The preseason is a time for teams to iron out the kinks in their team, and usually it is game-planning or player assignments. For the New Orleans Saints, it could be penalties.
Against the Tennessee Titans on Friday night, the Saints were called for 22 penalties resulting in 184 yards. Those kind of numbers would drive any coach or fan up a wall, and Saints head coach Sean Payton said it wasn’t easy to watch.
“Obviously, that was painful to watch,” Payton said, via NFL.com. “I can’t recall ever a game with that many penalties. And here is the thing: most of the ones I saw were good calls. So this isn’t about a crew calling a lot of penalties, this is about something I have to do a better job with. …
“It’s the first sign of a team that has no discipline. And that’s the first sign of poor coaching. … I’m very upset.”
The penalties could die down as the preseason goes along as the referees try to curb play to bend to the new rules in place. Nevertheless, it is worrisome heading into the regular season. If there is any silver lining for the Saints it is that they won the game 31-24, despite the penalties and yardage swing.