Now that Saints coach Sean Payton has had surgery to repair a broken leg and torn MCL, and given that he won’t be able to put even partial weight on the leg for up to eight weeks, Payton will have to coach from the booth.
That’s something he’s never done at the NFL level. Team spokesman Greg Bensel advises that Payton coached from the booth only during his time as quarterbacks coach at the University of Illinois. At that time, however, he wasn’t calling plays.
Given that Payton will be in the booth, he likely won’t be able to communicate directly with quarterback Drew Brees when calling a play. Instead, Payton likely will have to relay the play through someone on the sideline.
Though it has no bearing on the players’ performance, Payton’s adjustment to his new coaching reality could impact his comfort level in the short term, which also could keep him from getting into a rhythm while calling plays, at least until he makes the adjustment.