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METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints pushed back their usual practice schedule this week, following a Monday night game across the country in Seattle. Coach Sean Payton said that was the Saints' plan all along -- even before a breakdown with the team plane forced them to spend Monday night in Seattle.
The Saints still will have their normal three full days of practice on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They'll do a little more than usual on Saturday -- which is usually just a walk-through session.
It helps that Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers was flexed into the Sunday night slot on NBC. And Payton said it also helps a little that the Saints are familiar with their division rivals. Although they haven't played the Panthers yet this season, Carolina still has the same coaching staff and general schemes from last year.
Although the unexpected layover in Seattle certainly must have been frustrating -- especially coming off the heels of a 34-7 loss to the Seahawks -- Payton said it didn't require a big adjustment in game-planning for the Panthers.
The Saints wound up getting home around 3:30 p.m. ET Tuesday instead of 6 a.m. In the meantime, thanks to modern technology, coaches and players still had the ability to start looking at film cut-ups of the Panthers on their iPads.
"It really doesn't change," tight end Benjamin Watson said Wednesday. "A lot of what we can do now is digital. So we can watch film on iPads and do what we'd be doing anyway. It's just a wrinkle in the schedule that everybody deals with from time to time."
Payton joked that he'll tell the story of the Monday night scrambling "someday. ... But right now I don't have time to take you through the whole trip."
"It ended up being seamless," Payton added, crediting the team's director of operations James Nagaoka and administrative director Jay Romig, among others who "were able to make a couple quick audibles."
The Saints' traveling group was divided among two hotels before flying out Tuesday morning.