You can count Saints coach Sean Payton among the league's coaches who were impressed by what the New York Giants did late last season -- and not just with their amazing four-game run to the Super Bowl XLII title.
Payton said last week at the NFL owners meetings that the Giants provided inspiration to the rest of the league when they, having already clinched an NFC wild-card playoff berth, took the New England Patriots down to the wire in a 38-35 loss in the regular-season finale.
The Giants were going to play at Tampa Bay in the playoffs and had nothing to gain from playing its regular starters. But Giants coach Tom Coughlin did so anyway and nearly spoiled the Patriots' unbeaten regular season -- before bumping them off in the Super Bowl five weeks later.
"When the (Week 17) game ended you felt the Giants had done something that served them well," Payton said. "Before they think about changing rules (reseeding playoff teams), ask the coaches what they would choose, resting players or going for the momentum.
"It changed with me," he admitted. "Now, I think I would play to win and not rest my players. Momentum going into the postseason is worth more, seeing what the Giants did."
PAYTON FINE WITH CURRENT SEEDING: The reseeding proposal for playoff teams never got to a formal vote for the owners before it was withdrawn. But that was just fine with Payton.
"If you win the division," he said, "I think you've got to play a home playoff game."
FINALIZING THE DRAFT: The Saints will have six selections in the NFL Draft, which will be held April 26-27. The league announced the official draft order for all seven rounds at the owners meetings last week.
Barring late trades, New Orleans will have picks in the first (10th overall), second (40th), third (78th), fifth (146th), sixth (178th) and seventh rounds (218th). Their fourth-round pick (113th) went to the Jets in exchange for middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma.
WHAT A MEAL: Saints owner Tom Benson took members of the staff on a Tuesday night dinner cruise aboard his yacht, "Lady Gayle Marie," at the NFL owners meetings in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Payton said Benson had New Orleans seafood flown in for the dinner.
"Everyone felt at home eating crawfish; it was real nice," said Payton, who added the meal was not messy. "These were nicely peeled neatly on a tray, with shrimp and clams, all the appetizers and hot dishes.
"There was plenty to eat. I ate too much. Tom and his wife were great hosts. They've got a real nice boat."
Compiled by the SportsXchange
Payton talked to saintsinsder.com about other issues at Palm Beach earlier this week, including the team's running game. See what Payton had to say about Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush by clicking here.