Jameis Winston will certainly be the New Orleans Saints‘ Week 1 starter, Sean Payton confirmed Tuesday. Whether or not that sport will probably be performed in New Orleans or some place else stays to be decided.
Payton stated the Saints are leaning towards staying within the Dallas space for the following a number of weeks till they’re able to return house following the destruction of Hurricane Ida. And there’s a good probability they may “host” their Week 1 sport scheduled for Sept. 12 towards the Green Bay Packers in Dallas or elsewhere if they’re unable to host the sport within the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans.
“And we have got sufficient followers on this space and Houston and definitely from Northern Louisiana that we predict that will be one thing that is very lifelike,” Payton added.
Regardless of Payton’s feedback, AT&T Stadium doesn’t look like an possibility for Sunday, Sept. 12 due to the preparations for a live performance on the venue on Sept. 15, sources informed ESPN. It’s unclear if the sport could possibly be performed on a special date at AT&T Stadium or if a special stadium must host the sport.
Neither the Superdome nor the Saints’ follow facility in Metairie, Louisiana, sustained a lot injury from the hurricane. But it surely may take weeks for energy and different providers to return all through the realm. That might make it tough for New Orleans to host the Sept. 12 sport, along with the staffing and safety that will probably be required.
Payton stated the workforce is making contingency plans to arrange some place else by Week 4 — then “reel it again” from there if they’re able to return house sooner.
Payton stated the workforce initially thought-about Oxnard, California, the place the Cowboys recurrently host their coaching camp and the place the Saints spent per week throughout coaching camp in 2011. However that did not make sense, contemplating the Saints’ Week 2 and three video games will probably be on the East Coast, at Carolina and at New England.
In addition they thought-about Indianapolis, which is out due to a Weapons N’ Roses live performance, and The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, which is predicted to host the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2.
Payton stated an indoor follow area can also be a precedence. And they’d have ample sources within the Dallas space, the place they may follow inside AT&T Stadium if wanted — and the place each SMU and TCU have supplied to share their services and sources.
On Monday, Saints proprietor Gayle Benson introduced an preliminary donation of $1 million to assist these impacted by the storm in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. On Tuesday, others from across the NFL introduced donations as nicely, together with Atlanta Falcons proprietor Arthur Clean, who introduced two grants totaling $1 million to the American Pink Cross and the Higher New Orleans Basis, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers working again Leonard Fournette, who tweeted he is donating $100,000 to assist his hometown of New Orleans.
Whereas the Saints’ relocation due to the storm has been a rushed determination, the workforce’s alternative because the beginning quarterback was within the making for months. Payton stated he in the end selected Winston over Taysom Hill as a result of “he is executed an incredible job, he is earned that.”
“The No. 1 factor is main your offense and transferring the ball and scoring factors. And we really feel like he is acquired a singular ability set along with his arm expertise — boy, he can get the ball down the sector,” Payton stated. “He is executed a very good job of working by a few of the progressions.”
Payton stated each Winston and Hill “competed their tails off”
“I can not let you know sufficient how a lot I respect how these guys have dealt with it,” stated Payton, who added that “we be ok with that room,” which additionally contains rookie fourth-round draft choose Ian Book and probably veteran Trevor Siemian, relying on the outcomes of roster cuts and follow squad transactions.
Payton stated he heard numerous hypothesis that if the Saints selected Hill as their quarterback, they would not be capable to hold utilizing him in his versatile QB/RB/TE/WR function. “We could not make the choice simply primarily based on that. We wished to take a look at it utterly from an open eyes standpoint,” Payton stated in response.
Payton stated he had a “actual good dialogue” with Hill, despite the fact that he is aware of it was “difficult and disappointing” for him to lose out on the beginning QB job. However Payton stated he nonetheless expects Hill to be a giant a part of the offense in his distinctive function.
“I’ve acquired a really clear imaginative and prescient relative to how he is gonna assist us this yr,” Payton stated. “These two are each gonna be extraordinarily necessary if we’re to play nicely and win video games this yr.”
On prime of every part else the Saints are coping with proper now, Payton stated it has been particularly tough to make roster cuts whereas gamers and their members of the family are spending time collectively of their Dallas-area resort.
Among the many most notable roster strikes the Saints are anticipated to make, sources informed ESPN’s Adam Schefter that receiver Michael Thomas will miss the primary 5 video games of the season on the bodily unable to carry out listing, and working again Devonta Freeman will probably be launched.
ESPN’s Todd Archer contributed to this report.