New Orleans Saints’ Sean Payton has failed to meet expectations in three consecutive seasons. Should he be on the hot seat?
In the same way people from around New Orleans prepare for Mardi Gras all year long, the New Orleans Saints worked all year to prepare for the NFL Playoffs. For the third year in a row, the Saints’ hopes are dashed with a heartbreaking loss in the playoffs.
As you may recall, Marvin Lewis was the second-longest tenured head coach in the NFL behind Bill Belichick. Over 16 seasons with the Bengals, Lewis had his up’s and down’s but his staying power with Cincinnati was reported to be his relationship with Bengals owner Mike Brown.
The question is, does Sean Payton have the same relationship with Gayle Benson. How many times will the Saints have a spectacular regular season only to have it spoiled by a playoff loss in the final seconds or in overtime?
NFL coaches are paid to win and win they must or else face the pink slip. The best coaches in the NFL seem to have some sort of magic wand they wave when that “have to” down has to be successfully completed.
The Saints have the quarterback and the defense to make those plays, but when the other team has seen the same plays over and over on video, they can predict what is coming their way. However, the greatest coaches in the game always have a little something up their sleeve to help their team get to the next game.
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While Payton is the winningest coach in the history of the Saints and far, far away from the “bud’s bums” days, the NFL lives in a “what have you done for me lately” world.
For owners, winning equals money in TV contracts, advertising deals and merchandise sales. Winning big games equals great young players wanting to come to your team and that is how NFL dynasties are formed.
For great coaches, they just continue to make their players better than the year before by motivating and challenging them.
Lest we not forget, these men are making between $645,000 and $25,000,000 (Brees in 2019), and the days of that college player being motivated by the college coach that dangles the NFL contract in front of them are long gone.
Where does Payton and his coaching staff fit into this equation? Can he figure out how to motivate his players during the off-season that will equal the success of a 12-win season and a deep playoff run next year?
If not, does Mrs. Benson look to another person to lead her franchise.
Saints’ fans everywhere are rooting for Payton to turn around his playoff blues and to lift the Lombardi trophy next year. Let’s just hope he has a plan and the blues will be left to Bourbon Street and not be played in the Superdome.