As the New Orleans Saints begin life without Drew Brees as their quarterback, the pressure is on for Sean Payton. Ever since joining the Saints in 2006, Payton has been considered one of the best head coaches in the league.
Even with the team in a transition at quarterback, which is the most important position in the sport, Sean Payton continues to be considered a top-five head coach. The latest to rank him as such was Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports who had Payton at No. 4 on his list.
Here is what Benjamin had to say:
"He’s got some similarities to Mike Tomlin in that his team is almost always in the hunt, and yet he’s quietly struggled to sniff another championship over the last decade. Still, as an organizational figurehead, offensive mind and forward-thinking innovator, you can’t do much better. What happens post-Drew Brees? We’ll see, but if anyone can turn Jameis Winston into a playoff QB, it might be him."
This year is a chance for Payton to really show that he can thrive without Brees. He was able to lead the Saints to victories even when Brees went down with injuries over the past two years but the thought of Brees returning to the field eventually was always there. It’s not there anymore. Brees is gone and Payton will have to win in Week 1 with someone other than Brees.
Saints HC Sean Payton has a chance to increase his stock in 2021.
Everyone already knows that Payton is a good head coach but some might still think his success was tied to Brees. Now Payton will have a chance to show that he can win without Brees as his quarterback.
This didn’t go so well for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick in his first year without Tom Brady as his quarterback but Belichick was still listed as No. 2 on the list. I mean, it’s hard to argue as to why — The guy has six Super Bowl titles.
Belichick was one of the three gentlemen ranked ahead of Payton on Benjamin’s list and you won’t be shocked to hear that John Harbaugh (No. 3) and Andy Reid (No. 1) were the other two. Reid and Payton have always been similar but Payton sometimes got the edge over him due to having a Super Bowl title. Reid now can say the same thing and has more Super Bowl appearances than Payton.
Benjamin touches on the fact that Payton has yet to get the Saints to another Super Bowl and while it’ll be a challenge doing so without Brees, if he could get the team to the playoffs this year, people will know he’s a good coach on his own.