Saints coach Sean Payton, who fought NFL rules, quits

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, who led the team to its only Super Bowl title and, along with quarterback Drew Brees, created...


New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, who led the team to its only Super Bowl title and, along with quarterback Drew Brees, created one of the NFL’s most successful tandems, announced his retirement at a press conference on Tuesday.

Payton’s 16-year run with the Saints will be remembered for all wins – 152 games for a .631 winning percentage, the fifth among current coaches and a high point for a historically moribund franchise – but also its pugnacious attitude towards the league and the rules governing how the game is officiated.

Payton was suspended without pay for the 2012 season for his role in a scheme to pay players who injured opponents and knocked them out of games, a scandal known as Bountygate. It was the first time the NFL suspended a coach, and it cost Payton more than $7 million, while the team was fined $500,000 and lost two second draft picks. round.

Payton, 58, also hit the league in 2019 after the Saints lost the NFC Championship game, in part because referees failed to call what appeared to be defensive pass interference on Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman. This offseason, Payton has successfully pressured other teams to make pass interference a reviewable play.

He had been a member of the league’s competition committee, which reviews rules, technology, matchday operations and player protection, since 2017, but left the group this season.

Payton made eight trips to the playoffs, compiling a 9-8 record, including a victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl in the 2009 season. His departure adds the Saints to the roster, now nine franchises long, teams looking for new head coaches. Most of the other teams fired their coaches weeks ago, giving them a head start in replacement interviews.

According to NFL Network, Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen is the leading candidate to succeed Payton, and Aaron Glenn, the Lions defensive coordinator who coached at New Orleans under Payton from 2016-2020, can also be interviewed. . .

Payton’s departure, which comes a year after Brees retired, upsets the balance of power in the NFC South, which the Saints have dominated for years. The future of quarterback Tom Brady’s tenure with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers only adds to the uncertainty.

It’s unclear if Payton is retiring from training or taking time off before finding another assignment. Payton’s name was floated as a potential coach of the Dallas Cowboys, for whom he served as an assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach from 2003 to 2005, when Bill Parcells coached the team.

“I don’t know what’s next,” Payton said, addressing his future. “I don’t like the word retirement. I still have a vision for doing things in football, and I’ll be honest, it could be in training. It may be, but that’s not where my heart is right now.

Payton said he would stay in the New Orleans area.

Payton’s departure leaves a big void for team owner Gayle Benson. Payton called offensive plays on the sidelines and was involved in almost every aspect of the team’s football operations, working closely with general manager Mickey Loomis and Dennis Lauscha, the Saints and Pelicans president of the NBA.

Payton helped turn around a largely moribund franchise that had just seven winning seasons before taking over as coach in 2006, the same year Brees arrived as a free agent for the San Diego Chargers, and a year after the New -Orléans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. .

“We took a chance on Drew back then because we weren’t going to win any jumps,” Payton said. “In other words, we had to be too aggressive.”

Brees immediately became the centerpiece of the team and had 12 consecutive seasons with 4,000 or more passing yards. He and Payton won 10 games and made the playoffs in their first year together, and in 2009, after going 13-3 in the regular season, won the club’s first and only Super Bowl title. team, which became the symbol of the city’s recovery.

With Brees gone, the Saints weren’t as explosive this season, finishing 9-8 and failing to make the playoffs. Due to injuries, Payton was forced to use four different quarterbacks, who collectively could not muster the stats compiled by Brees even in his weaker years.

Payton played one season as a quarterback with the Chicago Bears in 1987.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Saints coach Sean Payton, who fought NFL rules, quits
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