As part of his Tuesday reinstatement from his year-long bounty suspension, Saints head coach Sean Payton acknowledged that something happened, and he should have stopped it.
“I am thankful today Commissioner [Roger] Goodell has granted me reinstatement,” the statement sent out by the Saints read. “As I stated back in March, I, along with Mickey Loomis, take full responsibility for all aspects of our football program.
“I clearly recognize that mistakes were made, which led to league violations.
“Furthermore, I have assured the Commissioner a more diligent protocol will be followed.
“Lastly, I feel we have learned from our mistakes and are ready to move forward. I want to thank our owner, Mr. Benson and all of our great fans for the overwhelming support throughout this past year.
“I am excited to be back as Head Coach of the New Orleans Saints!”
While Payton doesn’t strike us as a big exclamation mark guy, that’s what it says, and he’s doubtless at least very relieved.
Saints general manager Mickey Loomis seemed surprised by the timing, telling Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune he didn’t know it was coming (which is unusual considering the Saints PR cranked out statements from Payton and owner Tom Benson within minutes of the announcement.
“We are all thankful that Sean Payton has been reinstated,” Benson’s statement read. “We have a lot of work to do and we are in the middle of it right now.
“He is our head coach and we welcome him back. We look forward to a great 2013 season and making another run at a World Championship for our fans!”
Benson’s also apparently a big expressive punctuation guy.
Of course, the timing is best for Roger Goodell, who now will be slightly less unpopular when he settles into New Orleans for a week of Super Bowl festivities.