Sean Payton irked by media, officials after Saints' loss


These are trying times for Sean Payton.

The New Orleans Saints have opened a promising season by losing four of their first six games. Things reached a nadir (for now, anyway) on Sunday, when the Saints blew a 13-point lead in the final four minutes against the Detroit Lions.

Payton wasn't feeling too conversational after the game, and he took out his frustrations on a reporter who second-guessed Payton's decision not to run the ball and take time off the clock during New Orleans' penultimate possession.

"Three minutes, thirty seconds, three timeouts," Payton said, referring to the Lions' setup. "That's like (Payton's briefly pauses, looks skyward) ... seven minutes. Next question -- next smart question."

Payton wasn't done. The coach later chastised a reporter who tried to talk over him.

"I'm answering the question," he said. "Be quiet, I'm answering the question. Be quiet, you asked a question, I'm answering it. Will you let me finish?"

In the less contentious portion of the media engagement, Payton cited a host of penalty calls that hurt the Saints.

"I thought the penalties ended up hurting us," he said. "I wasn't happy with the way that game was officiated, I'm gonna leave it at that. And yet that wasn't the reason in the end."

Payton didn't cite a specific play, though the coach likely took issue with a defensive pass interference call on safety Rafael Bush on a fourth-down incomplete pass with 2:17 to play. The flag gave the Lions new life -- and helped send the Saints to another surprise defeat.

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