NEW ORLEANS, La. (KLFY)- News 10 was in Metairie Friday as the Saints wrapped up their first day of training camp.
This time around, there’s a little something on the team’s mind. It’s the new rule everyone is talking about – the ability to challenge a pass interference call.
The first opportunity to take advantage of that was during Thursday night’s hall of fame game between the Falcons and the Broncos. The Broncos challenged the call, and the ruling was upheld.
Now, part of the reason that rule now exists is the controversial pass interference call from last year’s season preventing the Saints from a Super Bowl appearance and possibly a Super Bowl win.
Head coach Sean Payton was asked about the call during Friday’s practice.
“I heard about it. It sounded like it didn’t take that long. Look, it’s just another play that’s getting challenged. I feel like everyone was like ‘Oh we saw pass interference get challenged last night.’ The feedback I got was that it was an easy no call, ruling on the field stands right,” Payton said. “It’s being officiated the same way, right? It’s being officiated the same way.”
The leaders on this team are making it clear that last year’s heartbreak is this season’s motivation.
“I mean you’re going to feel it everyday. You look back at what could have been,” Saints defensive end Cam Jordan said. “You think, hey, two years ago, we make a tackle against the Minnesota Vikings and we play the Eagles and we probably win that and go on to the Super Bowl. Last year against the Rams, if we finish out a game how we’re supposed to, these are all just motivation factors. We talk about motivating factors not only to push yourself in the off season to get in the best shape of your life but to also push guys beside you, behind you, and push the offensive linemen in front of you. It makes you better and stronger as a team.”
Saints punter Thomas Morstead said said every year is a restart. “And that’s hard to do. Especially when you were so close. But if you have the right guys, that can go through that process, I think that gives you a chance,” Morstead said.
That motivation will be tested one week from today on August 9 as the Saints 2019 campaign begins against the Minnesota Vikings, the team that knocked them out of the playoffs in gut-wrenching fashion two seasons ago.