Maybe the first dunk was cute. After tight end Jimmy Graham stuffed the ball through the uprights a second time coach Sean Payton was livid.
“Yes, I was (upset),” Payton said. “I’m very upset. Would you be upset? I was, particularly.”
The so-called “Jimmy Graham rule” was put in place this offseason to prohibit players from using the goal posts as part of touchdown celebrations. But the 15-yard penalty that comes with doing throwing down a celebratory dunk wasn’t enough to prevent the New Orleans Saints tight end from punctuating both of his scores with his signature celebration.
Payton look displeased after Graham’s first dunk. It appeared he had words with him after the second.
Graham’s timing couldn’t have been worse.
By that point, Payton was boiling over due to the sloppy play exhibited by his team. The two flags Graham drew were only a small piece of the 22 overall penalties the Saints were called for during Friday’s 31-24 win over the Titans.
Flags seem to be up across the league at a stunning rate in preseason games, but Payton said the high volume Friday night was not the result of poor officiating. He felt that most, if not all, of the penalties were justified.
And the number of penalties left a particularly bad taste in Payton’s mouth since he spent the last week trying to clean up the sloppiness that popped up in last week’s preseason opener against the Rams.
“It is the first sign of a team that has no discipline and the first sign of poor coaching,” Payton said. “The first sign along with the quarterback-center exchange.”