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Saints coaches, players adjust to Payton's stint upstairs

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  • By Marc Sessler NFL.com
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If the Saints had issues adjusting to Sean Payton coaching from an upstairs booth, it's breaking news to anyone who saw Sunday night's 62-7 erasing of the Colts.

Payton, who's healing from a broken leg suffered during a Week 6 sideline collision, relinquished play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr., but his eye-in-the-sky vantage point came with privileges.

Case in point: When Darren Sproles was stopped for a 1-yard gain on an outside run in the fourth quarter, Payton saw how close the running back was to busting loose and suggested the Saints call the play again. It led to a 16-yard Sproles touchdown.

"From up there, you could see there was room outside," Payton told The Associated Press. "If you're on the field, you might not get back to that running play. ... So it's those types of observations that, 'Hey, that's a good play. Let's not be afraid to come back to it.' "

Honestly, what didn't look good to Payton on Sunday?

In a complete unleashing, the Saints' attack sent a strongly worded telegram to the other 31 NFL teams. New Orleans has flown under the radar this season, with streams of hype angling toward Detroit, Tony Romo and anything Rex Ryan says.

But here's a team that leads the league with 34.1 points per game, on pace with its outrageous exploits of 2009. Payton from the sideline, Payton from above, Payton radioing plays in from an Arby's along the interstate -- it doesn't seem to matter. This team is in the groove.

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