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- Dec 13, 2009
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- Victoria, TX
“I hadn’t talked to coach Payton yet, so it was a bit of a surprise,” Stevens said. “I was kind of caught off guard by it, but getting to talk to coach Payton, someone of his magnitude, it was awesome.”
Payton started to make a pitch to Stevens about why Stevens should sign with New Orleans after the draft, that the team had a “unique vision” for him as a player and thought he would be a fit in the organization. There was just one problem.
“At the time, I thought I was actually going to have a better fit in another place,” Stevens said. “So, as polite and respectful as I could, I told coach Payton, ‘Hey, I think my best situation might be going a different route.’ ”
He received another call from a number he did not recognize, only this time it came from a 504 area code. He answered, and Payton was on the line with Saints general manager Mickey Loomis.
“Coach Payton said this, and I’ll never forget it: ‘Last time I called you, I was asking you to come to New Orleans, but this time I’m not giving you the choice. We’re going to trade up in the draft, and we’re going to take you,’ ” Stevens recalled.
Saints coach Sean Payton said to Stevens, "Last time I called you, I was asking you to come to New Orleans, but this time I’m not giving you the choice."
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