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Is Sean Payton Sufficiently Focused On His Job?

NFL_payton1.jpgFootball coaches at the NFL level realize that it’s an all-consuming job.  During the season, the grind consumes 18 hours per day.  In the offseason, nearly as many hours are spent determining which current players to keep, which free agents from other teams to pursue, and which rookies to draft.

Then, after the draft, the offseason workouts accelerate, as the majority of the coming year’s offensive and defensive playbooks (devised during “free time” in February, March, and April) is installed.

So there’s not much down time for a head coach.  And there’s definitely little or no time for coaches to pursue other interests.

And that’s why one league source has raised an intriguing question:  Is Saints coach Sean Payton sufficiently focused on his job?

Two recent stories suggest that Payton possibly would like to get involved in the movie business.  Most recently, word emerged that he invested (and apparently has lost) $144,000 in a Louisiana film company.  Previously, Payton said that he has developed a screenplay based on a kid who controls the outcome of football games from an Xbox.  (Wow.  That’s nearly as far-fetched as a story about time-traveling quarterbacks.)

We admire folks who indulge their creative juices, but we agree with the notion that coaches generally don’t have the time for this kind of stuff while still coaching.

That said, plenty of successful coaches have written books in the offseason, but most of them have someone else doing the heavy lifting — and nearly every such coach has won (or at least appeared in) a Super Bowl.

Still, as Payton approaches what arguably will be the most critical season of his career, more than two years after last taking his team to the playoffs, he’s creating a perception that won’t work to his benefit if the Saints miss the postseason for a third straight time on his watch.

 

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26 Responses to “Is Sean Payton Sufficiently Focused On His Job?”
  1. phillyburdzfan says: Jul 3, 2009 5:30 PM

    Florio, shouldn’t you be contacting your Favre sources and not indulging your creative juices by writing an editorial about some guy from New Orleans?

  2. Oozy13 says: Jul 3, 2009 6:02 PM

    i see florio is putting some extra work by putting pics in the articles now….im suprised he doesn’t put one of himself instead.

  3. DSchex says: Jul 3, 2009 6:02 PM

    Give me a break. I know it’s a slow time of year but you can’t be serious. Go focus on the Cowboys or Favre or something and leave the Payton and the Saints out of this.
    I can’t believe you spent a few minutes actually typing this garbage.
    By the way, I’m a huge fan of the site.

  4. JimmySmithisagoddamntool says: Jul 3, 2009 6:09 PM

    I imagine the Saints will be a playoff team this year, so this will be a moot point.

  5. brian_21 says: Jul 3, 2009 6:26 PM

    This entry is sufficiently unfair to Sean Payton and does not make a whole lot of sense.
    Except for creating a story where one does not exist.

  6. Citizen Strange says: Jul 3, 2009 6:42 PM

    Sean Payton certainly seems to have the full plate. What’s next for this Renaissance Renegade? A Buenos Aires booty call perhaps?

  7. BorisBulldog says: Jul 3, 2009 6:44 PM

    Forget whether he’s consumed or not.
    The real reason NO blows is the apposing D’s have caught up to Payton’s gimmicky offense!
    He’s the ’00′s version of Mouse Davis’ run and shoot!

  8. whatthehellisgoingonoutthere says: Jul 3, 2009 6:55 PM

    I read something about that screenplay awhile back and it was said that his draft literally consisted of 2 pages. It sounds like it was more of his idea that he was pitching than a full written screen play.

  9. bofarr says: Jul 3, 2009 7:02 PM

    Reminds me of when my slapdick lawyer moonlighted as a football blogger, I heard he works for NBC now.

  10. jjared1101 says: Jul 3, 2009 7:09 PM

    Subjects like these are hard to be critical on. As fans (like myself), we like to believe that every player on our team is watching game film, doing drills, or studying the game somehow, especially when they are in a critical position (QB, Coach, MLB). And rightfully so, as these players are paid very well to play a game that many of us would play for a lot less. With that said, we also have to remember that they are human beings with other interests, and that there’s a fine line between not trying your hardest to win a game (that’s right, it’s a game), and staying sane. If a player has a kid in the offseason, we don’t judge him one bit, as having kids is a part of life. But one could argue that a kid would take up more time (unless your Andy Reid) than some of the other activities we criticize players for (afternoon golf or commercials). Where do we draw the line? The game has come from players having other jobs in the offseason, to a full time year-round workload, and having other interests and ventures is not a bad thing, especially when many of today’s NFL players come out of college early with no degree.

  11. blackjack says: Jul 3, 2009 7:48 PM

    Florio….I’ve been on this site for awhile and I absolutely love it…. I come here for news on all things NFL. Having said that, WOW……. what were you thinking to post such garbage. I really hope in the future you put down the beer before you post! Does every man not deserve to have a life outside of their job?

  12. JSpicoli says: Jul 3, 2009 7:58 PM

    It’s called having a life. Balance Florio, balance.

  13. Slow Joe says: Jul 3, 2009 7:59 PM

    Tony Dungy proved you could be a successful NFL head coach and not work 18 hour days. If he can do it, I see no reason Payton can’t as well.
    @bofarr: LOL

  14. BleedGreen says: Jul 3, 2009 8:26 PM

    BorisBulldog says: July 3, 2009 6:44 PM
    Forget whether he’s consumed or not.
    The real reason NO blows is the apposing D’s have caught up to Payton’s gimmicky offense!
    Really? Cuz I’m pretty sure the Saints were #1 in points and yards per game last year… Its cuz their defense blows, not the offense.

  15. jjared1101 says: Jul 3, 2009 8:28 PM

    This entry is sufficiently unfair to Sean Payton and does not make a whole lot of sense.
    Give me a break. I know it’s a slow time of year but you can’t be serious. Go focus on the Cowboys or Favre or something and leave the Payton and the Saints out of this.
    ————————-
    Cry me a river.
    Sincerely,
    A Cowboys Fan

  16. empty13 says: Jul 3, 2009 9:14 PM

    yes their defense had issues. also, they were 3-6 in close games. i expect that to turn around this season.
    they had the stats of a 10-6 team. and scored 463 points. dynamite offense. 393 points allowed. methinks D was the issue last year.

  17. stadanko says: Jul 3, 2009 9:48 PM

    I cry a river while I’m laughing so hard at the #9 you have at QB. I’ll take our #9 any day.
    And to Mr. Florio, didn’t you guys post the story of Payton giving up part of his salary to get Gregg Williams here this offseason? Yeah, he doesn’t care about his job.

  18. number1saints says: Jul 3, 2009 10:00 PM

    BorisBulldog: the comment you just made about the saints is one of the dumbest i have heard in a while, the reason NO is mediocre is because of their defense, they couldn’t stop hardly anyone last season…the offense however has enjoyed three straight years of a top 5 finish as well as two #1 finishes (06,08), that doesnt sound like opposing coaches are catching on at all we also led the league in scoring last year so saying that we only gained yards not points is not valid…finally, our offense is not gimmicky, we are a passing offense…if thats gimmicky then i guess the colts, chargers, pats, seahawks and the SB champion 49ers in the 80′s were gimmicky too…seriously dude do some research and learn football before you start making incredibly stupid comments

  19. jarhead_jed says: Jul 3, 2009 10:06 PM

    Holy hell Florio, I had no idea that is what your book was really about! I thought it was a book about the state of the current era quarterback….I really had no idea that it was a fiction based book. My interest is peaked, now I really want to check it out…..why don’t you have another contest. I want a signed copy. I am a fan of your work, even though you can be nuttier than squirrel turds from time to time.

  20. jjared1101 says: Jul 3, 2009 10:35 PM

    I cry a river while I’m laughing so hard at the #9 you have at QB. I’ll take our #9 any day.
    —————
    Dude… your QB has exactly 1 more playoff victory than Romo. Don’t get too excited. I think Drew Brees is an excellent QB, and if you had any realistic football knowledge, you’d know that Romo is a good one too. Your coach wanted Romo before he took his chance on Brees, so lets not act like he’s F’n Ryan Leaf. Being the fan of a team with the history of the Saints doesn’t have a lot of room to talk sh*t. Saint fans b*tching about one article questioning their team (which like my “#9″ didn’t make the playoffs last year), is quite funny from the perspective of a Cowboys fan.

  21. brian_21 says: Jul 4, 2009 2:52 AM

    jjared1101 (or Cowboys fan), thanks for the quotation. Makes me feel important.
    And empty13, nice Shakespeare reference. (The lady doth protest too much!) Anyone have a favorite???
    My favorite quotation is from Hamlet, when he says, “I do not know why yet I live to say ‘This thing’s to do,’ sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means to
    do ‘t.”

  22. TBTrojan says: Jul 4, 2009 4:06 AM

    Florio missing one very big point…
    Maybe Sean realised that he just isn’t a very good coach and no matter how much time he spends working he’s likely to be fired at the end of the year anyway.
    He stinks as a HC with the way he calls games like an OC putting more pressure on an already average D. He makes far to many dumb calls (calling a reverse while trying to run the clock out against Tampa springs to mind) to actually get the most out of that team.
    I don’t get why every year they get hyped up as the greatest thing since the Pats and are then given excuses at the end of every year as to why they failed. Anyone think that they just aren’t that good and are what they are, an average team?

  23. GGrrrr says: Jul 4, 2009 10:06 AM

    “empty13 says:
    July 3, 2009 9:14 PM
    yes their defense had issues. also, they were 3-6 in close games. i expect that to turn around this season.
    they had the stats of a 10-6 team. and scored 463 points. dynamite offense. 393 points allowed. methinks D was the issue last year.

    ————————————————–
    Hey empty13,
    10-6 still would have gotten you a third place finish in the NFC South last year. Funny how you tout that impressive record. It seems to me that it is a barely enough to maybe win a division and get in the playoffs. Wait, that was the blazing record that the Saints had in their playoff appearence three years ago during Payton’s FIRST year as a coach. The first year is the one in which team have little film on what your statistical tendencies are, so now that the teams in your division know what he is going to do they have an easier time game planning for it.
    Payton needs to spend more time finding players that are true football players and not gimickky schmucks that need to have trick plays made up for them, in order for them to be moderately successful.
    Payton = Smoke and Mirrors
    Go Panthers!!!

  24. boltschick says: Jul 4, 2009 11:07 AM

    There’s a saying that when you criticize another person, you’re really criticizing a part of yourself.
    Florio, sounds like you’re still feeling guilty about working on this blog while you were supposed to be serving your clients.

  25. ProfessorSaint says: Jul 6, 2009 8:30 AM

    TBTrojan, stupid post. If he’s so bad, why has he led a top five offense since he came to the Saints, being #1 two of those three years? You could actually pass for Florio with stupid comments like that.
    GGrrrr,
    Your comment only underscores the difficulty of winning the NFC South crown. If the Saints had managed to have a defense that was able to finish games, they would have beaten the Bucs and Panthers in their second games against them, and they would have not lost to the Vikings, though poor officiating by Hochuli’s crew and bad special teams play contributed to that one, or the Broncos. That would make a 12-4 season. Don’t talk about teams you don’t know. It makes you look stupid.
    And Florio,
    I know more about the law (which is next to nothing) than you do about football. This has to be the stupidest article ever seen on PFT, and that’s saying something.

  26. s97fever says: Jul 8, 2009 4:43 PM

    You forgot to mention having his kids on the field – running off to take the special teams tee off the field.
    Payton on NFL network which should be a given for any NFL coach.
    Payton having a country music star Kenny Chesney work out with the Saints.
    Payton singing with Kenny Chesney on youtube with Peyton Manning.
    Although, all the above any Saints fan would care less if they would have made it to the Superbowl in 2006.
    I don’t have any issues with anything mentioned all there or here but THE issue in mind mind is the fact that he calls the plays.
    Any coach that truly is a coach – should allow his offensive coordinator call the plays – period (from the top of the box with a better view of what’s going on). A coach should manage the game – all the offensive-minded coaches that like to call plays eventually learn that its better handled by someone else so the entire special teams/defense/ offense game is managed.
    If you wrote about that then you’d have an article. How about an article on all teams that made and won the Superbowl with a coach that call offensive plays besides Jon Gruden who’s excuse is that he already knew the Raiders tendancies?

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