Peter Schrager says Sean Payton gave the Saints a pep talk before Raiders blowout

Well this isn’t what you want to hear. NFL Network host Peter Schrager was a guest on the Bill Simmons Podcast this week, and he shared a nugget about the New Orleans Saints — who have won just a single game out of their last five matchups, which Schrager credits to a surprise “pep talk” from former Saints head coach Sean Payton ahead of their 24-0 blowout win against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 8.

“But I’ll tell you what’s interesting about (the Saints), I don’t know that it was reported at the time but I can say it now,” Schrager began. He continued, chuckling, “Sean Payton popped in because he had something to do in New Orleans, and like gave them a pep talk that week, they won 24-nothing. And then Sean Payton leaves, and it’s like, maybe the worst thing he could have done was give them a taste of the Sean Payton magic. Because they won 24-nothing once he lit a fire under their asses, he called out the defense, then he goes back to L.A. where he’s living in Manhattan Beach or wherever, they’re back to not being able to stop or score any points, you know?”

It had been reported that Payton visited the facility to catch up with old friends, but this is the first we’ve heard of him addressing the team. It’s a really bad look for Dennis Allen that the only game his team has won over the last month came after his old boss spent a few hours in the facility. Maybe Payton was doing him a favor in hyping up the squad for a game against the franchise that once fired Allen as head coach.

Regardless of anyone’s motivations here, this report doesn’t do much to help quiet the narrative of Allen working as a substitute teacher while Payton is on hiatus. Odds are Payton won’t return to New Orleans once he’s ready to coach again, even though the Saints might try and move mountains to win him back. But incidents like this only make it harder to tell what’s really going on, and to guess at what might be up next. We’ll just have to wait and see how things develop as the Saints finish out their season.

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Story originally appeared on Saints Wire