Personally, I'm not of the belief that someone who clearly lost the locker room, primarily by losing the ear of his All-World starting quarterback, deserved to finish what was already a lost season. I understand that Mike McCarthy has a Super Bowl ring, but I just fail to see some huge disparity in disrespect between getting canned late in the year and getting after the year. From a professional standpoint, they both seem pretty non-optimal to me, so why not just get the inevitable out the way when a failure to do so has your team defying historical odds by way of clear dysfunction?
This, however, has nothing to do with my opinion and everything to do with Sean Payton's, which is understandably influenced by the fact that he sees a lot of himself in Mike McCarthy. Even if you set aside the fact that both interviewed for the Packers' job during the offseason in which they were hired by their respective teams, as of last week they were two of the NFL's longest tenured coaches whose leashes were unquestionably made longer by both working alongside the elite quarterback they won a championship with.
That's not even an indictment of their leadership as much as it's a fact. Without 2009, Sean Payton wouldn't be putting on a coaching clinic in New Orleans in 2018. Hell, without 2009, he almost certainly wouldn't have survived being shunned to professional purgatory in 2012, and he definitely wouldn't have gotten the opportunity to triumphantly tunnel his way out of a three year stretch of 7-9 last season. That championship bought patience and trust with a long-suffering organization. Perhaps more importantly, it strengthened an existing bond with a quarterback who wouldn't so much as mutter a discouraging word as he went on to be stuck in the Groundhog Day-esque scenario of helplessly throwing a defenseless team to mediocrity over, and over, and over again.
The truth is, It's not an apples-to-apples comparison, because Drew Brees and Sean Payton share a brain, a chip on the shoulder, the difficult decision to come to New Orleans, and the life-changing experience of aiding in an entire region's recovery. That's why Mike McCarthy's dismissal isn't as unfortunate as the circumstances surrounding Sean Payton's continued employment are fortunate. The latter's otherworldly offensive mind plays largely into the equation as well, but the main reason Mike McCarthy couldn't keep riding his peak through to the end of this valley is because Aaron Rodgers had grown goddamn tired of sitting shotgun with him. Honestly, if not for a rare and special kind of kinship, we'd probably be saying the same thing about Sean Payton, because there were a nauseating amount of times in which Drew Brees deserved far, far better as he had to fend for himself as a complete and competitive team was being rebuilt around him.
From the front office, to the sideline, to under center, the Saints' organization has been spoiled by the unwavering belief they've had in each other for well over a decade now. That belief is finally starting to pay dividends again, but it's not one that exists amongst all that many teams in professional sports. Though one could see why Sean Payton, in particular, might expect it to be.