Saints morning report: Brees and Payton

In case you missed it, ESPN The Magazine's David Fleming wrote a great piece on the relationship between New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and coach Sean Payton. As former Saints linebacker Scott Fujita tweeted, the article “nails the Brees/Payton synergy.”

Fleming gathered insight from those inside and outside the Saints locker room to explain what makes Brees and Payton such a good fit for each other (starting with a funny anecdote about their public displays of affection). The two have a lot in common – from their aggressive, competitive natures to the way they can dissect the field so well and figure out where to attack. But the article also captured how the differences in their “sinner and saint” personalities mesh so well together.

I think it’s clear that Brees is more comfortable this season now that he doesn’t feel he has to do everything by himself, though that may have as much to do with the Saints’ improved defense as it does with Payton’s return from a season-long suspension.

Either way, the two men clearly give each other the confidence to run one of the most aggressive (and successful) passing offenses the NFL has ever seen.

Worth a click:

  • That prolific passing attack was on display last Sunday night when Brees threw for 392 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-17 rout of the Dallas Cowboys. As a result, Brees moved back up to the No. 2 spot in Dan Graziano’s MVP Watch for ESPN.com – still behind Denver's Peyton Manning.

  • WWLTV.com’s Bradley Handwerger examines why the screen pass is such an effective weapon for the Saints’ offense.

  • Even though Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma is on injured reserve for the rest of the season, he said he wants to come up with a plan for how he can keep contributing to the team, according to the Saints’ website.

  • Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks took an extended look at the growing pains of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as he heads toward a date with the Saints this Sunday.

Worth repeating:

  • Payton was asked Wednesday if he has a plan in place to shut off the lights inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in case the 49ers get off to a hot start, like what happened during San Francisco’s Super Bowl appearance in the Dome earlier this year. “I was there,” Payton said. “A lot of people pinned that on me.”

  • Brees talked Wednesday about the importance of the run game, but he couldn’t resist defending the Saints’ pass-happy style in the process. “I think the passing game gets the perception of being this finesse-style offense. [But] if you’re executing it efficiently, not turning the ball over and you’re scoring 40 points per game, call it whatever you want. It’s getting the job done, you know?” Brees said. “There’s a lot of ways to execute it, but at the end of the day you’ve got to be able to run, and you’ve got to be able to play good defense to win in this league.”