Saints head coach Sean Payton delegated play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael in Sunday’s game against the Raiders, and it worked out well.
Although the Saints’ defense lost the game for them, the Saints’ offense was excellent, with 507 yards in a 35-34 loss. Payton said he’s not sure if he’ll take the play-calling job back, but he’s comfortable with Carmichael doing it.
“It is a week to week thing,” Payton said. “Pete and I communicate each week on how we want this game to unfold. . . . I thought it went very well [Sunday]. I will still be very much involved in a handful of those calls and so it is an operation for us, this is year 10 or 11 now that we will just handle week to week. It was not a big earth shattering announcement or a big move, it was really, functionally I can get Pete a play and he can get it into Drew just as quickly as I can get it into Drew directly. And if I’m managing the game, or paying attention to what just happen on a punt return, we are far enough along in this process where it is easy for us.”
Carmichael is in his 11th season working for Payton in New Orleans, having started as quarterbacks coach in 2006 and then getting promoted to offensive coordinator in 2009. So they have a comfort level together, and Payton is willing to let Carmichael do what may be the most important job on Sundays. In Week One, Carmichael did that job very well.