- Mexican train carrying 1,300 migrants headed toward U.S. derails
- Secret Service begins regular K-9 patrols around White House
- Pentagon’s human memory-chip program moves forward
- Obama blasts GOP, ignores immigration crisis in Texas speech
- Marine Warfighting Lab tests the Godzilla of amphibious assault vehicles
- Harry Reid: Birth-control ruling the worst Supreme Court decision in 25 years
- Vet suicides ‘horrible human cost’ of VA dysfunction: lawmaker
- First marijuana customer in Spokane says he was fired
- Hagel: ‘Make no mistake,’ ISIL is an ‘imminent’ threat to U.S.
- Armed militia sets up Texas command center to ‘fight for national sovereignty’
Saints say NFL bounty probe took a toll on season
Question of the Day
Saints right tackle Zach Strief said he and teammates were angry about the way the club was treated by the league, but added that players generally have tunnel vision during the season.
“There’s a period in the offseason when you can feel that way, and then once the season starts there’s no time to worry about it,” Strief said.
Strief said the experienced assistant coaches who ran the team in Payton’s absence did a good job keeping the routine largely the same and delivering messages in meetings similar to the way Payton had in the past.
“I don’t ever remember going on the field and saying, `That meeting on Wednesday really has me shaken up.’ So I don’t think there’s necessarily an effect like that,” Strief said. “But obviously there’s a reason (Payton is) a head football coach in the NFL, because he’s a talented coach, and so it’s not just players that lose something from him not being here. He’s also an integral part of our coaching staff and they didn’t have him. So you’re putting those coaches in situations they’ve never been in.
“It’s more work and more pressure and stress on everybody. Coach Payton carries this big weight, and when he leaves it has to get picked up by a lot of people. You can’t deny there’s not an effect, but to sit there and say, `How many wins does that get you?’ is impossible.”
New Orleans has won seven of 11 games since the 0-4 start, leaving Shanle to wonder whether the impact of Payton’s absence did not manifest itself most early in the regular season. The Saints lost all four games by single digits, including an overtime loss at home to a Kansas City team that is now 2-13.
“I think the start of our season would have been different. We would have won one or two games here or there that would have changed everything to where we are now,” Shanle said. “We all said it wouldn’t affect us, but it was much harder when that reality came. But after we got used to, `This is how the flow is going to be now,’ we played better. We just never played consistently. Our play reflected the roller coaster that was our offseason and our summer.”
By Ted Cruz
Banning speech with a constitutional amendment is playing with fire
- HUSAIN: The fake caliph of 'The Islamic State'
- IRS employee suspended for pro-Obama activities
- GOP: Lerner warned IRS employees to hide information from Congress
- Armed militia sets up Texas command center to 'fight for national sovereignty'
- Va. Democrat reportedly seeks nude shots of Kendall Jones
- Illegal immigrants showing up at border with 'Yes we can' Obama shoes: report
- Amid border crisis, Obama to take 15-day vacation in Martha's Vineyard
- Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi denied freedom by Mexican judge
- EDITORIAL: Whats Obama hiding at illegal-alien 'refugee' camps?
- ISTOOK: Flying illegals home would be 99.5 percent cheaper than Obamas plan
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs
U.S.-Ghana World Cup opener