Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Saints head Coach Sean Payton talks to the media after the Saints' first practice of the 2015 Training Camp in White Sulphur Springs, WV.
The New Orleans Saints might benefit from the NFL's new rule bringing touchbacks out to the 25-yard line, Sean Payton told The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday.
Payton likes the intent of the rule, to limit return opportunities on a play with a lot of risk for injury.
But he thinks this rule could have unintended consequences.
"Our team will be one of them," Payton said. "You're going to see a lot more 'mortar kicks' that have a little bit more hang time. I think covering a kick and keeping someone from getting to the 25 is very possible."
New Orleans, a team that finished 24th in the NFL last year in kick return average at 21.6 yards per return, would be more likely to take a knee and accept the extra five yards for Drew Brees.
"Selfishly, it helps us," Payton said. "We're one of those clubs that would be an average to below-average kick return team, but an above average offense, so starting at the 25 as opposed to the 20. I think there's going to be more returns, not less."
Dan Patrick put Payton through an entertaining conversation that included the following highlights.
- Payton believes teams have less of a say in being selected for HBO's "Hard Knocks." "I don't think they ask anymore," Payton said. "I think the rule's changed. I'm sure there's a phone call made." The Saints coach still has strong reservations about the show.
- Payton reflects on the relationship between him and Brees, and whether or not they might decide to retire together.
- Payton also thinks Carolina's Ron Rivera might have a chance in a free-for-all among the league's 32 teams.
For the full interview, watch the full video at The Dan Patrick Show's website.