The Seattle Seahawks flew past the New Orleans Saints 23-15 on Saturday and ended coach Sean Payton's 2013 season with 12 wins and 6 losses. A win at Seattle would have propelled the Saints into the NFC title game facing San Francisco. The 49ers beat Carolina 23-10 on Sunday.
At Monday's news conference Payton said,"The disappointment comes from our expectation level of not getting to that Championship game and then getting to the Super Bowl. Those are goals that are a part of the pyramid if you will. I think it's obviously more difficult the closer you get when you aren't able to accomplish those."
Veteran players Drew Brees and Malcolm Jenkins both brought up the so-called 'window' of opportunity. Payton was asked to comment on that statement.
"It is funny that you bring that topic up. I said to our players, you are going to hear this new buzz word called window. Honestly the window, as long as I am the head coach here, we are trying to slam it open always. Now with regards to players like Drew Brees, I get that and yet that window is still all the way open and I mean that. We are always in constant change if you will of taking in the new players, evaluating this team and then going through the process of beginning to assembling the 2014 team."
Tight end Jimmy Graham had an outstanding season but over the last few weeks he didn't standout as much. He wasn't the primary target for Brees. Payton was asked about Graham's progression on the football turf.
"I thought this year's team had a mix of young talent and some veteran players. All of them, including the coaches were constantly looking to improve. With the amount of time (Graham) has played, he had continued to and will continue to improve to get better."
The Saints are well above the salary cap and have a number of challenges to deal with in the offseason in dealing with the salary cap.
Brees said,"Those are challenges we've had every year. Fortunately, I think we have one of the best at handling it in Mickey Loomis. I think he is outstanding. I think number one, the line of communication is extremely important. We've been faced with challenges like this in the years prior and we are going to be faced with more as we move forward means we are developing and drafting good players. We will handle it just fine. I think that is something that he does a great job with."
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