New Orleans Saints Sean Payton provides welcome surprise to his team

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Sept. 18, 2011;New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton during their game against the Chicago Bears at the Louisiana Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-US PRESSWIRE

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton’s season long suspension threatened to banish him to exile from not only his team, but the players and staff he considered to be friends as well.

Payton is not allowed to even converse on non-football matters with anyone in the organization, which recently included the dedicating of the Steve Gleason “Rebirth” statue at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

A break came for Payton though when he was given permission by the NFL to attend the Hall of Fame ceremonies where former Saints offensive lineman Willie Roaf and a close friend Cortez Kennedy were being inducted.

Payton was even allowed to travel on owner Tom Benson’s plane along with Benson, his wife Gayle and general manager Mickey Loomis.  However, Payton would not be allowed to stay for the Sunday Hall Of Fame Game when the Saints play the Arizona Cardinals.

He did get to pull a nice surprise on his team though when he appeared out of nowhere and entered the section where Saints players and staff had gathered to watch the ceremony.

Footage of Payton and his son Connor showed the coach grinning from ear to ear and embracing quarterback Drew Brees who also was sporting a boyish smile on his face.

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