Saints head coach Sean Payton loves him some New Orleans
Sean Payton announced that he would stay head coach of the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday, expressing his love for the city and his inability to envision himself ever coaching a different team.
With so much speculation, both negative and positive, surrounding New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and his future with the organization, nobody was one-hundred percent positive whether or not he would remain in control down on the bayou.
After a decade with the same team and after turning in three losing seasons in the past four years, questions will begin to emerge, whether it’s from the fans or the media. Will he stay? Will he go? Does he even want to stay? Is his time just up?
But after yesterday’s press conference following the tense days and hours leading up to it, there is no more question regarding Sean Payton. He is here to stay (for now), because this is what he loves and wants to do for the rest of his coaching career, and he made that very clear in a long, emotional, and powerful nationally televised address to the media and fans across the Who Dat Nation.
(Quotes courtesy of NewOrleansSaints.com)
“I’ve said this before, and I understand the interest and certainly the skepticism if you will, but this is where I plan on coaching and I don’t envision myself ever coaching for any other club,” Sean Payton said during his opening lines. You could just tell by the look in his eye (a look I haven’t seen from him in a long time) that coaching another team was never even a thought.
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He even added a little humor in the mix, bringing up the city’s infamous pothole problem and constant boil water advisories.
“Someone said this to me when I moved here in 2006, there is something about this city,” Payton said. “You hear that initially, and look there was a lot back then that was uniquely different because of post-Katrina, but there is something unique and different and I can’t put my finger on it. I mean I drive through a pot hole every day like you guys do and get upset. When the water is down in a certain parish, I have to come here to shower just like everyone else might go somewhere else, and yet, it grows on you, and it is home.”
It sounds like Sean Payton wants to rejuvenate that ‘mojo’ this team had when it was one of the most feared organizations in the NFL.
“This is where I want to be. I mean you’re here not because we are here long enough, but we built something and created something. I think in the beginning it was a lot more than football, and maybe that is what separates it, because it wasn’t just about wins and losses in 2006.”
Sean Payton is attached to the city of New Orleans.
“I have said this before, but I’m literally within a year of just building a place here. I have a routine. I think I would struggle not living here. I think I would struggle not living here, and not always having a place here. It still bothers me, (when I am) eating at a nice restaurant outside of this city and at the time the entrees come that all five servers don’t come at the exact same time with your meal like they do here. There are things that you get attached to. They are kind of what that person told me in ’06, where you kind of look at them at first. So no, I think I would have a hard time, struggling with not having a residence here and being here. I know for sure that there is something uniquely different. It’s easy to say, but it is probably much more difficult to understand if you haven’t lived here a long time.”
What would New Orleans be like without Sean Payton? Without Drew Brees? They have become the faces of both this franchise and its city. They assisted not only in getting the town its first world championship, but also its rebirth after devastating times.
Granted, it has been a rough few years, but that’s part of it. Payton even said stability provides for championships, but it doesn’t guarantee it. Patience is a virtue. This is a young and growing football team. This group took a big jump forward at the end of the year, turning in a 3-1 record during the final four games. Let Coach do his thing. Let him be a part of the rebuilding process. He deserves it, at least for now. Don’t worry — there will be changes that may and likely will help this offseason.
For those who grew skeptical of Sean Payton and called for his head, just remember, it would have been very difficult to immediately find somebody so dedicated to and emotionally involved in not only this football team, but also its fans and the city. Did anybody truly want to see him go? Sean Payton loves New Orleans. Sean Payton is New Orleans. Yesterday’s speech made that clear.