Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) talks to head coach Sean Payton and offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael in the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Payton: COVID-stricken Saints have ‘Ted Lasso’ feel with few coaches

Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints are coping with preparation for Week 2 all while facing the challenges of relocation and a COVID-19 outbreak that decimated the offensive coaching staff.

Payton said team meetings and practice formats are altered in major ways as the Saints (1-0) get ready to visit the Carolina Panthers (1-0) on Sunday.

“I said to (offensive coordinator) Pete (Carmichael) and (assistant offensive line coach) Zach (Strief) today, it’s like Ted Lasso with the three or four of us left,” Payton said Wednesday.

Already the Saints adjusted their preparation by moving the entire office and practice environment from Metairie, La., due to challenges created by Hurricane Ida. The Saints played their Week 1 “home” game at Jacksonville and are practicing in Texas for this upcoming game and likely at least one more week before assessing a return to their Louisiana facility.

This week down position coaches at wide receiver, running back, offensive line and offensive coordinator, Payton assembled meetings with smaller groups of players. The majority of his assistants, all of whom are vaccinated according to Payton, are working remotely and using video conferencing to communicate with players directly.

To return for Sunday’s game in Charlotte, each coach needs two negative COVID test results.

The lone player to test positive is wide receiver Michael Thomas, who is on injured reserve. Payton said Thomas, who was placed on the reserve/COVID list, is also vaccinated.

–Field Level Media

Aug 11, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Josh Malone (80) goes up for a catch as Cincinnati Bengals wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell gets out of the way during Cincinnati Bengals training camp at the practice fields next to Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY NETWORK

Reports: Bengals, Eagles make coaching staff changes

The Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles have coaching staff openings to fill.

NFL Network reported Thursday that the Bengals will not bring back receivers coach Bob Bicknell, offensive line coach Jim Turner and defensive line coach Nick Eason. Running backs coach Jemal Singleton is leaving to accept a job at Kentucky.

In Philadelphia, senior offensive assistant Rich Scangarello and senior offensive consultant Marty Mornhinweg have contracts that are expiring and will not return, ESPN reported. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz previously said he will sit out the 2021 season as his contract also is expiring.

Bengals owner Mike Brown gave head coach Zac Taylor his endorsement on Monday, despite a 4-11-1 record in 2020.

“We remain bullish on the foundation Zac is building, and we look forward to next year giving our fans the winning results we all want,” Brown said in a statement.

Doug Pederson is expected to return for a sixth season in 2021, despite his team’s 4-11-1 record.

–Field Level Media