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#pounditSunday, May 16, 2021

Sean Payton has interesting criticism of recent NFL head coaching hires

Sean Payton

We have seen an obvious recent trend in the NFL of teams hiring young, offensive-minded coaches to lead their staffs, and one of the best offensive minds in football thinks that may be a mistake.

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton told Steve Wyche of NFL Network on Thursday that he believes a lot of teams have made mistakes with their recent head coaching hires. While he did not single anyone out, Payton said teams are placing too much emphasis on creative guys who call plays and not enough on leadership and other qualities.

Payton said he has spoken with other teams about members of his staff as potential head coaches, and he is often told that they’re looking for the guys who call the offensive plays. Because of that fairly new emphasis, he feels a lot of qualified candidates are being overlooked.

It’s probably not all that difficult to figure out which new hires Payton is referring to. Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury comes from an offensive background, and he was fired for compiling a sub-.500 record at Texas Tech. The Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers also hired inexperienced coaches in Zac Taylor and Matt LeFleur. Both have ties to Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay, which isn’t a coincidence.

Payton’s point seems to be that McVay could be an exception, though time will tell. The Cardinals in particular will be one of the most closely watched teams in the NFL if they make the splash everyone expects them to make in the draft, and they thought so highly of Kingsbury that they fired they previous coach after just one season on the job. It will be interesting to see how that turns out.


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