Sports

Sean Payton, coach whose Saints lifted spirits in post-Katrina New Orleans, says he’s stepping down


Payton, 58, had been with the group since taking on earlier than the 2006 season. He guided the Saints to playoffs 9 occasions in his 15 seasons as head coach.

In 2009, the Saints energized New Orleans, nonetheless reeling from Hurricane Katrina 4 years earlier, on their option to a 13-3 common season document and a march to their first and, to date, solely Tremendous Bowl title.

“I do not just like the phrase ‘retirement,'” Payton stated Tuesday at a information convention. “I nonetheless have a imaginative and prescient for doing issues in soccer. And I will be trustworthy with you, that is likely to be teaching once more. … However that is not the place my coronary heart is true now.”

He informed reporters he would not know what’s subsequent in his profession regardless of reviews he may get a job in media.

“I feel I might like to do this. I feel I might be fairly good at it,” he stated.

Earlier than Payton arrived, the Saints had solely seven successful seasons and so they had been 3-13 in 2005 as they performed in a number of stadiums whereas the storm-damaged Louisiana Superdome was closed for repairs.

Payton talked Tuesday in regards to the subsequent season when the Saints had a rookie coach and a brand new quarterback, Drew Brees, and went 10-6.

“I do not suppose any of us once we began, actually I did not after I began, understood the dynamics and what happened post-Katrina with that ’06 season, that … I’d argue was each bit necessary as some other season.”

The Saints made the playoffs that season however misplaced to the Bears within the NFC championship sport. After two middling seasons, New Orleans began 2009 with eight consecutive wins, and the folks of town obtained again their “Who Dat?” angle. The crew stored going, lifting spirits and finally lifting the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
“However Tremendous Bowl XLIV wasn’t simply the best second in lots of long-suffering Saints followers’ lives; it was a crucial turning level within the metropolis’s post-Katrina renaissance. Payton restored a battered metropolis’s swagger,” The Occasions-Picayune wrote in 2017.
Payton was not with out his controversies. An NFL investigation discovered the crew had an “energetic bounty program” in the course of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons wherein “bounty” funds got to gamers for hits that harm opposing gamers and knocked them out of the sport.

Payton was suspended for the 2012 season.

In accordance with the wage monitoring web site Spotrac, the Saints will retain Payton’s contract rights by means of 2024 and one other crew must compensate New Orleans ought to they signal Payton.



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