Sunday, October 4th, 2015


“I know he’s got a lot of confidence in what we’re doing and a lot of confidence in his ability to throw it down the field.” – Sean Payton on Drew Brees returning from injury

STAMFORD, Conn. – October 4, 2015 – For tonight’s Week 4 edition of NBC’s Football Night In America, the most-watched studio show in sports, Bob Costas interviews New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. Football Night will also preview NBC’s Sunday Night Football matchup between the Cowboys and the Saints, and include highlights, analysis and reaction to earlier Week 4 games.

Football Night airs each Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on NBC, with Costas hosting the program live from inside the stadium. He will be joined on site by Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth, sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, and NBC NFL analyst Hines Ward.

Dan Patrick co-hosts Football Night from NBC Sports Group’s Studio 1 in Stafootbalmford, Conn., and is joined by Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy; two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney HarrisonMike Florio of ProFootballTalk on and NBCSN, and NFL insider Peter KingKathryn Tappen will report from Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo., on the Vikings-Broncos game.

INTERVIEW: Below are excerpts from Costas’ interview with Payton. If used, please note the mandatory credit: “In an exclusive interview airing tonight on Football Night in America.”


Payton on how close to 100% healthy Drew Brees will be tonight: “I’d say fairly close or we wouldn’t play him. He’s had a good week. I know he’s got a lot of confidence in what we’re doing and a lot of confidence in his ability to throw it down the field. It really was that simple.”

On looking back at five playoff appearances and a Super Bowl win: “At some point, this train is going to stop in New Orleans for all of us, and I would say it became bigger than football when we first got here through those early years.”

Costas: “Because of [Hurricane] Katrina…”

Payton: “All of that. It was much different than any of us had bargained for…when you win a championship, that team walks together forever. They really do. … I feel like we’re turning the pages and we’ve still got a big chunk in this book left. There’s a lot more here.”

Payton on whether he was a different coach when he returned from his “Bountygate” suspension: “Yeah, I’m sure to some degree I was. I coached for basically one season that year, my son’s 6th-grade team. I was the offensive coordinator. When you won, you felt that same feeling. When you lost, you felt frustrated for those kids. I get to go back now – he’s a freshman in high school – and those same kids that we’re on his 6th-grade team that had only won a few games years prior, we went all the way to the Super Bowl.”

Costas: “There are some kids on that 6th-grade team, who won’t even play in high school maybe, and they’re going to wind up CPA’s or truck drivers, and they’re going to truthfully say, ‘yeah, I played for Sean Payton.’”

Payton: “We had a 12-play playbook and I went to Kinkos [to get copies]. It’s no different than it is here. The trick isn’t the plays. The trick is figuring out who needs to be where. We’re teachers. If we’re not teaching and if we’re not looking to improve every year on our teaching skills, then we become extinct. So, that was a fantastic experience. And, I would say this — I needed it much more than they did.”