Tuesday’s edition of PFT Live featured a conversation with Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. During the discussion, a light bulb finally flickered over my toupee-covered head.
If Saints G.M. Mickey Loomis truly used an eavesdropping system to listen to communications involving opposing coaches from 2002 through 2004, one of the teams whose communications would have been intercepted was the Dallas Cowboys, in 2003.
And Saints coach Sean Payton was a member of the Dallas coaching staff in 2003.
Specifically, Payton was the assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach. He coached from the sidelines, not the booth, so anything he was saying to the guys upstairs and anything they were saying to him could have been intercepted.
Again, this assumes that the allegations that Loomis had a system for listening are true. (No one has alleged yet that Loomis actually used the system.)
If it happened, maybe Payton wasn’t really a victim. Maybe Loomis was listening to get an idea of the guys who could and couldn’t perform well under duress — and maybe Loomis liked enough what he heard to put Payton in play to become the next head coach of the Saints, in 2006.
Frankly, that explanation makes a lot more sense that the notion that Loomis was, within the 40 seconds before the snap, listening to what was being said by the opposing coaches, making sense of what it meant, and then communicating that information to someone on the coaching staff who would interpret it and relay it to the coaches on the sidelines and then the players on the field in whatever time remained until the ball was hiked.