Sean Payton and Bill Belichick have a lot in common. They both own Super Bowl rings. They both call Bill Parcells a mentor. (They’ve both likely at some point called Parcells something more profane than “mentor” under their breath.)
And they both have been on the wrong side of the league in cheating scandals that involved activities that other teams arguably have engaged in.
So as the Patriots and Saints practiced together in advance of a Thursday night preseason game, Belichick and the Patriots had a present for Payton’s Saints, according to an observer at the sessions. Both practices opened with portions of Saints coach Sean Payton’s stirring locker-room speech from Kenny Chesney’s Boys of Fall video. And Wednesday’s session ended with the song When The Saints Go Marching In played over the loudspeakers.
Some may interpret the gesture as a show of solidarity with the Saints, given that the Patriots have had a similar experience. Regardless, the Saints got an unexpected visit from their suspended head coach on Tuesday and Wednesday, courtesy of a head coach who wasn’t suspended but nevertheless punished publicly and aggressively by the league nearly five years ago.