2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Payton: Saints fortunate to be 2-0 despite errors

    2013-09-17 02:32

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By BRETT MARTEL
AP Sports Writer

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - Sean Payton can't complain about the Saints' 2-0 record. That doesn't mean he hasn't identified worrisome shortcomings in the performance of his normally prolific offense, and even his own play calling.

There is ``a lot that we have to look at and clean up. Fortunately it's coming off of a win,'' Payton said Monday after reviewing video of New Orleans' 16-14 victory at Tampa Bay on Sunday that was clinched by Garrett Hartley's winning 27-yard field goal as time expired.

``We've got a lot to fix. We've got a ton of football to play,'' Payton continued. ``Obviously, we've got to be better at scoring and I've got to do a better job.''

Indeed, it is relatively rare to see Payton's offense score only one touchdown in a game. Even last season, when the Saints went 7-9, it happened only once in a loss at Atlanta when Brees was intercepted five times.

Brees was intercepted twice and sacked four times on Sunday. He also was hit numerous other times right after throwing, and would have been sacked a fifth time, as well as stripped for a third turnover, if not for a personal foul call on the tackler for a helmet-to-helmet hit.

``There were some plays that even after the pass, he took a pretty good shot,'' Payton said. ``We're always mindful of that.''

Payton also blasted himself for the play calling following a first-and-goal from the 1 late in the first half. The Saints came away with no points after an incomplete pass and three unproductive runs.

``The goal line sequence is on me,'' Payton said. ``I did a poor job of really giving our guys the best opportunity. That was coaching; it wasn't the players.''

Yet, as with any victory, some things had to go right. For New Orleans, that meant a second-straight strong performance by the defense under new coordinator Rob Ryan.

New Orleans yielded only one defensive touchdown, and that came on a short field after Brees' first interception. The unit produced two turnovers, one on Malcolm Jenkins' interception and one on defensive end Cameron Jordan's strip of Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman and Junior Galette's recovery.

Also crucial was the final third-down stop that forced a failed field goal try with just more than a minute left, setting up New Orleans' game-winning drive.

``We played with real good effort and energy, came up with some big plays, turnovers and did enough for us to win the game, especially when it comes down to that final series,'' Payton said.

Although the Saints have played only two games, the No. 10 ranking of its defense (heading into Monday night's game between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh), is an encouraging sign for a unit that finished last in the league in 2012.

``We are flying pretty high as a defense,'' linebacker Curtis Lofton said. ``Last year is last year, that's in the past. This is a new team, new defense, new defensive coordinator, so we moved way past that.''

Payton also gushed about tight end Jimmy Graham, who had 10 catches for a franchise record 179 yards and the Saints' only TD on a 56-yard catch - with much of his production coming after he was folded backward awkwardly by a late hit to the head by safety Ahmad Black.

``He had an outstanding game. He was physical, changed field position for us and was very focused,'' Payton said. ``It was great to see Graham take the hit, get back up and then a couple plays later catch a seam (pass) right through the middle of their defense. He ended up really being the difference for us.''

The Saints allowed themselves to celebrate on the flight home, but Monday's video review session was sobering.

Still, right tackle Zach Strief believes there is something to be said for a team that can pull out a victory in crunch time despite not playing its best.

``Down the road, these games that were early that we just found a way to win will come back big,'' he said. ``At the end of the year, there's no asterisks next to the stats and the schedule.''

NOTES: Payton declined to offer any updates on the health of CB Patrick Robinson, who appeared to have a serious knee injury, and DE Tom Johnson, who had a leg injury. ... Payton refrained from commenting on whether he thought Black should be punished for his late hit to Graham's head. ``You look at it for what it is and I think the league is doing that,'' Payton said. ``It doesn't matter if it upset me.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

David WilsonJul 31 12:01p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) 'needs a miracle' from his surgeon's evaluation to be able to continue his playing career, according to a source.

David WilsonJul 31 11:52a

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) attended team meetings Thursday, July 31, and appeared ready to go, according to RB Rashad Jennings.

Brent UrbanJul 31 11:42a

Baltimore Ravens DE Brent Urban (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament during practice Wednesday, July 30, and will miss the entire 2014 season.

Lance LouisJul 31 11:32a

Indianapolis Colts OG Jack Mewhort appears to be the leading candidate for the starting left guard job. OG Lance Louis is also considered a candidate for the job.

Donald ThomasJul 31 11:22a

Indianapolis Colts OG Donald Thomas (quadriceps) is scheduled to undergo season-ending quadriceps surgery and will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list, according to head coach Chuck Pagano.

Nick BarnettJul 31 11:12a

Free-agent LB Nick Barnett (Redskins) is still an option for the Atlanta Falcons depending on what happens with the team's linebackers. The Falcons worked out Barnett in June but did not sign him.

Josh GordonJul 31 10:42a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is not practicing Thursday, July 31, and presumably will miss practice Friday, Aug. 1, to attend his suspension appeal hearing.

Eric BerryJul 31 10:32a

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (leg, foot) was carted off at practice Thursday, July 31, with a right leg or foot injury. SS Jerron McMillian has taken his place.

Jordan TodmanJul 31 09:52a

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart is expected to be spelled by RBs Jordan Todman, Denard Robinson and Storm Johnson so he doesn't reach the 300-carry plateau.

Morgan BurnettJul 31 09:42a

Green Bay Packers FS Morgan Burnett (ankle) and SS Tanner Miller (undisclosed) are not practicing Thursday, July 31.

Micah HydeJul 31 09:42a

Green Bay Packers FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is working with the first-team defense at strong safety beside FS Micah Hyde Thursday, July 31.

Lardarius WebbJul 31 09:23a

Baltimore Ravens CB Lardarius Webb (back), DE Brent Urban (knee), DT Timmy Jernigan (back), OG Will Rackley (concussion) and WR Jeremy Butler (undisclosed) are out of practice Thursday, July [ More ]

Terrell SuggsJul 31 09:03a

Baltimore Ravens LB Terrell Suggs, DT Haloti Ngata and LB Daryl Smith are not practicing Thursday, July 31.

Nate GarnerJul 31 08:53a

Miami Dolphins C Nate Garner is working with the first-team offense again Thursday, July 31, over C Shelley Smith.

A.J. HawkJul 31 01:53a

Green Bay Packers LB Brad Jones has been working ahead of LB A.J. Hawk as the lone linebacker in the dime defense in practice.

Matt CasselJul 31 01:53a

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater saw reps with the first-team offense in practice Wednesday, July 30. According to NFL Network's Albert Breer, QB Matt Cassel appears to lead the [ More ]

Christian PonderJul 31 01:53a

Minnesota Vikings QB Christian Ponder's reps were cut during practice Wednesday, July 30.

Josh GordonJul 30 11:43p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is in Stage III of the NFL's substance-abuse program, and a positive test automatically triggers a one-year suspension. For Gordon, only two options exist: [ More ]

Rod StreaterJul 30 11:43p

Oakland Raiders WR Rod Streater (concussion) participated in warmups and drills Wednesday, July 30, but he sat out team sessions. Streater suffered a concussion Monday, July 28, and has [ More ]

Joique BellJul 30 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (knee) missed organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp while recovering from a knee injury, but he looked good cutting and accelerating with ease during [ More ]

Rob SimsJul 30 10:23p

Detroit Lions OG Rob Sims (knee) missed organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp while recovering from a knee injury, but he held his own working against DT Nick Fairley [ More ]

Allen RobinsonJul 30 10:13p

Updating a previous report, Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson (and fellow rookie WR Marqise Lee) have seen plenty of opportunity at training camp with WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) and [ More ]

Marqise LeeJul 30 10:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Marqise Lee (and fellow rookie WR Allen Robinson) have seen more reps in training camp with WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) and WR Ace Sanders (personal) sidelined. [ More ]

Carl NicksJul 30 08:03p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers officially released OG Carl Nicks (toe) Wednesday, July 30, with an injury settlement.

David WilsonJul 30 06:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) tweeted that he is fine after leaving practice early Tuesday, July 29. Wilson said he passed all physical examinations and will find out more Monday, Aug. 3.

Jim LeonhardJul 30 05:53p

The Cleveland Browns signed SS Jim Leonhard (Bills) Wednesday, July 30. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Aldon SmithJul 30 04:43p

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith is not participating in practice Wednesday, July 30, as he attends a hearing at the Los Angeles City Attorney's office regarding an April [ More ]

Fred JacksonJul 30 04:13p

The Buffalo Bills have signed RB Fred Jackson to a one-year contract extension. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jason GarrettJul 30 03:23p

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence (foot) will undergo surgery for a broken foot Thursday, July 31, according to head coach Jason Garrett.

LaMichael JamesJul 30 03:03p

San Francisco 49ers RB LaMichael James (elbow) will wear a brace on his dislocated elbow and should be ready for the start of the regular season, according to head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Brent UrbanJul 30 02:23p

Baltimore Ravens DE Brent Urban (leg) and DT Timmy Jernigan (back) appear to have suffered injuries during practice Wednesday, July 30. Urban was helped off the field after suffering the injury.

Tyron SmithJul 30 02:03p

Dallas Cowboys OT Tyron Smith has agreed to terms with the team on an eight-year contract extension worth $98 million, according to a source.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group