It was head coach week for The Dan Patrick Show and Pro Football Talk on NBCSN. Between the two programs, we talked to (in chronological order) Ravens coach John Harbaugh, Jaguars coach Gus Bradley, Saints coach Sean Payton, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, Chiefs coach Andy Reid, and Rams coach Jeff Fisher.
Now that the dust is settling, it’s time to mention some of the things here that may have been overlooked. For starters, Payton talked a bit about a situation that will be hard for many Saints fans to overlook or forget — the unprecedented suspensions arising from the bounty program.
But Payton, who was suspended for the entire season, isn’t using what some would regard as an unfair result as the rallying cry for 2013.
“We’re driven and motivated to win but it can’t come out of spite or anger towards the league office or the Commissioner,” Payton said. “I think it’s something that has to be in the rear view mirror. And our focus has to be on the things we have to do to improve. There’s a lot of areas from a year ago that we have to be better at if we’re going to aspire to do that.”
While it would be easy to surrender to the temptation to attach a chip to his shoulder and aspire to force Commissioner Roger Goodell to hand Payton’s team the Lombardi Trophy in February, Payton realizes that nothing positive comes from motivation that arises from negativity.
Despite the inherent negativity that pervaded the organization in 2012, the Saints still won seven games. This year, with Payton back and the distractions gone and a defense that can’t get any worse, the Saints could win just enough additional games to get back to the postseason.