Sean Payton thinks of everything, including coin toss


There might be no greater statement about the improvement of the Saints defense than the fact Sean Payton can win the toss, and elect to not send Drew Brees immediately on the field.

According to Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, last week against the Bears was just the fourth time in 41 opportunities that the Saints won the toss and deferred to the second half.

The other three times were on the road where weather was a factor, at Washington and Chicago in 2008 and 2010 in San Francisco. But conditions were perfect last Sunday, and Payton said that was part of the reasoning.

“That sun was sitting hard to our left into the field,” Payton said on his radio show. “So if you’re a receiver and you’re looking back into that sun it was going to be really challenging. We felt by the second quarter that was going to be diminished some. With the direction we went, the eyes of our receivers were going to look into a clear blue sky, not the sun. Plus, there was a slight wind advantage [for us in the first quarter].”

Of course, there was also some strategy, since defensive coordinator Rob Ryan threw some new blitzes at the Bears he hadn’t used, forcing a three-and-out and a turnover on the first two Bears possessions.

“I have no clue why we deferred but I know this: He doesn’t do anything without a reason,” punter Thomas Morstead said of Payton.

By the time the Saints closed the first half and opened the second half with scoring drives, they were comfortably ahead 23-7, and Payton’s unique decision had given them another edge.

26 responses to “Sean Payton thinks of everything, including coin toss

  1. Best play-calling coach in the NFL bar none with his decison-making and motivational skills coming from the school of Parcells.

  2. Whoa. Take a breath on Payton as genius. It helps that Brees is throwing the ball. Wherever the sun is. Something tells me if Gabbert were his QB wherever the sun was would be less important…

  3. Yeah, I’ve known high school coaches who have been doing this sort of thing for more than 30 years. When I was in high school, we knew the southeast corner of our field was always real soggy, so we would warm up on the south end of the field in order to keep that bit of information away from our opponents. If we won the toss, we would defer and our kicker would kick off into the soggy part of the field. The returner almost always fell down retrieving the ball and they would start on the 7 yard line.

    Payton is a good coach, but lets not make him out to be more than he is just because he thinks about the opening kickoff like the average high school coach. Heck the fact that he had deferred only 4 out of 41 opportunities indicates to me that he isn’t using that strategy enough.

  4. Not sure about the original article. The Saints deferred week 1 against the Falcons.

    That wasn’t on the road.

  5. I know he is one of the top coaches in the league but I’m also pretty sure that many other coaches understand that wind isn’t the only factor when considering which goal to defend. I just think most coaches prefer to start the game with possession, hopefully a score and some momentum.

  6. Wow, what a genius. He only did what every coach should do EVER and defer when winning the coin toss. I still do not understand, unless there are weather conditions, why you would not want to defer to the second half if you win the coin toss. That said, I am not questioning his skills as a coach. It’s not his fault this article was written.

  7. If he was so smart, he’d figure out how to run the ball. Brees will break a bunch of records by throwing the ball every play and those records should probably be marked with *.

  8. blahblahblah1313 says: Oct 11, 2013 9:30 AM

    Whoa. Take a breath on Payton as genius. It helps that Brees is throwing the ball. Wherever the sun is. Something tells me if Gabbert were his QB wherever the sun was would be less important…

    That’s the difference. With this organization, a qb choice like Gabbert would never happen. The Saints have a great GM, head coach, and will continue to win even after Brees is gone. It’s not about one player.

  9. This is a story because coaches like Mike Smith still don’t know when to go for it on fourth down or kick a field goal.

    Moreover, coaches like Mike Smith haven’t a clue as to how to score from 1 yard out.

    Falcons would be 5-0 with Sean Payton.

    The coach makes a huge difference.

  10. tvguy22 says:
    Oct 11, 2013 8:49 AM
    Thought of everything except stopping the bounty program.

    Y’know, everything happens for a reason right? If Payton didn’t get suspended then he wouldn’t have had the unique opportunity to see the game away from the sideline for a year. He picked up on a lot of keys that he may have never seen while he was so close to the action.
    He also may have stayed with that joke of a defensive coordinator Spagnuolo.
    Going from worst defense ever to one of the top in the league is no accident, and you gotta hand it to Payton for bringing in Rob Ryan when most everyone else thought he was washed up.

    Bountygate was a farce and most rational people know this. The only ones who continue to harp on that charade are the fans of opposing teams, like you “tvguy”.
    I can’t say that I blame you.
    No doubt your team has been on the receiving end of a pounding or two administered by Payton and Co.

  11. It’s like an unfair advantage having Sean Payton and Drew Brees on the same team. Add Jimmy Graham, Sproles, Thomas, Colston and a good defense… Saints are the best of the best.

  12. Sean Payton is a genius in that he is a master at play design and the calling of them with his literally 100’s of different player options and settings that he utilizes in a game. Very hard for a defensive coordinator to defend against him, with Drew Brees
    executing them to a perfection. But, hit me with your best shot! Fire away!


  13. tvguy22 says:
    Oct 11, 2013 8:49 AM
    Thought of everything except stopping the bounty program.

    You are either a Falcon, Buc or Panther fan? Don’t be shy be proud of your cough cough team. You can say it Loud & Proud! and in 3..2…1…


  14. He has done a pretty good job of calling the that, there were a few times over the years when I wished he had deferred more, but usually against really good defenses, We do have really good coaches, and a good front office, makes all the difference in the world, Payton , Loomis and Brees have been together very long, and that is huge for our consistancy

  15. For those of you that actually ‘believe’ there was a bounty system, karma’s a real bi!@h. Not ONE play has ever been identified as a bounty rewarded play. NOT ONE. Why? Because there weren’t any. But Roger tried to make an example of us. And now, its payback time. Falcons are decimated with injuries and a timid coach, Tampa Bay’s a total cluster, and there’s rumors in Carolina now of trading Cam Newton. Except for the Saints, the entire NFC South is undergoing spontaneous combustion! And Payton will go for the throat. No mercy this season, NFL fans. Can’t wait for the look on Goodell’s face when he has to hand that Lombardi to Payton!

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