Sean Payton was reportedly on his way out of New Orleans, but that is no longer the case. In fact, if you believe Payton, it was never the case to begin with.
“There’s no truth behind it,” Payton said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “But look, our industry is close. I think when people look at time you’ve been at one place, you have a season right at .500 or below .500 and you’re out of the playoffs and you have a quarterback like Drew – Drew (gets questions about retirement), and I don’t see any decline in where he’s at. He had probably in the last three or four years one of his better seasons. (The reports aren’t) not frustrating, but I have a great relationship with Mickey (Loomis). The very first report was that the Giants would be willing to seek a trade partner at maybe a certain value. And I asked Mickey, ‘Hey, what’s going on with this?’ And he said, ‘There’s nothing to that. There’s absolutely nothing to it.’ And I said, ‘Okay, it’s fine.’ I just signed a new five-year deal there.
“I’m not real good at math,” Payton joked, “but (I’m signed through 2021), and I’m blessed. I think we’ve got great ownership and I think it’s natural at this time of the year, though, when people start looking at a coach and maybe it’s because I’m younger and they feel like there will be another team. But so far, we’ve been full speed ahead – and the same guys reported it now, coincidentally, two years in a row.”
Payton, 53, has coached the Saints since 2006. That’s 11 seasons. It’s difficult for a coach’s message to resonate with a team for that long, but given how young the Saints are, Payton has remained effective longer than most.
“The biggest challenge is reshaping the message, how many have heard it,” he said. “You think that this team has heard what you might want to say, and really only Brees and (Zach) Strief have. When 98 percent of the room has no idea what you’re getting ready to tell them and you give them a Parcells story, you have to explain to them who Parcells is. They have no idea.”