METAIRIE, La. -- At the outset of training camp, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, who served a season-long bounty suspension in 2012, told reporters that he will resume the play-calling duties this season.
But he has not called plays for longer than most realize.
Payton actually has not called plays since an Oct. 16, 2011 game with the Tampa Bay Bucs when his leg was fractured in a freak sideline collision with three players.
Payton handed his duties to offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. for the rest of that season and Carmichael held the job a year ago while Payton was suspended.
Quarterback Drew Brees was pleased to hear about Payton's decision to again call the plays even though he said Carmichael did a "phenomenal job" during his first stint in that capacity at any level of his coaching career.
"I had Sean Payton in my ear for 5 1/2 years," Brees said. "I've got confidence in whomever is calling the plays, but I'm happy to have Sean's voice in my ear (again)."
--Team correspondents for The Sports Xchange contributed material for this story.