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Sean Payton making case for NFL Coach of the Year

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; As another NFL season nears completion, it's time to handicap the candidates for the league's major postseason awards. While Drew Brees and Kenny Vaccaro will receive consideration for MVP and Defensive Rookie of the Year, both are considered long shots. ...

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Old 12-15-2013, 09:51 AM   #1
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Sean Payton making case for NFL Coach of the Year

As another NFL season nears completion, it's time to handicap the candidates for the league's major postseason awards.

While Drew Brees and Kenny Vaccaro will receive consideration for MVP and Defensive Rookie of the Year, both are considered long shots.

And the only sure-fire All-Pro on the roster appears to be Jimmy Graham, although Brees, Jahri Evans and Cam Jordan will merit consideration.

With so few players being mentioned for all-league honors, one wonders: How are the Saints winning so many games?

The answer lies not on the playing field but the sidelines, where Sean Payton has engineered the best coaching job of his career.

With three weeks to play, the Saints are a win behind Seattle for the best record in the NFL and have surpassed last season's win total by three victories. If they can win out, it'll be the third 13-3 season in Payton's last four years on the sidelines, a remarkable feat considering the Saints had never won more than 12 games in any of their first 42 seasons.

Few if any preseason prognosticators predicted such success. The most optimistic predictions had the Saints no better than the fifth best team in the NFC behind the 49ers, Seahawks, Packers and Falcons.

Yet here they are, on the brink of another NFC South division title and the No. 2 seed in the conference playoffs.

And you can make a pretty strong case that Payton is the main reason.

After all, this is largely the same team that finished 7-9 a year ago. Obviously, Rob Ryan has infused the defense with much-needed confidence and competence. But Payton is the guy that hired him. And, yes, Keenan Lewis and Kenny Vaccaro have transformed the secondary from weakness to strength. But, again, Payton was the guy who pulled the trigger on their acquisitions.

Payton is the catalyst for everything the Saints do. He has had his hand in every detail of the Saints' football operation since he returned from suspension in January. Always meticulous about attention to detail, he's been even more cognizant this season.

"I think after being out a year, (he's) not leaving anything to chance," Saints quarterback Drew Brees said. "If something needs to be said, he wants to comment on something, he wants to make sure it's communicated properly, he certainly doesn't waste that opportunity. On many occasions, I feel like every day he's trying to share that wisdom with all of us, and I certainly think it's been a great benefit."

This attention to detail manifests itself in an accountability that was noticeably missing a year ago. Remember that 12 men on the field infraction Patrick Robinson drew last season when he failed to hustle to the sideline? There's no mental slippage this season with the hyper-intense Payton stalking the sidelines at practice and games.

When Charles Brown was called for six holding penalties in the Saints' first eight games Payton addressed it. Brown hasn't had a holding call since.

Stroll through the locker room and you'll hear similar stories about Payton meeting, lecturing or advising a player about some aspect of his game that needs improvement.

This meticulous attention to detail reveals itself on game days. The Saints rarely beat themselves.

Through 13 games, the Saints have committed 74 penalties, which ranks among the 10 fewest in the league. A year ago they were whistled for 104 infractions.

They have committed only 14 turnovers this season, a pace that would set a club record for ball security. Only the Chiefs, Colts and Cowboys have fewer at 13 apiece. The Saints averaged more than 30 giveaways a season in Payton's early years.

Yet, while Payton remains as aggressive as ever as a play-caller, he's become less impulsive and more measured in other areas. He's only challenged one official's call all season after averaging 12.5 replay challenges in his first six seasons.

And the Saints are doing this despite losing six front-line defenders to injury and being forced to field one of the youngest lineups of the Payton/Brees era. Sixteen players on the two-deep roster are undrafted rookie free agents who were signed and developed by Payton and his staff.

Only three Jordan, Junior Galette and Malcolm Jenkins of the 11 defenders who started for the Saints in their 31-13 victory against the Panthers on Sunday were with the club in 2011, when Payton last coached here. And the offense is not as dominant along the offensive line or at receiver as previous outfits.

Consequently, the Saints have been forced to win more games in different ways than ever this season.

It all adds up to a Coach of the Year-worthy season for Payton. Andy Reid, Ron Rivera, Chip Kelly and Pete Carroll are also strong candidates, and voters might be inclined to reward a coach who hasn't won the honor before.

So Payton might not win the award. But make no mistake, he's never coached better.


Sean Payton making case for NFL Coach of the Year | NOLA.com
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:31 AM   #2
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Re: Sean Payton making case for NFL Coach of the Year

Good post.

Payton has too many enemies to ever win this award again. That arrogance that's one of the reasons he's so successful has it's drawbacks.

He'll just have to settle for another ring.
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:48 AM   #3
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Re: Sean Payton making case for NFL Coach of the Year

Coty?

Godell's worse black eye

Never happen


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1: Coach off the sidelines $0
2: Second Round Draft Picks. $$
3: worse defense in history via yardage $$$

Winning the big one in NYC with all the egg of the league on Godell's face

Priceless
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