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METAIRIE, La. -- Although he is suspended for the upcoming season, coach Sean Payton's eyes still are on the New Orleans Saints.
A massive photo of Payton was unveiled at midfield on the sideline of the team's indoor practice facility Friday. The team practiced inside because of weather Thursday and a different photo was in place then. The Payton photo shows the coach with a look that can best be described as a glare.
|New Orleans Saints players gather in front on a photo of suspended coach Sean Payton at the team's indoor practice facility on Friday.|
"That was Dallas Clark's third-quarter catch in the Super Bowl, and (Payton was) looking at me," assistant head coach Joe Vitt said when asked to describe Payton's look. "Every player on our team has gotten that look."
Payton has been suspended by the NFL as punishment for what the league says was a three-year bounty program. He is not allowed to have any contact with the Saints. But his presence is still felt around training camp. Payton's picture and biography still are near the front of the media guide, and the official training camp roster contains his name as head coach.
Vitt said putting the photo of Payton in the indoor practice facility was the idea of Saints owner Tom Benson.
At the bottom of the photo are the words "Do your job." Vitt has said repeatedly that's the exact message Payton gave him as he left to begin the suspension. Apparently, that message is now being conveyed to the Saints every time they practice indoors.
Vitt said the players all noticed the photo and had a similar reaction.
"Every one of them, same as me: 'He's looking at me and talking to me,' " Vitt said.