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Payton asks Saints players, coaches to look in mirror

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After the Saints dropped to 1-4 in Philadelphia on Sunday, Sean Payton asked his players and coaches to face themselves for once.

Every game, all season

"He was just like this whole speech about just take a look in the mirror, everybody, coaches, players, everybody and get it corrected," Kenny Vaccaro said, via The Times-Picayune. "He wants to see the leaders on this team step up in times like this and get us out of this hole. That's what it's gonna take. Somebody."

Against the Eagles, no such leaders were found. Even Payton and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan seemed to be arguing among themselves -- a common occurrence during New Orleans' recent slide from divisional prominence.

At this point, Payton and everyone else knows that the mystique of the Saints from 2009 to 2013 is long gone. Brees is struggling to get passes off and the versatile run game -- such a crucial component to their success early under Payton -- is nonexistent.

Through five games, New Orleans has topped 100 rushing yards as a team just twice. Mark Ingram is averaging under four yards per carry and C.J. Spiller absolutely disappeared, registering just three catches and three carries against the Eagles on Sunday. In theory, he should be a more powerful Darren Sproles-type option in the passing game, but in practice, he is just another piece of this team looking at himself in the mirror.

Staring will get them nowhere, but Payton hopes that everyone taking inventory will find something to hold onto. They face a 5-0 Falcons team in the Superdome on Thursday night.

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