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Message: This is still Payton's Saints

Hey WhoDatLand... I'm Gary, new on the Saints beat for the Sun Herald. I hope to talk, chat Saints football with you guys in the coming weeks, months.

So... let's get started. 

If nothing else, give the Saints credit this week for sending a clear message - this is still Sean Payton's team, and his stamp on it is HUGE, with or without him walking the hallways on Airline Highway. 

From interim head coach Joe Vitt and Aaron Kromer, the newly-named interim of the interim to quarterback Drew Brees and running back Pierre Thomas, they all believe in Payton's system, his way of scheduling practices, preparing for games, setting up the offense for success.

Simply put, there will be little if any deviation under Kromer and later, Vitt in the regular season.

"I am going to hold the fort," Kromer said during his first public comments on the new position.

"I am going to follow the program that has been set. It is important that Drew Brees feels this is Sean Payton’s program. This is the way we do things. This is the way we did it in 2009 to win the Super Bowl. This is the way we did it in 2011 to win 14 football games and we were short at the end. This is the formula that we have followed that we’ve had success with. That is my job, to make sure we are on pace with that.”

Brees was asked if he expects his role to increase this season. He said no, only because he was already included in offensive conversations.

And others.

"in a lot of cases Sean Payton would call me aside and say ‘What’s the pulse of this team right now? How are guys feeling?’ It might be as we are going out for a fourth, hardcore, padded training camp practice and I might say ‘Hey coach, it’s about that time that (we lighten it up).’ So then next practice we come out in shells and throw the guys a bone. Little things like that that I have been included in along the way and I appreciate that. I obviously try to give the best input that I can."