Sean Payton plays down smashing fire alarm before Bengals game

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

NEW ORLEANS – While the New Orleans Saints definitely demolished the Cincinnati Bengals on the field yesterday, head coach Sean Payton pushed back against reports that he had destroyed a fire alarm in the locker room before the game.

“‘Destroyed’ would be a little bit sensationalist,” Payton said during a Monday morning conference call. “But clearly, we were having issues with the fire alarm.”

Payton said the alarm had been going off for 10 minutes when he decided he needed to take action about 20 to 30 minutes before kickoff.

“I just needed the noise to stop, and gladly will take care of the repair costs,” he said.

The move to stop the noise wasn’t motivational, Payton said, stressing that he has nothing but respect for the Browns organization.