Without risks there can be no rewards. If even half the hearsay surrounding Sean Payton's coaching status were true (it probably wasn't) then he could easily be coaching about half the teams in the NFL. He could have walked out of the doors of the SuperDome for the last time, and left as the most decorated coach in Saints history. He just had his opportunity to leave New Orleans as a hero...and he turned it down. Say what you want about the last two seasons, but that's what I want out of a head coach. A man that is willing to put himself on the line. A man that is willing to risk his reputation. A man that realizes the difficulty of the job at hand and embraces it for the foreseeable future.
There will be a day when Sean Payton is fired as head coach of the New Orleans Saints. No one knows when that day will be, but chances are that by the time it arrives the 2009 SuperBowl championship will be a distant memory. A distant memory that all Saints fans can proudly look back on, but a distant memory that will no longer be worthy of any good will. Sean Payton, like so many men before him, will coach his way out of New Orleans at some point. He will become a magnet for criticism. He will, in not so many words, become the villain. However, his belief in that moment being far enough down the line to re-commit himself to this franchise is encouraging. There may be some old, familiar faces, but it's a new day in New Orleans. A day still filled with plenty of uncertainty, but a wealth of enthusiasm. Until that enthusiasm is gone there's no one else I would rather have coaching the Saints than Sean Payton.