Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Saints on march once again under Payton

  • Print

METAIRIE, La. -- For the Saints, it's as if 2012 never happened.

After three games a year ago, they were 0-3 without coach Sean Payton and coming off an overtime home loss to Kansas City when they blew an 18-point second-half lead.

With Payton back from his one-season bounty ban, New Orleans is 3-0 after a 31-7 rout of Arizona that resembled many of the games in Payton's best seasons. New Orleans also started 3-0 under Payton's tenure in 2006, when the Saints reached the NFC championship game, and 2009, when they won the Super Bowl.

Payton dismissed the comparisons Monday, saying it's the media's job "to reference all those things," but for the Saints, "it's noise."

He noted Arizona "was 4-0 last year at the start of the season and ended up firing a general manager and a head coach."

While that might sound like typical Payton, it's one of the reasons the Saints believe they're off to a fast start. They say with Payton back, the distractions of last season are long gone and the intense focus and preparation have returned.

"He brings back that leadership, that ultimate decision-making power for the team," centre Brian de la Puente said. "You come into each week knowing that we have the best plan possible."

To get to 4-0, the Saints will have to beat the Miami Dolphins at the Superdome next Monday night in a matchup of two unbeaten teams. They like their chances if quarterback Drew Brees, tight end Jimmy Graham and a resurgent defence continue to play the way they did against the Cardinals.

Brees threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns against Arizona, also rushing for a score. Two of the scoring tosses went to Graham, who had nine receptions for 134 yards a week after catching 10 passes for 179 yards against Tampa Bay.

The Saints defence allowed an 80-yard touchdown drive to open the game, then forced eight punts and had two interceptions on the Cardinals' next 10 possessions.

Payton's decision to replace former defensive co-ordinator Steve Spagnuolo with Rob Ryan and switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4 scheme has worked wonders through three games.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 24, 2013 C6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Gary Lawless & Ed Tait try not to bleeping cry over the woesome Jets

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose cools off Thursday in water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who has been the biggest disappointment on the Jets to start the season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google