For the second year in a row, Saints coach Sean Payton will take a special trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday for the annual induction ceremony.
After Saturday’s Black and Gold Scrimmage, Payton will travel to Canton, Ohio, to watch former NFL coach Bill Parcells be inducted. Payton was a part of Parcells’ staff with the Dallas Cowboys from 2003-05 before becoming the Saints’ coach.
“It was later in my career as an assistant, but it gave me a chance to spend three years with someone who’s very talented,” Payton said of his stint with the two-time Super Bowl-winning coach. “It was a lot like going to law school for me.
“I think anyone that has had some success in our careers, generally we’ve been fortunate enough to be around some people that have been successful,” he said. “That certainly has been the case for me. He is well-deserved and I really am excited for him. I think it is a special honor.”
Payton was also on Dallas’ offensive staff when guard Larry Allen, who is also being inducted, was wrapping up his Cowboys’ career.
Last year, Payton, who was suspended at the time, went to Canton to watch former Saints tackle William Roaf get inducted.
OFFICIALS CHECK IN: A group of NFL, college and high school officials arrived Thursday to work the practice as well as Friday’s workout and Saturday’s Black and Gold Scrimmage.
Before practice, long time NFL referee Walt Coleman gave a media presentation, which included a video highlighting the rules changes and points of emphasis for the 2013 season.
Coleman’s crew included Sarah Thomas, who’s trying to become the NFL’s first female official, and Pittsburgh high school official Amanda Sauer. Also on the crew were a pair of veteran NFL officials from Louisiana — line judge Carl Johnson, of Thibodaux, and field judge Greg Gauthreaux, of Lafayette.
BREES DEFENDS HIMSELF: If how much he tips on a takeout meal is the biggest controversy the Saints deal with this season, quarterback Drew Brees will be thrilled, he said after Thursday’s practice.
Brees, signed to a $100 million contract last year, left $3 on a $74.41 takeout order from Del Mar Rendezvous Chinese fusion restaurant in Del Mar, Calif., last month.
Someone snapped a photo of the receipt signed by Brees and the picture got around, sparking a debate across national news and social media about whether the MVP of Super Bowl XLIV was cheap.
Wednesday night, Brees tweeted he would have tipped more than 20 percent if he had sat down to eat in the restaurant. Because it was takeout, he left $3.
The restaurant manager apologized to Brees about the photo and donated $888.88 to the Brees Dream Foundation because eight is the luckiest number in Chinese culture. He said the receipt “would indicate Mr. Brees is a very generous individual, as … takeout orders do not usually garner a tip at our restaurant.”
LOFTON RETURNS: After missing two days of practice with a sore back, Saints inside linebacker Curtis Lofton returned for Thursday’s workout and had full participation with the first-team defense.
Running back Mark Ingram was held out of the indoor practice to rest and should be back on Friday’s practice, according to Payton.