For the first time in a decade, the Saints are using wristbands to speed up the communication from coach to player.
Luke McCown wore a wristband on his left arm against the Carolina Panthers, and when Drew Brees returned against the Dallas Cowboys, the Saints’ long-time starter continued the practice.
New Orleans coach Sean Payton likes the time the Saints can save getting the play call from coach to quarterback.
“It was the first time in 10 years we had an extensive third down plan on wristbands,” Payton said. “I can read it to him and he can read it to the huddle and they go out and run the play or I could beep in and say go to number two and you’re just trying to save a few seconds.”
Calls in the New Orleans playbook can stretch to a dozen words or so, words that take up a few extra seconds when Payton reads the play call in to the quarterback.
“There are some weeks the terminology is longer,” Payton said. “Two weeks ago against Carolina was one of those weeks, and it was something that we started doing. It was specific, might be 16 plays on there.”
By using the wristbands, Payton can say a single number, Brees finds the corresponding play call on his wrist and then gives the full play call to the rest of the team.
“I think it makes it easier on a lot of people,” Brees said. “It helps with tempo a little bit. It gives you a few extra seconds to get in and out of the huddle, which obviously can be beneficial.”
Payton said the Saints will decide week to week whether or not to keep using the bands.
“Drew had a wristband, and there were times I still read the whole play to him, you know, because that’s what we’ve done forever,” Payton said. “There are some plays that might take a little longer and I think the quicker he can get a play in, then all of a sudden be able to break the huddle and still be able to do the things we want to do.”
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