(NEW YORK) — The New Orleans Saints will kick off their 2012 season on Sunday hosting the Washington Redskins. Head coach Sean Payton won’t be on the sidelines due to his season-long suspension for his role in the Saints bounty scandal, but he will certainly be tuned in.
“I think this program, we’ve worked hard on it, really invested a lot of time. Coaches, everyone in that organization. We’ve overcome a lot of challenges in the past. I’m excited to watch them play,” Payton told the Times-Picayune.
Payton’s message to the team before he left to serve his suspension was, do your job. Payton believes his team has what it takes to be successful even with the suspsensions laid down.
“This is our team. Not any individual. A group of people have worked very hard together to have success. We’ve always preached about eliminating the ‘I’s’ and ‘me’s’ and creating a team element to the sport,” he told the newspaper. “Coaches, offensive line, defensive line, the whole building. Everyone’s got a part in it. Collectively we’ve been able to have a lot of success, and a lot of people have worked hard to make that happen.”
Kickoff in New Orleans is set for 1 PM Eastern time.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN