Saints coach Payton seeing red over yellow flags
Updated On: Aug 16 2014 03:59:38 PM CDT
METAIRIE, La. -- It's a good thing they don't keep records for preseason games.
Even though his team was 2-0 in exhibition play after coming up with five takeaways in a 31-24 win against the Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton was seeing red after he saw way too much yellow for the second week in a row.
The Saints committed 22 penalties for 184 yards against the Titans -- including 14 for 116 yards in the first half when most of the offensive and defensive starters were still in the game -- which wasn't lost on Payton.
"Obviously, that was painful to watch," he said. "I can't recall ever a game with that many penalties. Here is the thing: Most of the ones I saw were good calls, so this isn't about a (officiating) crew calling a lot of penalties.
"This is about something that I have to do a better job with."
Even though it was a preseason game that didn't count in the standings, he noted that the problem could spill over into the regular season and postseason if it goes unchecked.
"We'll find ourselves at the short end of a game and wonder about our offseason goals, and what happened," Payton said. "We won't know exactly what happened and you'll hear about in a preseason game (having) 20 penalties or something ... I lost track. I have to do a better job in that area and it will start (at practice) on Sunday."
Two of the penalties were committed by All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham, who dunked the ball over the crossbar after catching touchdown passes of 6 and 19 yards in the first half from Luke McCown. The NFL outlawed Graham's signature touchdown celebration last spring.
While Payton was upset with Graham, it was clear that he was only part of an ongoing problem. The Saints had 10 penalties for 104 yards in their 26-24 win against the St. Louis Rams one week earlier.
"Absolutely," Payton said when asked if they addressed the problem after that game. "It is the first sign of a team that has no discipline, and that is the first sign of poor coaching."
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