Payton credits Brees for last-second call

METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton credited quarterback Drew Brees earlier this week for calling the screen pass that led to Darren Sproles' 28-yard touchdown before halftime of last Sunday's 49-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

In doing so, Payton offered some interesting insight into how the communication works between him and Brees in the headset during the hurry-up two-minute drill.

There were 13 seconds remaining in the first half when the ball was snapped, and the Saints had one timeout remaining.

"That was Drew and that was his anticipation,” Payton said. “He had that call. And when we get in one of those two-minute drills, he's real good about kind of taking the drill, handling the clock. I'll beep in periodically. [When the] clock stops or third down or reminders. But the timing was perfect because you can do that if you have a timeout left, and you can't if you don't. So Darren made a great run after the catch. It was well blocked, it was well executed."

At the time, I assumed the screen pass was called as a way to get the Saints in position for a closer field goal attempt, with Sproles' touchdown coming as a bonus.

Payton said that wasn't the case, though.

"I don't think we were thinking field goal,” Payton said. “Certainly we're thinking, 'Protect the ball, we're in field-goal range.' But I think we were thinking we've got a timeout. I know Drew was thinking, 'Let's score.' I know we were thinking the same thing."