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Coach Sean Payton opens up Saints’ playbook on Twitter

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METAIRIE, La. — Sean Payton offered some isolation entertainment on Sunday night by sharing a handful of his favorite play calls on Twitter.

Not only did the New Orleans Saints coach post drawings from his playbook, but he also explained the meaning of such terms as “Quizno” and “Lucy.”

Payton said it started when he saw a request for people to post their favorite all-purpose concepts out of empty formations.

“I quickly drew (one) up on paper and took a picture of one of our plays. Posted it, then just continued,” Payton said via text.

Payton, who tested positive for coronavirus two weeks ago, said he was cleared last week. But the isolation continues for all NFL personnel after the league mandated that all facilities be closed down.

In the meantime, Payton has clearly been using social media to stay in touch with the outside world. He joked on WWL Radio last week that, “You watch a lot of Netflix, then you go onto Twitter and see everyone else is watching the same shows.”

Payton also answered follow-up questions and responded to replies about his play calls on Twitter on Sunday night — including one that suggested he was “spilling the offense” to opposing defensive coaches like Todd Bowles, Raheem Morris and Eric Washington.

“They’ve been seenin this!!” Payton responded.

Payton also added a funny reply to quarterback Drew Brees‘ post on a different subject when Brees shared a picture of a rattlesnake that he saw while walking his dogs.

Payton and Brees walked ESPN through the origins of their lengthy play calls in 2018. Although both of them have a wide variety of influences, much of Payton’s West Coast terminology comes from the time he spent under Jon Gruden during his first NFL job with the Philadelphia Eagles in the late 1990s.



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Retired QB Eli Manning joins Twitter, gets humorous welcome from Tom Brady

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Eli Manning creatively announced that he is joining Twitter by paying homage to the movie “Hoosiers” on Saturday, and Tom Brady chimed in with a humorous touch.

Brady’s reference to the fourth quarter brings back painful memories for fans of his former team, the New England Patriots. Manning’s fourth-quarter heroics in Super Bowl XLII helped the New York Giants defeat the Patriots, 17-14, and dash their hopes for a perfect season.

And then Manning did it again four years later in Super Bowl XLVI, leading the Giants past the Patriots 21-17.

Brady, of course, has experienced more jubilation than heartbreak in Super Bowls. He has played in nine, and is the only player in NFL history to win six.

So the new Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback can joke about it now, but at the time, they were two of the most devastating losses of his career.

Manning retired this offseason after spending his entire 16-year career with the Giants.



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Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes touches on perseverance in speech to Texas Tech graduates

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Patrick Mahomes advised graduating Texas Tech students to “go out and win your Super Bowl” at the university’s virtual commencement ceremony Saturday.

“I know this isn’t the graduation ceremony that you and your families had envisioned, but that doesn’t change the outcome or all the hard work, long hours and sacrifices that you made to achieve this milestone,” Mahomes said in his remarks, which lasted less than two minutes. “I know this is sure not how you imagined spending your last days as a student.

“But the world is in a different place today than it was just a few weeks ago. And as Red Raiders, we’re built to persevere in difficult times. We’ve all had to take a moment and learn to adjust to these new challenges. And when the odds are stacked against us, we make a play — and I can tell you this is going to make us all more competitive and hungrier than ever.

“Remember, this is a day to celebrate, to look back on the friends you made, the professors who have changed your life and the memories that you will cherish forever. Whatever plans lie in front of you, I have no doubt you will go out there and show the world what it means to come from Lubbock, Texas. Go out and win your Super Bowl. Congrats, Class of 2020. I can’t wait to see what you do next.”

Mahomes, who played briefly for the school’s baseball team, was the quarterback at Texas Tech from 2014 through 2016 before he entered the NFL draft and was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round in 2017. He was the NFL MVP in 2018 and was the MVP of Super Bowl LIV.

Since leaving Texas Tech, he has been a supporter of the Red Raiders in all sports and went to Minneapolis last year to watch the men’s basketball team in the Final Four.

“He is passionate about sports,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Friday. “He’s passionate about Tech. I just think it’s a neat thing that he’d have that opportunity to do it. Pat’s a pretty cool cucumber and he’s a sharp kid and speaks well so I think he’ll have a nice presentation for them.”

Alex Smith gave the commencement address at his alma mater, Utah, in 2014 when he quarterbacked the Chiefs. Earlier this month, twin brothers Shaquill Griffin and Shaquem Griffin, who both play for the Seattle Seahawks, delivered the commencement speech to the Class of 2020 for the virtual graduation ceremony at Central Florida.

Texas Tech’s graduation ceremonies, which are normally held at the school’s basketball arena, were moved to a virtual format because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Former QB Ryan Leaf arrested on domestic battery charge

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Former quarterback and current ESPN college football analyst Ryan Leaf was arrested Friday on a charge of misdemeanor domestic battery.

Leaf was arrested around 2 p.m. in Palm Desert, California, and booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, according to online jail records.

He was released Friday night on $5,000 bail, according to the records. His next court date is Sept. 25.

Leaf, 44, starred at Washington State and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1997, when he led the Cougars to the Rose Bowl.

He was the No. 2 overall draft pick of the San Diego Chargers in 1998 but had just a four-year NFL career before his personal life fell apart.

Leaf dealt with drug addiction and spent two years in prison after being arrested in 2012 for breaking into a home in his native Montana to steal prescription drugs and for violating a probation order out of Texas.

After his release, Leaf worked to recover and built a new career in sportscasting.

He was hired by ESPN ahead of the 2019 college football season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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