“We’re just missing a few key pieces to get over the hump,” said Payton at a press conference this afternoon. “I firmly believe we’re only 25-30 impact players away from contending for a win.”
The Saints have struggled this preseason on both sides of the ball more so on offense. Usually the team’s strength, the offense has been out of sync and ineffective.
Payton stressed the preseason isn’t an indication of what the team is truly capable of and insists only a few shrewd moves need to be made.
“This team is so close. Add in those 25-30 impact players to shore up the offense, defense, and special teams, bring in a few new guys for the coaching staff, the front office, grease a few palms, and we could be right there in the thick of things.”
Payton says he believes the offense will kick into gear like usual once the season starts and the defense has developed a much-needed spark under new coordinator Dennis Allen.
“Dennis has been incredible for the franchise. He brought a confidence to our building that had been missing the last couple of seasons. I mean, we all can now leave our snack drawers unlocked without worrying someone will clean them out. It’s a great feeling. Really.”
When asked how he foresees the season playing out, Payton seemed to have high hopes.
“I’m not making any guarantees here, but if the ball bounces our way we could find ourselves in a position to contend for multiple wins as early as next season.”