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N.O. coach's leadership skills are showcased

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Tuesday, October 30, 2007 John DeShazier Nobody went DeAngelo Hall, and chewed out the head coach on the sideline during a game. Nobody went Kris Jenkins, and accused teammates of lacking heart. Nobody went Marc Bulger, and questioned whether teammates ...

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Old 11-01-2007, 01:03 AM   #1
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Cool N.O. coach's leadership skills are showcased

Tuesday, October 30, 2007
John DeShazier


Nobody went DeAngelo Hall, and chewed out the head coach on the sideline during a game.

Nobody went Kris Jenkins, and accused teammates of lacking heart.

Nobody went Marc Bulger, and questioned whether teammates were properly preparing or just showing up for games and hoping to win.

Perhaps no one would've blamed a Saints player if he had reacted like the Falcons cornerback, Panthers defensive lineman or Rams quarterback during the first four games of the season, when the Saints were losing them all and putting themselves in the kind of bind from which magicians are best suited to escape. Frustration with losing comes naturally, and, often, fingers are pointed in every direction except the mirror.

But none of that happened in the Saints' locker room, and if it did, it didn't waft through a single keyhole and result in a public airing.

Maybe, just maybe, that's the most impressive coaching job Sean Payton has done this season.

"I think you've got to relay the message that it's a long season," Payton said. "I've said this before, but at the beginning of training camp you talk about going through stretches. During the course of 16 weeks there's going to be a lull at some point, or a letdown or a couple weeks of adversity, maybe more.

"You don't know when that's going to fall, and you rely on a strong locker room when that does happen, and in our case it happened right off the bat. I thought the response to it was a favorable one and one where guys were trying to look at themselves and make the corrections and take responsibility, as well as the coaches doing the same thing and moving forward."

Forward and upward, from 0-4 to 3-4, from biggest-disappointment-in-the-league level to one game out of first place in the NFC South Division.

True, it's not as if New Orleans was chasing AFC powerhouses New England or Indianapolis, with little or no hope of catching them barring a midseason banishment of their quarterback. Tampa Bay and Carolina walked while the Saints crawled, and now that the Saints are in position to stand upright by getting to .500 with a victory against the Jaguars on Sunday at the Superdome, the Buccaneers and Panthers are bent at the waist and gasping.

But there's something to be said for rebounding from dread and, fortunately, maintaining a chance to attain the stated goals.

Too, there's something to be said for the coach who guides his team out of the mess that is 0-4. Because when a team lacks direction the players are the first to know it and, often, the first to say it.

"When you start off the way we have, you really have to go back and evaluate everything you're doing," Payton said. "We ask the players to evaluate the film and correct mistakes, and as coaches I think we have to look long and hard at our plans and how we're practicing and ways to improve that.

"The key is you've got a group of guys that are sticking together, that are wanting to fight their way out of it. It really approaches each game you're playing that week, and not looking any further past that.

"We're still in that position, we're still underneath .500. We're still looking up at teams in our division. We've got a long way to go, and fortunately we've got the type of guys in the locker room that can understand that and put in a good days work on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and prepare to play their best game possible. It doesn't always end up coming out that way, but you have to work on the corrections and you have to work hard during the week and we've been able to do that for the most part."

We see the results.

Four losses. Three wins. No outbreaks.

"I think this has been a pretty steady group of guys that are working hard and are committed to winning," Payton said. "There's a lot of work ahead of us, and a lot of football ahead of us. We've played seven games. We're not even at the halfway mark of the season yet.

"I think we've got guys that understand how much work we have to do still and how difficult this is."

If not, they've got a reminder. You figure they'll be willing listeners, because that has worked out pretty well lately.

N.O. coach's leadership skills are showcased- NOLA.com

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Old 11-01-2007, 01:23 AM   #2
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Re: N.O. coach's leadership skills are showcased

awesome read blacksaint!
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:52 AM   #3
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Re: N.O. coach's leadership skills are showcased

What is true in life id true in football,nuff said.
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:40 AM   #4
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Re: N.O. coach's leadership skills are showcased

I blasted coach in a thread a few weeks ago and I was wrong. The crow really isn't that bad. A little tough, but if you don't chew it too much you can almost pretend it's chicken.
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