METAIRIE, La. — Sean Payton said Wednesday the team hasn’t worked out who will be calling the plays this season – him or offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael.
“We haven’t even worked through all that,” Payton said. “But look, Pete has been invaluable. He has been tremendous.”
Payton added, “His role will be significant.”
Either way, the Saints will likely feel confident in the decision.
Under Payton from 2006-10, the Saints ranked No. 1 in 3 of 5 seasons in total offense and No. 1 in scoring offense in two of them.
When Payton was significantly injured during New Orleans’ game at Tampa Bay in 2011, Carmichael took over, calling all or most of the final 10 games of the regular season, the offense didn’t suffer. In fact, the Saints finished with the No. 1 total offense, setting an NFL record for yards gained, and No. 2 in scoring offense.
A season ago, when Payton wasn’t around as he served a suspension Carmichael called again called the plays. And again the Saints’ offense survived, finishing No. 2 in total offense and No. 3 in points scored.
But there will be one difference – with Aaron Kromer now the offensive coordinator in Chicago, Bret Ingalls took over coaching the line and the run game design.
Like Kromer, Ingalls previously was the running backs coach on staff.
“I certainly have an idea about the strengths of our runners and the things they understand,” Ingalls said. “Collectively, the linemen and the runners have to be on the same page and we have been.”