Payton explains why Saints went with Gramatica


Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Like many coaches, New Orleans' Sean Payton can be a little bland when speaking to the media. But Payton was pretty blunt on a conference call with the Tampa Bay media Wednesday afternoon.

Payton, who hadn't been available to the media since the Saints evacuated New Orleans on Saturday, was asked about his decision to go with Martin Gramatica over sixth-round draft choice Taylor Mehlhaff as the kicker.

"I think there's a lot of confidence in this locker room with his abilities," Payton said. "He's kicked in big games and won games. I think our players understand we're going to try to keep the best 53 regardless of how we acquired them. He won the job."

There's not much need for translation here. Payton and the Saints clearly are in the win-now mode and they weren't going to gamble on a rookie kicker who might cost them some games.