- Mike Triplett, ESPN Staff Writer
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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Although New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis may have privately pumped a fist when New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft blasted the NFL for its handling of Deflategate on Wednesday, they bit their tongues when asked about the subject.
For the most part, anyway.
The Saints, of course, were hammered by the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell during their own bounty scandal three years ago. Payton even brought up the Saints' involvement in the StarCaps saga that dragged on from 2008-2011, when three Saints were punished for testing positive for a banned diuretic.
"Nope, nope," Payton said when asked if he had thoughts on Wednesday's fallout. "Just seems like there's been a lot of time, a lot of energy and all that spent on … shoot, for the last nine years, beginning with StarCaps, and it's just gone on and on and on."
Loomis, meanwhile, gave a long pause when asked the same question.
"I have thoughts, but I'm not going to disclose them," Loomis said. "I just don't know enough about the details behind it. That's a Patriots issue, we have enough of our own."
The Saints have always expressed a ton of respect for the Patriots organization, which Payton reiterated when asked if he's worried about any sort of distraction when the Patriots join the Saints for joint practices next month at their West Virginia training camp site.
"The good news is when that time comes, we won't be in these long 30-minute press conferences. And I have a feeling the coach for New England will be the same way," Payton cracked of Bill Belichick. "You guys know how I feel about Bill and their organization. I think they do a great job. Anytime we've gotten a chance to practice with them, our teams have gotten good work out of it. I think the same will be the case two weeks from now."