Like LeBron James, Zion Williamson is the type of freak athlete who could probably excel at just about any sport he tried to play. He certainly has the body type to match up with opponents on the football field, and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has taken note of that.
When the Pelicans landed the top spot in the NBA Draft Lottery Tuesday night, it seemed like only a matter of time before someone began recruiting Williamson to play two sports in New Orleans. Payton got in on the fun on Wednesday.
Williamson is listed at 6-foot-7, 285 pounds. For comparison, Rob Gronkowski is 6-foot-6 and weighed about 265 pounds when he was playing for the New England Patriots. There is obviously a lot more to excelling at a professional sport than physical makeup, but you get the point.
If you remember, one former Saints player said years ago that he believes LeBron would break records in the New Orleans offense. Payton was in charge of that offense then and still is now. What do you say, Zion?
Sean Payton spent three years as a Dallas Cowboys assistant before ultimately becoming the head coach of the New Orleans Saints, and his name always seems to come up when discussing future Cowboys head coaches.
For Payton, these rumors are enough to make him laugh, and he said Wednesday he feels he’s sufficiently demonstrated his commitment to New Orleans.
There was widespread speculation three years ago that Payton might be on the verge of leaving New Orleans, but he stuck around and has since signed a five-year contract extension. Plus, Jason Garrett is still very much employed by the Cowboys, though with only a year left on his deal.
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is taking part in the Zurich Classic pro-am at TPC Louisiana this week, and he seems just as excited about it as Phil Mickelson was before Round 3 of the Masters a couple weeks ago.
On his way to the course on Wednesday, Payton recorded himself discussing his plan for the day in a similar fashion to when Mickelson said he was going to be “hitting bombs” at Augusta National. The big difference for Payton is that he stressed the importance of not “hitting patrons,” rather than worrying about how far his drives travel.
You can compare that with Mickelson’s video from the Masters, which was a massive hit among golf fans.
Payton impersonating Mickelson with the video is one thing, but we can only hope he doesn’t try to pull off some of the tricks we have seen Phil execute on the golf course in the past. That would not end well for anyone.
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.
The New Orleans Saints faced some criticism for their play calling late in regulation during the NFC Championship, but it turns out they were at least trying to run some clock during a key sequence of plays.
The Saints surprised some by running a pass play with 1:55 left while in field goal range, with the Los Angeles Rams down to two timeouts. Had New Orleans run the ball on first down, they would have likely forced the Rams to use one of those timeouts, and could have exhausted their supply on second down ahead of a third and fourth down that could have taken the clock down under a minute while keeping New Orleans in field goal range.
Instead, the Saints threw an incompletion. According to coach Sean Payton, though, the original call was a run that was automatically shifted to a pass when the Los Angeles defense came out primed to stuff the run.
“It was a run to begin with, and we got a zero blitz out of it,” Payton said, via Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com. “It was kind of a built-in play to handle some of the — it was a zero blitz.”
It didn’t work, and it gave some license to blame Payton for the game going so wrong in the late stages despite the impact of the officiating. It’s one of the things that New Orleans could have done differently within their control to create a different outcome.
The referees may have severely impacted the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, but if you ask Marcus Peters, so did Sean Payton.
The Los Angeles Rams cornerback blamed Payton for his playcalling that cost the New Orleans Saints late in the game. Specifically, he pointed to Payton calling a pass play on first-and-10 at the Rams 13 with under two minutes left as a costly decision.
The Saints threw an incompletion on the play, which stopped the clock and allowed the Rams to save one of their two remaining timeouts. The Saints ran on second but threw again on third down, which is when the blown call by the officials took place.
Though Peters and others say that was a bad call by Payton to throw a pass, I disagree. Run or pass, the Rams still would have had enough time left for a final drive. I’d much rather try for a touchdown rather than play for a field goal, because a TD would have probably put the game out of reach. The Saints were playing aggressively.
This is sweet revenge for Peters, who had an ongoing beef with Payton and even taunted him after the game.
The NFL knows they got a call wrong that kept the New Orleans Saints from reaching the Super Bowl.
Saints head coach Sean Payton said after his team lost 26-23 in overtime to the Los Angeles Rams that he had spoken with the NFL and was told the referees blew the call on a pass interference late in regulation.
Nickell Robey-Coleman hit Tommylee Lewis early and in the head on a third down play with under two minutes to go in a 20-20 game. He should have been penalized for both pass interference and an illegal hit to the head of a defenseless player. Instead, nothing was called, which brought up fourth down.
Wil Lutz kicked a field goal to give the Saints the lead, but the Rams were able to tie it and send it to overtime.
Had a penalty been correctly called, the Saints would have gotten a fresh set of downs and been able to run down the clock and kick to win the game with no time left. The blown call in all likelihood cost them a Super Bowl appearance.
The Los Angeles Rams pulled off a stunning win over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, and Marcus Peters couldn’t wait to rub the home team’s noses in it.
Immediately after Greg Zuerlein nailed a 57-yard field goal in overtime, Peters ran over to Sean Payton to shout something at the Saints coach. That led to a minor scrum between players on both teams.
When the dust settled, Peters then went around yelling about eating gumbo. Beware that there’s some inappropriate language in the video.
There’s a history between Peters and Payton that dates back to the first meeting between the Rams and Saints earlier this year, with Peters predicting LA would see Payton’s team again and calling the coach out for talking trash. Peters also said he wanted to share a bowl of gumbo with Payton, and Payton didn’t have much of a response when asked about the comments this week.
If there’s bad blood between New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and Los Angeles Rams cornerback Marcus Peters, it’s pretty one-sided.
Payton brushed off inflammatory comments by Peters stemming from the first meeting between the two teams during the regular season, adding that the Saints nearly drafted the cornerback in 2015.
Peters has not forgotten what he said back in November, so it’s fair to say that the olive branch won’t be accepted. The Rams want revenge after the Saints ran out 45-35 winners over them in that game, and now they get that rematch in a conference championship game.
The games may not have been as competitive from start-to-finish as viewers may have liked, but the divisional round of the playoffs still offered up a lot of great and memorable moments. It also provided some remarkable performances by players who either defied odds or tore up opposition with remarkable efficiency.
Here’s a look at 10 of the biggest standouts of the NFL’s divisional round.
Sean Payton, head coach, Saints
The Saints fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles and didn’t appear to be getting any closer to making the breakthrough until, at Payton’s direction, they engineered two game-changing moments. Going for it on 4th and 1 from the New Orleans 30 was not an easy decision, and Payton called for a fake punt that caught Philadelphia flat-footed enough to succeed. That kept the second quarter drive moving all the way to the goal line, when the Saints went for it on 4th and goal from the two to score their first touchdown of the game. It’s anyone’s guess how the game proceeds if that drive ends scoreless, but Payton’s bold calls helped permanently shift momentum.