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News » New Orleans Saints Inside Slant 2008-10-30

New Orleans Saints Inside Slant 2008-10-30

New Orleans Saints Inside Slant 2008-10-30
It's a good thing a bye week comes after a weeklong stay in London.

The Saints and coach Sean Payton definitely need a break after some logistical problems that were associated with their return home on Monday following Sunday's 37-32 win over the San Diego Chargers in London.

While he praised the citizens of London and said fans and hotel employees were fantastic during his team's eight-day stay there, Payton was anything but pleased with the back end of his team's appearance in the NFL International Series.

It started, Payton said, with a bad playing surface at Wembley Stadium on Sunday and continued with a 10-hour-plus flight home on an antiquated plane that Payton said was "over 30 years old."

Some long bus rides through heavy London traffic while the Saints were trying to focus on last week's game was another memory that won't soon go away for Payton.

"It would be hard for me to say it's a great experience, a great thing for your club," said Payton, who noted that Chargers coach Norv Turner had similar problems. "Logistically, I think it's hard to bring two teams over there and play a game during the regular season like this.

"The travel, the transportation, those aren't club issues, those are league issues," he added. "I think they just have a lot of work to do to figure this thing out."

While the NFL wants to make it a regular-season game, Payton said that's tough to do under all the circumstances of a long trip over, staying in a hotel for a week and having to deal with an entirely different culture.

"It's (supposed) to be like a regular game, but it really isn't," he said. "It isn't for the city. It isn't for the local economy. It's not for anyone. Call it a home game if you want. Call it an away game. I don't know what you want to call it. It's just, in my opinion, it still needs to be sorted out."

Payton was also extremely disappointed with the field conditions even though it didn't rain during the game as it did a year ago when the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants played on a sloppy, chopped-up surface.

"I thought the field conditions were poor ... real poor," Payton said in his first meeting with reporters after returning home. "We had the longest cleats possible to wear. It's just real loose. It started tearing up during the walk-through (Saturday), so we knew it was going to tear up in the game."

But Payton was happy about one thing: "As bad as all that is, it would certainly be a lot worse if you didn't win the game."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 30, 2008

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Patrick Cobbs Name: Patrick Cobbs
Position: RB
Age: 25
Experience: 3 years
College: North Texas
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