Sean Payton learned the value of taking a break

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Football coaches are conditioned to want to work — to spend more hours at the office, to watch more film, to continue to grind.

So it took Saints coach Sean Payton some time to figure out how to handle time off.

Via Amie Just of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Payton put in a call to then-Eagles coach Sean Payton for tips on handling bye weeks, after his first three Saints teams lost the week after the bye.

“I asked him for the schedule,” Payton said. “He said, ‘Well, I just told them to get out of here. I’ll see them next Monday.’ ”

Since Reid’s Eagles and Chiefs teams were 17-3 after a week off, Payton figured it was worth a shot, and has given his teams a true bye week ever since. Since 2009, the Saints are 8-2 after the bye.

“We’ll come back with a bonus day Monday on Atlanta and get ready to go,” Payton said of their next opponent.

Of course, at 7-1, it’s reasonable for some to want to ride a six-game win streak, but Payton is thinking long-term, to a point in the season where there might be another week off between games.