News broke that the New Orleans Saints gave head coach Sean Payton a five-year contract extension ahead of the Saints matchup with the Los Angeles Rams.
That was the last thing Payton wanted to talk about following the team's 27-9 loss.
“That’s a sidenote, it’s part of our business,” he said. “I enjoy coaching this team, but all of us got to do a better job this week, including myself.”
Payton called Sunday’s loss to the Rams “disappointing” and pointed to New Orleans’ tackling, offensive line play and penalties, in particular, as areas that were not good.
But perhaps more disappointing than those struggles was the fact that the Saints lost quarterback Drew Brees to a right thumb injury in the first half.
“It was the thumb and right away when he attempted to throw, he was having pain with it,” Payton said.
Payton told media members after the game that he’d give an update on the future Hall-of-Famer’s status in two days.
Teddy Bridgewater came in for Brees and Payton said he thought the former Pro-Bowler played well, but because the Saints “got whipped up front,” Bridgewater wasn’t given much to work with.
“When we watch this tape, Teddy came in ready to go,” Payton said. “The guys around him particularly, the penalties that we faced…I didn’t think we played particularly well around him, and when we watch that tape tomorrow it’s not going to be pleasant for some guys.”
Bridgewater said he felt the biggest challenges on Sunday were the negative plays.
“Every time something good might have happened, we got a penalty,” Bridgewater said. “We kind of shot ourselves in the foot and we stalled drives.”
The Saints were held without a touchdown for just the third time under Sean Payton.
New Orleans’ defense appeared to score one but an officiating gaff negated the score.
In the second quarter, Cam Jordan recovered and returned a Jared Goff fumble forced by defensive lineman Trey Hendrickson. But officials initially ruled the ball wasn't fumbled, but rather an incomplete pass, and blew the play dead during Jordan's return. After a review, the ruling was changed as it was determined that the ball was indeed fumbled, but because the play was blown dead, the Saints had to take the ball at the spot of the recovery.
Payton said the Saints will focus on what they can control.
“The things we can control as coaches are the things I just alluded to,” he said after the game. “When we get poor officiating, when we get an awful call like that, we can not control that. So our focus this week is going to be on cleaning up the penalties.“
The Saints will try to work on cleaning up the penalties on the West Coast as they head to Washington to practice ahead of their Week 3 matchup at the Seattle Seahawks.