NFL.com put out their coaching power rankings for 2016 on Wednesday, and it has New Orleans Saints’ Sean Payton still among the Top 10.
NFL Media Analyst Elliot Harrison had Payton ranked at No. 9 overall for 2016. Payton was the second non-playoff coach to be on the list, as Baltimore’s John Harbaugh (5-11 in 2015) was placed at No. 7 overall. Also, Carolina’s Ron Rivera was just ahead of Payton.
Here’s what Harrison had to say:
9) Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints
Payton has lost ground during the five years that we have been doing the Head Coach Power Rankings. While he’s still the man who turned the Saints around one year after Hurricane Katrina — and the guy who brought New Orleans a Super Bowl champion — his inability to figure out his defense has cost him recently. The Saints have struggled mightily the last two seasons. And Drew Brees isn’t getting any younger.
Collectively, Sean Payton is 87-57 (60 percent) in his tenure as the New Orleans Saints head coach. He’s also 6-4 in the playoffs. Clearly, back-to-back 7-9 seasons will hurt your reputation some, but Payton is still one of the league’s best offensive minded coaches in the game today.
Arguably, after putting out four straight playoff seasons as the team’s head coach from 2009-2011 and 2013, the pressure builds for the organization to get back into the postseason. Payton’s offseason, like the Saints, has been an interesting one. However, it seems that it’s all in the past.
USA Today Sports put out their own rankings in early June, which had Payton as the fifth-best coaching entering 2016.