Payton: Despite loss to Dallas, Saints have a lot to play for

The Saints Coaches Show
December 04, 2018 - 1:11 pm

Because of the Black and Gold playing back-to-back Thursday night games, it had been some time since we'd heard from Saints Coach Sean Payton on the Saints Coaches Show. In his return to the WWL Radio program Monday night, he spoke about the gravity of the team's next four games, starting with this week's NFC South showdown with the Buccaneers.

"It's a division opponent," Payton said. "You're going on the road. Certainly they're playing well with a big win this past weekend and a win the week before. And look, we're coming off a tough loss, and we've got a lot, A LOT, we're playing for. When the season starts, one of the first goals is win your division. So we're playing for that.

"Then you look past that. You're looking to give yourself every opportunity to get the best possible position if you're a playoff team. So we're playing for that. I expect when we get back to work on Wednesday, we've got the right leadership in this locker room. They understand there's a lot at stake in these games when we look at the last quarter of this season... but you can play the one in front of you and that's Tampa Bay."

Co-host Bobby Hebert pointed out the strides the defense has made in the Saints' last four outings: 20 quarterback sacks after getting just 17 in the first eight games; 11 takeaways after getting just eight in the first eight games. Payton agreed that the evolution of the defense has been a point of pride the last month.

"Week to week, we've seen improvement," Payton said. "And I think those guys up front are doing a good job. All 11 guys are getting to the football. They're looking for turnover opportunities on every play. And just as we go down the stretch, with one quarter left in our season, those are encouraging numbers."

The 10-2 Saints hit the road to face the 5-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday at noon on WWL. You can hear the full audio of Payton's appearance on the Saints Coaches Show by clicking the podcast link.

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