NEW ORLEANS, LA (WLOX) - There's no doubt that backup quarterback Luke McCown did everything he could in trying to lead New Orleans to victory. He connected on 31 of 38 passes for 310 yards and almost guided New Orleans to victory.
"I thought he had a real good demeanor, was accurate and made good decisions, "said Payton. "You know obviously not enough at the end, but, the other thing that he did pretty well is there were a few times where he escaped pressure and got flushed out of the pocket and made a completion. I think that happened maybe two or three times and that was encouraging."
Payton said he's not sure if Brees will be ready to play this Sunday. If not, another week of practice with the starting unit will only enhance the play of McCown. He did say on WWL-Radio during the coaches show that Brees did go back to Birmingham to have the strength of his shoulder tested. He said Brees says he's feeling much better, but repeated the process will be day-to-day, beginning with lifting weights and later in throwing the football.
Meanwhile, Payton says New Orleans won't give up, despite entering week 4, win less.
Payton said, " It's important for the staff, all of us. You've got to get up and you've got to put your chin in the wind and the only way I know how to get that corrected is by working more efficiently. working harder and having a good week. There's no simple method and it requires some mental toughness."
The 27-22 setback to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday left the Saints win less after three games. That's going to be a tough hill to climb to get back into contention for a playoff slot.
"Well listen, it's certainly a hole, "stated Payton. "There is no way to sugarcoat that. We have to find a way to get our first win. So as coaches we have to pay close attention to the details. All the specifics that win and lose games and we have to do a better job and be as demanding as ever and point out the things as we watch this tape. There are a handful of things that are encouraging and then there are some things that have to be improved upon, but there is no time to dwell right now it's really more a time of urgency to go out obviously I've said this before where we can't go play this game quick enough and because listen there is that since of urgency to get a win."
On Sunday at 7:30 p.m. the Saints entertain the Dallas Cowboys in the Superdome. It's always been a big game.
"It's one of those teams like Chicago, that it just seems like we play (them) more than the normal out-of-division opponent, "stated Payton. "It seems like we play Chicago a lot and I'd say Dallas, and there might be one other team in there. We are getting on their tape study right now. It's a chance for us to come back here and play a game at home. We play pretty well in night games. This will be an important week for this team. For us, the preparation, they're coming off of a tough loss, so it's important."
The Saints hope to end a six-game losing streak in the Superdome. When the Saints defense lines up against the Cowboys offense, we do know that quarterback Tony Romo won't be calling the signals. Like Brees, he's injured and is expected to be out at least another three more weeks.