Entries in Sean Payton (33)


Saints Sign DE Anthony Spencer

Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Defensive end/linebacker Anthony Spencer signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints Friday.

Spencer was selected with the 26th overall pick of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He played all eight of his previous pro seasons in Dallas.

The 31-year-old Spencer is reunited with Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who held the same position in Dallas from 2011-2012.

With Ryan as his coach Spencer had the best year of his career in 2012 compiling 95 tackles, 11 sacks, and two forced fumbles, earning him an invite to the Pro Bowl.

Spencer can line up as a defensive end in a 4-3 defense or a outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

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Saints Rookie Cooks Out 4-6 Weeks with Broken Thumb

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW ORLEANS, La.) -- The struggling New Orleans Saints suffered another setback, as first round rookie wide receiver Brandin Cooks will be out for at least a month with a broken thumb. 

Cooks' agent, Jeff Sperbeck, announced that his client underwent successful surgery to repair the break on the thumb on his right hand. 

When the injury occurred is not clear, but Cooks was seen grabbing his right hand after being tackled when returning a punt in last weeks loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

 Cooks has 53 catches and 550 yards with four total touchdowns this season, following being drafted out of Oregon State. 

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New Orleans Road Woes Continue in Loss to Detroit

iStock/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- The New Orleans Saints road losing streak moves up to seven as they lost to the Detroit Lions 24-23.

The Saints blew a 23-10 fourth quarter lead with less than four minutes remaining that saw Lions quarterback Matt Stafford toss two touchdowns.

Stafford threw a short pass to Golden Tate that saw the receiver break past three defenders. Seventy-three yards later the Lions had cut the Saints lead to 23-17. 

Drew Brees tried to lead a game clinching drive but was intercepted by Lions defensive back Glover Quin who returned the ball to New Orleans 14 yard line with 3:10 remaining.

The Saints defense held after the interception, but on a fourth down were called for defensive pass interference. With a second life, Stafford found receiver Corey Fuller for the go ahead score.

Saints head coach Sean Payton was not pleased after the game that saw his team commit 12 penalties.

"I thought the penalties ended up hurting us," Payton said. "I wasn't happy with how that game was officiated. I'll leave it at that, and yet that wasn't the reason in the end."

The loss leaves New Orleans at 2-4 with a tough matchup next week as they host the Green Bay Packers.

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Saints' Graham Fined $30K for Dunks

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham was fined $30,000 on Friday by the NFL for dunking on the goalpost twice during a preseason game against Tennessee last week. 

The new rule, instituted this season, re-defines unsportsmanlike conduct to include any act using the ball as a prop. Many have referred to the new interpretation as the "Jimmy Graham rule" directed at the veteran tight end's signature touchdown celebration.

Graham twice dunked the football after scoring touchdowns against the Titans, resulting in a pair of 15-yard penalties. The acts also drew some frustration from head coach Sean Payton as the Saints committed a total of 28 called penalties. 

League rules state that players can be fined at least $11,025 for their first unsportsmanlike penalty, and $22,050 for a second offense if the league deems it necessary. Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was fined $12,000 for making an obscene gesture towards the Washington Redskins bench on Monday night.

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Saints' Jimmy Graham: No More Dunking

Stacy Revere/Getty Images(METAIRIE, La.) -- New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham won't be dunking the football after a touchdown this season to avoid any penalties during the game that could cost his team.

Following both of his touchdown receptions in Friday's 31-24 preseason win over Tennessee, Graham proceeded to dunk the football through the goalposts and was penalized 15 yards for it, which led to head coach Sean Payton screaming at him on the sideline.

"You know, for four years and however many touchdowns, I've always dunked it. And I just gotta stop doing that now," Graham said.

Graham didn't believe any player dunking a ball through a goal post was hurting anyone, but promised to stop.

"The rule [is] unfortunate because I just love the game. I have a lot of passion for the game. And when I go out there on Sunday, it's fun for me," Graham said. "And I feel like a little kid out there. And sometimes I act like it."

Graham said on Sunday that he would listen to Payton's request for him to stop dunking the ball through the goal posts.

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Graham Penalized, Scolded for Touchdown Dunks

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) -- It didn't take long for Jimmy Graham to violate the rule many feel was put in place because of him. Following both of his touchdown receptions in Friday's 31-24 preseason win over Tennessee, Graham proceeded to dunk the football through the goalposts and was penalized 15 yards for it.

The second celebration drew the ire of head coach Sean Payton, who tracked his tight end down on the sideline to scold him. In total, the Saints committed 22 penalties throughout the game. Graham declined interviews as he left the locker room, while Payton would not directly comment on the incidents.

The celebration of "dunking" a ball through the goalposts was lumped in with other taunting penalties where the ball is used as a "prop." Many have referred to the rule chance as the "Jimmy Graham rule."

"I understand Jimmy's frustration with that rule change. I understand what he's doing," said offensive tackle and team captain Zach Strief.  "And yet it's something, look, if this is a regular-season game, Jimmy's not dunking over the goalpost. Coach Payton was completely, I think, correct to jump on him. Any of us, I think would expect it."

New Orleans was once again without quarterback Drew Brees, who sat with an oblique strain. He is expected to be 100% healthy come the regular season. Wide receiver Marques Colston was also not dressed for action, but for an undisclosed reason.

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Sean Payton Prepares for Foles and Eagles

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) -- The New Orleans Saints are hoping to get in the win column on the road in the playoffs as they prepare for Saturday's NFC Wild Card game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Headed into Saturday, the Saints are 0-5 all-time in playoff contests away from home.   The Eagles went 4-4 this season at home and second-year quarterback Nick Foles finished the year 8-2 after being named the starter.

Saints head coach Sean Payton was asked on Wednesday about how they'll prepare for Foles.

"I think number one, you see someone that is playing with a very good awareness, confident, gets rid of the ball.  I think he is very accurate," Payton said.  "When you start seeing the big plays they’ve had and the play action passing game, the screen game, then there is that juice that every player involved in the progression believed I can get the ball on this play."

"I think he has done a great job of delivering and keeping receivers on the move with the accurate location as opposed to stopping him with a throw that maybe isn’t located as well.  I think you see all those things on film, his poise.  I think that has been significant when you watch him," Payton continued.

Foles will have the task of matching points with Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

"He's a guy I've watched and learned from," Foles said on Wednesday. "He's done a lot of great things throughout his career, on and off the field, and he's a great role model for fellow players, kids and adults."

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Saints Won't Be Scoreboard Watching on Sunday

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images(METAIRIE, La) -- The New Orleans Saints (10-5) are looking to secures their fourth playoff berth in five seasons on Sunday when they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-11).

If the Saints win and the Carolina Panthers lose against the Falcons, they would clinch the NFC South and lock-up a No. 2 seed in the NFC.

"The challenge this week is trying guard against" thinking about those various scenarios, Payton said.

"We control one thing. We know if we're able to go out and play well and win, we're guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. ... I don't want to spend those two hours prior to the game with the television sets going and all the other potential distractions that can take place with a game," he continued

The Saints started the season 5-0, but have since went 5-5 their last ten games.

"We had really good opportunities the last two weeks and we didn't take advantage of those," receiver Lance Moore said. "Now it's a win-or-go-home-type scenario for us."

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Seahawks Blast Saints 34-7

Steve Dykes/Getty Images(SEATTLE) --  Russell Wilson threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns as the Seattle Seahawks blasted the New Orleans Saints 34-7 on Monday night.

The Seahawks (11-1) clinched a playoff spot with the victory, and now have a two game lead over the Saints (9-3) and Carolina Panthers (9-3) in the race for home-field advantage in the NFC.

"For us to come out in that fashion and to win that game the way that we did was awesome," Wilson said.

Drew Brees completed 23 passes for 147 yards and one touchdown, but also lost a fumble in the first quarter that was returned for a score.

"We took one in the chin today," Brees said. "We got outplayed today. They played great. They made a lot of plays, and we didn't."

The seven points scored by the Saints matches the fewest points they've ever scored in a game since Sean Payton became the head coach in 2006.

Russell Wilson is now 14-0 at home as a starter.

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Saints Nip Falcons 17-13

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(ATLANTA) --  In a battle that featured two teams heading in opposite directions this season, the New Orleans Saints came out on top.

Drew Brees tossed a pair of first half touchdowns as the Saints edged the Atlanta Falcons 17-13 on Thursday night at the Georgia Dome.

"We knew coming here was going to be a challenge," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "The two teams, the history, regardless of the record it has always been a close game, and tonight was no exception."

The Falcons had a chance to take the lead late in the fourth quarter, but the Saints applied pressure on Matt Ryan to stall the drive.  Matt Bryant missed a long field goal attempt and the Saints were able to run out the clock.

New Orleans (9-2) isn't normally known for its defense, but the unit forced a crucial fumble in the fourth quarter and sacked Ryan five times throughout the game.

"We responded to momentum changes and some adversity in the football game," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "But it was still not good enough. If you don't win, it's not good enough."

Atlanta (2-9) dropped its fifth straight game, clinching its first losing season since 2007.

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