading up to that, but it's such a rush of emotion thinking that you made the play to keep it going. Obviously it didn't turn out that way."
(On losing despite the offensive production)
"It's just win-loss to us. It's black and white. We go in and prepare as well as we can, and the next week you try to go out and prepare even better. We come out and we give it all we got. This week it just didn't go our way. The Saints are a heck of a football team. In my mind, they made more plays, scored more points."
(On New Orleans' goal-line stand)
"You look at our goal line offense up to this point, we were able to make it but I know they did something different with their front. They shifted a little bit and just made the plays. This is a league that comes down to execution. You can have the best scheme in the world, but if you are unable to execute then it's all for naught. Down there we just didn't get it done."
(On playing against QB Drew Brees)
"Drew is an elite quarterback. He is able to manage his offense, and (the offense) is really hard for people to stop. Just seeing some of the passes and plays he makes, the guy is a tremendous competitor."
(On WR Tiquan Underwood)
"I think Tiquan brings a lot to the team, just as a player and his personality. The guy is a great guy and teammate to have. You are happy with the way he works. (He's a) great guy to be around and a lot of fun. He makes plays. You saw it today: there were a number of situations where especially towards the end, the play down the middle, the high ball that he got, and even last week. I'm really proud of Tiquan and the way he works the way he competes and happy to have him as a teammate."
TE DALLAS CLARK
(On moving forward)
"We are maturing, (we) understand that we can't hang our heads too long. We got a game in the blink of an eye. We got to learn from this one (and) put it to bed a lot quicker than on a normal week and come back and get ready for Minnesota."
"You can pick whatever you want to where we had our chances to win this game and we just didn't make them. Give all the credit to (New Orleans): they caused the penalty. They're doing the things, we have to be better."
(On the New Orleans defense)
"They blitzed a lot more, but I think we were picking it up. Then, when we're falling short, there's a guy here, a hit there. Just stuff you can't do against this team. That's just put(s) a lot of pressure on you."
WR TIQUAN UNDERWOOD
(On the passing game)
"The (offensive) line did a good job giving Josh (Freeman) time today. He just hit the open guys. Unfortunately, we didn't execute as much as we needed to. Hats off to the New Orleans Saints. They played a great game coming back and made the plays needed to be made to win it."
(On his involvement with the offense)
"(I'm) just going to work every day (and) trying to work hard on my game; trying to gain the trust of the coaches."
WR MIKE WILLIAMS
(On the loss)
"All of our losses are tough, but we fought for this one. We came back and tied this game to get into overtime, and I stepped out of bounds."
(On the performance of QB Josh Freeman)
"That was great man. It (would have) looked good with four touchdown passes and some more yards, but he had a great day. He performed how he did, and, like I tell people, he (is) the truth. He came back and showed that he (is) the truth. If I don't step out of bounds, we go into overtime and get a chance to win."
DT ROY MILLER
(On the defense)
"The offense did their thing; (this) is on us today. (The) pass rush wasn't there. That was our focus, especially on first and second down. We just didn't do it, didn't get (New Orleans) uncomfortable. That's on us, as a team. It works both ways: the secondary and the defensive line have to be on the same page. When you're not on the same page, and you're not rushing or you're not covering, or either one, things like that happen. The whole defense had things here and there that contributed to what happened today. As the defensive line, we always put it on our shoulders, and we just didn't get there today."
(On the loss)
"We are just getting sick of being in these tight games, we're just getting sick of it. If you look back, on all of the games we lost, they were all pretty close, this is just another one that is sickening; we beat ourselves in situations and it's just frustrating.
WR VINCENT JACKSON
(On the loss)
"Tough loss. Obviously we fought hard at the end, tried to come back, but came up a little short. Hats off to the Saints, they played a good game and they finished well."
(On his 95-yard reception)
"I came out there and did the best I could. I obviously wasn't 100-percent today, but I went out there to fight and gave it everything I got every play. We tried to get down there in the red zone, try to improve and come away with points. We think we have an offensive line that can move people and get someone to punch it in. But, again, hats off to the Saints, they played tough."
(On not scoring from the one-yard line)
"I mean we're going to have to go back and look at the film, you don't lose a game by one play. There're some things in all three phases of the game that we can improve on. We will do that, we will make the corrections and we will get better, and we'll come back and play hard on Thursday."
DT GERALD MCCOY
(On his thoughts during the game's final drive)
"It's not over 'til it's over. You just keep the hope. It's not what we were looking for, but that's this league. All credit goes to the Saints."
(On QB Josh Freeman's performance)
"He came to play. He knew who he was facing. He knew who the other side had. He came out and showed that he could do it, too."
(On being 2-4 instead of 3-3)
"That's the NFL. You just have to take it with a grain of salt and move on to the next one. (New Orleans) played well enough to get the 'W.' It's over, we're moving on to the Vikings."
DB RONDE BARBER
(On the loss)
"We stayed in it, fought, tried to win. Gave ourselves a chance, which we've done in all of our losses, unfortunately or fortunately, no matter how you look at it. Yeah, it's a tad frustrating. You do enough in some areas, certainly not enough in a lot of others."
(On QB Drew Brees' rhythm with the offense)
"Give him all the credit. He's been working with these guys for a lot of years. If you don't pressure the guy and he has time to throw, his guys know where to run to the zone, sit down, convert third downs, (and) keep the chains moving. He does it better than anybody in the game."
(On the defense's inability to stop the offense)
"We've got to do our jobs better. A lot of those plays weren't him [Drew Brees], they were us. They're correctable, but in the immediacy of them it's very disappointing on our part."
(On the upcoming short week)
"The short work week, it is what it is. We've got to come in tomorrow and be done with New Orleans. I think we'll all be comfortable with that. Getting to play on Thursday, get the chance to go on the national stage, and really show what we're all about. It can't be a performance like this. It's got to be our best ball."