Payton putting nearly all Saints on notice

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 17, 2013 at 2:31 am •  Published: December 17, 2013
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Brown also struggled on plays which resulted in heavy pressure on Drew Brees, who was sacked four times and often threw under duress. Hartley, meanwhile, has missed 8 of 29 field goal attempts inside 50 yards this season (He made his only kick beyond 50).

Payton declined to say whether the shake-up that occurred on the offensive line — with Zach Strief moving from right tackle to left tackle and Bryce Harris stepping in at right tackle — might carry over to Sunday's game at Carolina.

"It was one aspect that I think we needed to change during the flow of that game," Payton said. "In fairness to him, I think there were a lot of things we didn't do well in that game."

Brees, meanwhile, said he has "all the confidence in the world in Charles Brown." At the same time, even Brees seemed to understand that a demotion is possible.

"The fact is we've got three very capable tackles and whoever's in there I'm confident will do a great job," he said.

Also troubling New Orleans is its 3-4 road record.

Brees suggested the Saints might benefit from a simpler game plan.

"By doing that, I think you allow guys to play faster, play with more confidence," Brees said. "Also, too, it's a bit of a mentality. ... It's just establishing that feeling that when we do get down, we're never out. We are built to be able to overcome any scenario or situation like that. But we've got to go out and do it."

The Saints beat the Panthers 31-13 just two Sundays ago in the Superdome, and New Orleans linebacker Curtis Lofton said there's no reason to start finger-pointing or panicking now.

"The sky has not fallen. We know we have a good team," Lofton said. "We've got to go out and execute and play good football. We're not in any predicament. We're not putting any more pressure on ourselves."

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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Follow Brett Martel at www.twitter.com/brettmartel



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