2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Payton seeks to encourage Saints after tough loss

By BRETT MARTEL - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-14 17:36

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - Sean Payton figured his players deserved to go into their bye week feeling good about themselves.

So while the coach is taking a hard look at what the Saints could have done differently in a dramatic loss at New England on Sunday, he's also complimenting his players' overall effort during a 5-1 start.

``I like the work ethic, the competitive nature of this team,'' Payton asserted Monday. ``I like it a lot.''

The coach said it will probably take his staff and players a couple days to get over their failure to cash in on multiple opportunities to put the Patriots away, only to see Tom Brady pull out his latest game-winning drive.

With no timeouts and 1:13 left, New England marched 70 yards, capped by Brady's pinpoint, 17-yard pass to the back left corner of the end zone, where rookie receiver Kenbrell Thompkins outleaped cornerback Jabari Greer to make a twisting catch with 5 seconds left in a 30-27 Patriots victory.

Before that, the Saints' defense twice thought they'd thwarted Brady's last, best chance - first with a fourth-down stop and then with an interception.

Both times, however, the Saints' normally prolific offense could not get a first down, and the Patriots had enough timeouts left to get a third chance.

``The overall mood and spirits were good,'' Payton said of his players as many of them prepared to take the rest of the week off after some conditioning, lifting and film review on Monday. ``Obviously, it's a tough loss. And when you do it long enough, they understand that there's going to be some games like that where you're wrestling over one specific play or one sequence of plays.''

Payton said he was proud of how his team rallied from a 17-7 halftime deficit, and only regretted that his offense couldn't keep Brady off the field in the final minutes.

``We were able to get the stops defensively. We weren't able to get that one first down we needed,'' Payton said.

Payton also dismissed criticism of his defense's pass coverage on the final touchdown.

``This is distribution-of-credit, assignment-of-blame Monday, so that's just the industry,'' Payton said. ``Tom made a great location throw. The receiver made a real good catch above his head. You can't beat yourself up over that.''

After four straight games with 100-plus yards receiving, Jimmy Graham was held without a catch, but Payton brushed aside a question about whether the Patriots provided a blue-print for shutting down the star tight end. Payton said he would only be concerned if every team had a cornerback as well suited to covering Graham as Aqib Talib.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees said everyone on offense is questioning what they could have done differently to keep Brady on the sideline. He said Payton seemed to sense how hard his players took loss, which might explain why he didn't heavily criticize his players over the manner in which the late lead was squandered.

``He knows how hard guys fought. He knows the weight of this game, the gravity of this game, how meaningful it was to all of us,'' Brees said. ``At times, when you lose, especially a tough loss like that, you make more of an impact when you're encouraging and very positive.

``I'm sure he would have been more critical had we won that game, saying, `Hey, there's a few things here that could have gotten us beat.' And in reality, those things did get us beat,'' Brees continued. ``At times, human nature would tell you to do one thing when really you may need to just take a deep breath and do the other. I think after a loss, human nature would tell you to get all riled up and mad and angry and yell. I think cooler heads prevailed and Sean has a great feel for that, to say, `Man, you guys battled, you played your heart out. It didn't go our way this time but there's going to be many more like this. Let's be ready to win those.'''

Notes: Payton said the Saints will not practice again until next Monday and that the most important thing his players can do in the meantime is rest. ... Payton praised running back Khiry Robinson, who made the roster after coming to training camp as an undrafted rookie out of West Texas A&M. Robinson carried seven times for 53 yards and his first-career TD at New England. ``He's been explosive, he's been tough, he's been hard-nosed and we will continue to look at his snaps and evaluate how he fits in each game plan,'' Payton said.

---

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Richard RodgersJul 1 05:03p

Green Bay Packers TE Richard Rodgers could see more playing time in 2015, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Rodgers played 528 snaps, while fellow TE Andrew Quarless played [ More ]

Rob HouslerJun 30 03:13p

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge, Rob Housler and Jim Dray could all end up taking over for TE Jordan Cameron, who is now with the Miami Dolphins. Head coach [ More ]

Sam BradfordJun 29 05:22p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) is expected to be in the final phase of his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament once training camp begins. Bradford's second [ More ]

Charles JohnsonJun 29 02:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson appears to have everything it takes to produce in the NFL, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. 'He's got great work ethic, and [ More ]

C.J. SpillerJun 28 09:02p

New Orleans Saints RB C.J. Spiller has a perfect skill-set for head coach Sean Payton's system, which relies on getting the ball to players in space, according Chris Wesseling [ More ]

Tony MoeakiJun 25 07:12p

Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Moeaki will compete with TE Jacob Tamme for the Falcons' starting tight end job during training camp. QB Matt Ryan praised both tight ends for [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJun 25 03:52p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's reported weight gain this offseason is being overblown, according to general manager Dave Gettleman. Gettleman expects Benjamin to be ready to go for training [ More ]

Antoine CasonJun 25 03:03a

Free-agent CB Antoine Cason (foot) will miss the 2015 season due to surgery he underwent on Tuesday, June 23. Cason (Ravens) did not specify what type of surgery he [ More ]

Marvin JonesJun 24 09:13p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (ankle, foot) did not play in 2014 due to multiple foot and ankle issues, but he is healthy and was impressive in organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp.

Keith WenningJun 24 02:43p

Free-agent QB Keith Wenning (Ravens) signed with the Cincinnati Bengals Wednesday, June 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Pierre GarconJun 24 02:23p

Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon could be featured more often in the passing game this season based on the offseason workouts. Garcon often lined up to the right of [ More ]

Martavis BryantJun 24 01:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers WRs Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant are expected to compete for the No. 2 wide receiver job during training camp. Both players performed well during offseason workouts.

Peyton ManningJun 24 11:53a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning was the subject of preliminary trade discussions with the Houston Texans, according to a source. The talks occurred before Manning restructured his deal and [ More ]

Rueben RandleJun 24 10:53a

New York Giants WR Rueben Randle was the best receiver on the field by a wide margin during spring practices, in the opinion of beat writer Jordan Ranaan. Randle [ More ]

Chris IvoryJun 24 10:43a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is listed as the starting running back entering training camp, according to beat writer Rich Cimini's unofficial depth chart. RB Bilal Powell is [ More ]

Devonta FreemanJun 23 10:22a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman enters training camp ahead of RB Tevin Coleman on the depth chart.

Joseph RandleJun 23 10:02a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle appears to be the clear leader at running back, and it's his job to lose in training camp.

Ahmad BradshawJun 22 11:32p

Free-agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Colts) has been suspended one game for violation of the league's substance abuse policy. If he signs with a team he must sit out for the first week.

Terrelle PryorJun 22 04:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Terrelle Pryor was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns Monday, June 22, according to a source.

Fred DavisJun 19 06:02p

New England Patriots TE Fred Davis was released Friday, June 19.

Dennis PittaJun 19 02:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) was not medically cleared to practice in minicamp as he continues to recover from his second dislocated and fractured hip in as many [ More ]

Isaiah CrowellJun 19 01:22p

Cleveland Browns RB Isaiah Crowell could be the workhorse back if his ball security improves, according to offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

Devonta FreemanJun 19 01:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman will be used in a lot of different ways, including as a receiver, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'I knew Devonta had terrific [ More ]

Chris OgbonnayaJun 19 11:32a

Free-agent RB Chris Ogbonnaya (Giants) announced his retirement Friday, June 19.

John MoffittJun 18 11:02p

Free-agent OG John Moffitt unretired Wednesday, June 17, and cleared waivers Thursday, June 18. He is free to sign with a team of his choosing. The Philadelphia Eagles, Miami [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 09:32p

Free-agent QB Terrelle Pryor is going to give it a shot at playing wide receiver in the NFL. Some teams have already expressed an interest.

Allen RobinsonJun 18 09:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson was described as 'unbelievable' by QB Blake Bortles Thursday, June 18. 'He's definitely a threat now in the red zone. ... He's physical. He [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 05:32p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Terrelle Pryor was waived Thursday, June 18.

Taylor ThompsonJun 18 05:32p

Tennesse Titans TE Taylor Thompson was waived Thursday, June 18.

Matthew MulliganJun 18 04:32p

Free-agent TE Matthew Mulligan (Titans) signed an undisclosed contract with the Buffalo Bills Thursday, June 18.

Carlton MitchellJun 18 04:22p

Free-agent WR Carlton Mitchell (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed contract with the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, June 18. WR Shane Wynn was waived.

Daniel ThomasJun 18 04:12p

Free-agent RB Daniel Thomas (Dolphins) signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears Thursday, June 18. Financial terms were not disclosed.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group