New Orleans Saints: 3 players likely to regress in 2020

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No. 3 Sean Payton

Go back and take a look at a picture of Sean Payton from 2006. Then take a look at a picture of Sean Payton from 2020.

Only U.S. Presidents undergo such dramatic transformations whilst in leadership. Think about it: what other current NFL coach has undergone the highs and lows that Sean Payton has in 15 years.

From the euphoria of a Super Bowl victory to the mutiny of Bounty Gate to the heartbreak of the Minneapolis Miracle and amid the infamous No-Call, with several losing seasons to fill the gaps between, Payton’s future autobiography will be a best seller.

Payton has adapted well to a team that keeps getting younger, flashier, and harder to control. He’s maintained his hard-nosed, sometimes stoic discipline.

But that stoicism has broken at key times, and those breaks result in a team that, uncharacteristically, doesn’t respond well to adversity.

Think back to the no-call. Payton’s immediate reaction was justified but visible anger. As a well-lead team’s emotions are often dependent on their head coach, the young Saint’s reacted as Payton did, on and off the field: by melting down in what should have been an easy overtime drive.

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Why Payton is beginning to crack under pressure is up for speculation. Perhaps age, perhaps a young locker room is growing harder and harder for one man to maintain. But you heard it here first: Payton’s time in New Orleans is closer to being over than most fans realize.