Jan 14, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton watches from the sideline during the fourth quarter of the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Saints 36-32. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
It was ironically like the announcement of his suspension which was out of the blue. New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton was reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after 9 months away from an organization and fanbase that eagerly awaited his return.
According to reports, Payton and Goodell met yesterday to likely give a last check to make sure the head coach understood he would be a “changed man” in regards to keeping a tighter grip on his players and staff.
Just when it seemed like Payton wouldn’t return until the day after the Super Bowl, Goodell made the wise choice to let him come back. The Saints have player evaluations to make and staff to replace including offensive line coach Aaron Kromer which can’t be done without Payton’s input.
Payton intends to get right to work and is said to be flying out to Mobile, AL. to speak with prospects for the upcoming NFL Draft and also begin getting with defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to see what can be done to turn the tide on the unit’s performance.
Players and fans lit up the social media to express their joy that their coach was back and ready to hit the ground running. Payton himself gave this statement,
"“I am thankful today Commissioner Goodell has granted me reinstatement. As I stated back in March, I, along with Mickey Loomis, take full responsibility for all aspects of our football program. I clearly recognize that mistakes were made, which led to league violations. Furthermore, I have assured the Commissioner a more diligent protocol will be followed. Lastly, I feel we have learned from our mistakes and are ready to move forward. I want to thank our owner, Mr. Benson and all of our great fans for the overwhelming support throughout this past year. I am excited to be back as Head Coach of the New Orleans Saints!”"