It was assumed Sean Payton would resume calling plays for the Saints' high-powered offense when his broken leg mended and he returned to the sideline in mid-November. Payton, after all, is widely regarded as one of the game's foremost offensive wizards, and he had called every play during his first six seasons with the Saints.
But the Saints surged offensively in Payton's absence, and to his credit, he selflessly ceded the duties to OC Pete Carmichael for the good of continuity.
Payton continues to have final say and remains heavily involved during games, offering suggestions on almost every series, as do Kromer and quarterbacks coach Joe Lombardi. But it's Carmichael's voice that's in Drew Brees' ear. And it's Carmichael's mind that is cataloguing and creating the on-field rhythm.
"We're on a roll, and obviously he's doing a great job -- not just a good job, he's doing a great job," Brees said. "I think we all feel comfortable with the way the dynamics have been here the last 10 weeks."