Multiple Teams Are Planning On Inquiring About The Availability Of Sean Payton, And It Might Be Time To Say Goodbye
I love Sean Payton. I think every Saints fan loves Sean Payton. After all, he's the one that took this franchise from 3-13 in a disaster stricken season to an unfathomable 10-6 and an appearance in an NFC championship game just one season later. He's the one that helped convince Drew Brees to come to New Orleans and formed one of the most formidable offensive duos in the history of the sport. He's the architect behind the only Saints team to start 13-0 and raise a Lombardi Trophy as SuperBowl champions. No one can take that away from him, and no real Saints fan would ever want to.
The problem is that he's not that same guy anymore. He's not the guy that confidently went for it on 4th down more often than not. He's the not the free wielding guy that made arguably the ballsiest call in NFL history when he onside kicked to start the second half of the SuperBowl. Some will argue that sitting out a year because of BountyGate changed him, and after watching this team struggle offensively the last few seasons I am not so sure I disagree. The numbers may tell a different story, but this offense isn't as unstoppable as it once was. It's not as electrifying as it once was. It's not as original as it once was. Often times, dare I say it, this offense looks extremely ordinary.
You can say this team is rebuilding. You can say that they are young and inexperienced. All that may be true. However, that's not something that should be unprecedented to Sean Payton. The 2006 team had about 50% turnover from 2005. That didn't stop them from having one of the best offenses in the league. That team turned a 7th round draft pick in Marques Colston into a household name. That team created a role in the offense for Reggie Bush that no one had ever seen before. That team reinvigorated the career of an aging Deuce McAllister. That team lost it's fair share of games, but it was rarely due to the performance of it's offense. If this years team lacks talent than 2006's team also lacked talent, and they were one half of football away from going to the SuperBowl. Sean Payton had a hand in trading away multiple offensive playmakers and putting an emphasis on solidifying the offensive line this past offseason. The only problem is that the offensive line still stinks and now Drew Brees is lacking people to throw to. That's on the GM and the head coach. If Sean Payton truly wants to stay in New Orleans like he says he does then he deserves the opportunity to ride this out. However, if he wants to leave than I have no problem saying that the Saints have already gotten the best years out of him.