Sean Payton brushed aside questions about whether Sunday's 49-21 shellacking of the Los Angeles Rams meant more coming against his former defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams.
Saints players weren't fooled. They saw Payton fist-pumping with extra enthusiasm on the sidelines. They understood how much their coach wanted to exact some revenge on the man mostly responsible for BountyGate, which earned Payton a season-long suspension in 2012.
"It does, it means something. There's more there. So, good for Coach," offensive tackle Zach Strief said, via ESPN.com. "I didn't see anything out of him, necessarily. I just know better," Strief said. "The message all week was, 'Our back's against the wall. ... There's no room for error.' At no point did he ever say or act differently that I could see. But I'll be honest for him and say there's no way [it didn't matter].
"And I understand why people can't say that. Nothing was different in his actions that I could see, but I know better."
Added safety Kenny Vaccaro: "He was fired up. We all know why."
New Orleans put up 555 yards of total offense, tied for the most yards given up by a Gregg Williams defense in a non-overtime game, per The Times-Picayune. It's also the most yards and points allowed by a Jeff Fisher-coached team since Week 6, 2009 at New England (619 yards, 59 points). Los Angeles allowed 300 pass yards and 200 rush yards in the same game for the first time since Week 14, 1963 (at Baltimore Colts).
Sunday evening, Payton cryptically tweeted out a link to a video of the song "Circle of Life." Read into that how you will.
https://t.co/rzsBalInLgâ Sean Payton (@SeanPayton) November 28, 2016