“Hard Knocks” Texans Get the Cold Shoulder From Saints


A big buzz for New Orleans Saints fans leading up to the announcement of who would be featured in the new season of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” was one of the candidates being the Houston Texans.

Why would Saints fans care about it being the Texans?

Well because they could possibly get a glimpse of their beloved team since the Saints and Texans were scheduled to hold joint practices before their preseason matchup on August 30th.

However it was announced by head coach Sean Payton that the Saints would be holding joint practices with the New England Patriots at The Greenbrier in West Virginia for training camp.

Payton also said that they decided to not have the scheduled joint practice with the Texans but that them being featured on “Hard Knocks” was not a factor in the switch.

Well if anyone has known Payton during his time in New Orleans then you need to read carefully into that.

Payton like his mentor Bill Parcells has never been too keen when it comes to the media, especially when he doesn’t feel the need to allow unchecked access to his team.

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Not that either really hate the press, but view the idea of having an obligation to give details they’d rather keep to themselves as being an annoyance.

Just as Parcells would do, Payton isn’t afraid to cut a reporter off and follow it with, “Next question..next smart question.”

While he says that having HBO’s cameras around wasn’t the reason why they gave the Texans the cold shoulder, I’d be willing to bet it is.

HBO has been after the Saints a few times, especially the season following their Super Bowl win to document the team but Payton has declined.

While fans may want to see the Black and Gold on the series, be glad that they’re not considering that most teams that have appeared have somewhat of a down season following.

It’s not the “Madden Cover Curse” but it might be a very close second to it.

To put it into perspective, Who Dat’s complained for years following the 2009 season that the team didn’t get enough press.

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Well they got their wish…in the form of Bountygate (cue Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic”).

But to be blunt, Payton is simply a control freak.  Which there is nothing wrong with that but when HBO says “full access” they mean just that.

If you’ve followed the show their cameras roll 24/7 and cover everything from heartbreaking roster cuts to the infamous release segment of Miami Dolphins wide receiver Chad Johnson following his arrest for a domestic situation.

Sep 26, 2014; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin at press conference at Allianz Park in advance of the NFL International Series game between the Miami Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I can still remember uncomfortably squirming watching head coach Joe Philbin drum his fingers on the chair not saying much while Johnson freshly released from jail sat in flip-flops and sweats and the only thing that you could hear was the background hum from the lapel microphone.

Those are scenarios that, heaven forbid they do happen, Payton would rather not share with a mass audience which is why he’s declined on “Hard Knocks” when approached.

I’ll speculate too that Payton may feel, especially with this 2015 Saints team, they need to get grounded again and the cameras may only feed a player’s ego that actually needs to starve a bit.

Ultimately even the small amount of screen time that would have been given to the Saints when the Texans came was just too much and plus…it’s Payton’s prerogative.

As NOLA.com’ Evan Woodbery reported earlier when Payton was asked about why he doesn’t discuss much on injuries in OTA’s, “It’s just that I don’t have to.”

Well said……..

Next: 5 Reasons Why Saints Defense Will be Much Better in 2015