METAIRIE, La. — Sean Payton began the week expecting to run just one full-scale full-contact drill before Friday’s second preseason game against Oakland.
They went through short-yardage full-contact on Monday and that was going to be it.
Turns out, the team needed something to pep them up after what Payton called a sluggish Wednesday morning.
So, he brought out the goal-line drill, pitting the first-team offense vs. the first-team defense at the 2-yard line. And four out of the six plays that were run, the offense scored touchdowns on.
The second-team reps were much of the same, too.
The result, obviously, had the offense exuberant.
“I think our goal-line scrimmage we just had was one of our best we ever had,” said running back Pierre Thomas, who scored a touchdown in three goal-line attempts. “I seen guys on the blocks very quick, very fast. The o-line and tight ends did a great job of getting up to these guys and pushing them back.”
As for the defensive side, well, they thought it went well, too.
“We talked about it last night and when you come in today, you got your mind on it ready to play some goal line,” defensive end Akiem Hicks said. “We had a really good period. There was a lot of contact. It was rough. It was tough. We’ve got some things we’ve got to work on.”
Payton, for what it’s worth, said the drill went as expected