“All in all, it’s hard to imagine a bigger regular-season victory for the Saints since Payton took over in 2006.” – King on the Saints’ victory against Tampa Bay
“Got a text from (Duke men’s basketball head coach) Mike Krzyzewski tonight. All about adversity, and winning the games you’re not supposed to win, and when coaching really matters. I’ll save it forever.” – Payton to King
“One game should not make a quarterback controversy…but if White plays well at Lucas Oil in three days, how can (Jets head coach Robert) Saleh sit an effective player and play a struggling one, even if (Zach) Wilson is the face of the franchise?” – King on the Jets and QB Mike White
“I will be shocked if Deshaun Watson is traded…To (Texans GM Nick) Caserio, Watson is an opportunity to get a better return next March than he could get now.” – King on Watson at the trade deadline
STAMFORD, Conn. – Nov. 1, 2021 – Peter King speaks with Saints head coach Sean Payton and quarterback Trevor Siemian following New Orleans’ victory over Tampa Bay in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also discusses the upcoming trade deadline, including the latest on Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, hands out his Week 8 awards, and more.
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The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
King on the Saints’ win over Tampa Bay: “Trevor Siemian, who hasn’t been an NFL starter for four years, throwing to Kevin White, who hasn’t caught an NFL pass in three years. Siemian, who is rarely asked to throw deep, throwing deep. On a larger scale: Siemian, New Orleans’ third-string quarterback, dueling with Tom Brady.”
Saints head coach Sean Payton to King on Siemian: “Think about this. You’re Trevor Siemian. You gotta prepare to play Tampa Bay. You really have to get your mind ready to go in the meetings, go to practices, and then you gotta do it the next week and you might have to go two or three years, and maybe you never play…So here, Trevor Siemian’s gotta prepare like he’s playing, because he’s gonna regret it, really regret it, if he’s not ready. Unique job. Know what I mean?”
King on Siemian after starting QB Jameis Winston got hurt: “So the Saints were relying on Siemian, who’d completed three passes in the last four years, to stay upright, to move the team with not much of a chance to run the ball, and to somehow score more points in the last three quarters than Tom Brady…Piece of cake.”
Siemian to King: “What I was thinking was just don’t mess it up. Keep it running smooth. Have fun. I had so much frickin’ fun out there.”
King on Siemian’s preparation: “On Saturday night, Siemian sat in on the weekly Dot Meeting that Payton has with his quarterbacks. That’s the meeting Payton and his coaches discuss with Winston what he likes and what he wants called in every section of the play sheet…When the third-stringer’s in the game: Some of the guys on the scout team might suddenly be in favor. Why? Because those are the guys a Siemian is used to throwing to.”
King on the Saints’ unheralded players and fullback Alex Armah’s touchdown before halftime: “I don’t want to overrate Payton, or overstate his importance. But look at this play. Siemian, the third quarterback. (Mark) Ingram, acquired in trade for a pittance from Houston last Wednesday. Armah, a September practice-squad player with zero targets all season. This is the weaponry Sean Payton threw at the mighty Bucs, the Super Bowl champs, on a vital play in a 10-7 game just before halftime.”
Payton: “Bill Parcells used to say, ‘Know who you’re throwing to.’ Trevor’s throwing to a classic fullback. Any inaccuracy with the throw, and it’s not a touchdown. Cool and calm. Right in stride.”
King on wide receiver Kevin White’s 38-yard catch in the third quarter: “Now, time for West Virginia Big 20, 85 Delta Go. That’s Kevin White’s play. ‘West Virginia’ is for White’s college, where he played for two years before being Chicago’s first-round pick in 2015. Yes, Kevin White, with all of 25 catches in his NFL career entering Sunday, has a play. Payton likes players on their last NFL legs. They’re desperate, and they aim to please…Trevor Siemien, Alex Armah, Kevin White. Those are the guys who slayed the dragon Sunday in the Superdome.”
Siemian on White: “Kevin’s one of the guys I get some reps with on the scout team. If there’s a receiver on the team I’d have some chemistry with, Kevin would be one. I love throwing him the ball.”
King on the Saints: “All in all, it’s hard to imagine a bigger regular-season victory for the Saints since Payton took over in 2006. Not the most significant, maybe. I’m talking against all odds, with the third quarterback matching up against the great Brady, the third quarterback against the Super Bowl champs.”
Payton on the win: “Got a text from (Duke men’s basketball head coach) Mike Krzyzewski tonight. All about adversity, and winning the games you’re not supposed to win, and when coaching really matters. I’ll save it forever.”
WEEK 8 NOTES
King on Tuesday’s trade deadline: “At the trading deadline, two-thirds of the teams in the league, 21 of 32, will be one game under .500 or better. How, if you’re a GM or coach, can you walk into your locker room when your team’s 3-4 and wave the white flag and say, ‘We got a fifth-round pick for John Doe. I just couldn’t turn it down.’ You can’t.”
King on Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson: “I will be shocked if Deshaun Watson is traded. As I’ve said all along, trading for a star with as many question marks surrounding him is, to put it charitably, irresponsible and desperate and stupid.”
King on the Texans and Watson: “The conspiracy theorist in me says all the reports of the chances he could be traded are music to the ears of Houston owner Cal McNair and GM Nick Caserio. To McNair, Watson is a headache he prays will go away, soon. To Caserio, Watson is an opportunity to get a better return next March than he could get now.”
King on potential trades: “There will be trades. I would expect Miami to get calls on Xavien Howard and Denver to get calls on Kyle Fuller or Kareem Jackson…Kansas City should deal for one of Patrick Mahomes’ original weapons, wideout Chris Conley…If you trust the player to be better than the tape, go get Giants tight end Evan Engram…You could pry DeVante Parker or Mack Hollins, useable wideouts, from Miami, or Jamison Crowder from the Jets.”
King on the Patriots: “A half-game out of a wild-card berth this morning, a half-game ahead of mighty Kansas City…They’ve outscored the last two foes 81-37. Just think what’ll happen when Mac Jones and the offense are really in sync.”
King on the Jets and quarterback Mike White: “On the surface, one game should not make a quarterback controversy between White and Zach Wilson, but if White plays well at Lucas Oil in three days, how can (Jets head coach Robert) Saleh sit an effective player and play a struggling one, even if Wilson is the face of the franchise?”
King on the Bengals: “I think I am going to put away the anointing oils for the Bengals right now. I glorified them a bit too early last Monday.”
King on the Broncos’ win over Washington: “A win’s a win, and yippee when you do it. But Denver’s 17-10 win over Washington is what I’d call a discouraging win.”
KING’S WEEK 8 AWARDS
Offensive Players of the Week: Mike White, New York Jets, Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh, & A.J. Dillon, Green Bay.
King on White: “White had the kind of starting debut young kids dream of: 37 of 45, 405 yards, three TDs, two early picks. Suddenly, is there a quarterback controversy in New Jersey?”
Defensive Players of the Week: Joe Schobert, Pittsburgh, Micah Parsons, Dallas, P.J. Williams, New Orleans, & Rasul Douglas, Green Bay.
King on Parsons: “With Dak Prescott sitting Sunday night in Minnesota, this was going to have to be a day for the defense if the Cowboys were going to have a chance. Parsons, the neophyte who’s got to be favored to win Defensive Rookie of the Year, understood. He told himself, ‘You’ve got to be the it factor.’ And he was.”
Special Teams Player of the Week: Nick Folk, New England.
King: “One of the most interesting kicking careers in recent times continued its renaissance at SoFi Stadium on Sunday. He was four-for-four in field goals, all in the final 33 minutes, from 24, 48, 48 and 24 yards. The oft-cut Folk, since opening day 2020, has made 46 of 49 field-goal tries for New England.”
Coach of the Week: Sean Payton, New Orleans.
King: “Payton can coach. He beat the Super Bowl champs with his third-string quarterback, coming off a short-week Monday-nighter 2,580 miles away, with so many bit players playing big roles…This week was one of the finest coaching jobs of Payton’s 15 seasons in the league.”
The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage:
- PFT Live with NBC Sports’ Mike Florio and Mike Golic (Mondays) and Florio and Chris Simms (Tuesday-Thursday) streams live on Peacock from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET on weekdays, followed by The Dan Patrick Show at 9 a.m. ET, The Rich Eisen Show at Noon ET, Brother From Another at 3 p.m. ET, PFT PM at 5 p.m. ET. At 6 p.m. ET, Chris Simms Unbuttoned streams Tuesday-Friday.
- com continues to provide the latest news and updates.
- NBC Sports EDGE’s A Good Football Show continues the NFL discussion and Bet The Edge Podcast provides daily betting insights.
A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May 2019 that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.