Sean Payton will enter new territory in 2022 as he will be working for Fox Sports instead of being on the sidelines. Once the 2021 season came to an end, Payton stepped down as head coach of the New Orleans Saints after being with the team since 2006. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, NFL legend and former Saints quarterback Drew Brees shared his thoughts on his former head coach stepping away from the Saints.
"I think when you step back, I mean, even just within 24 hours of the decision, I felt like I understood why he did it," Brees exclusively told PopCulture. "I absolutely think he'll coach again. But look, he's been going at it with the same team, same organization for 16 years and highly invested. And look, I don't think he would've done that unless he felt like it was in good hands, which obviously it is in very good hands with, just from the top down of leadership, from owner, to GM, to the new head coach and everything. And obviously, the players that were in place and leadership there."
Payton and Brees joined the Saints in 2006 and had a lot of success together. In their first season, Payton and Brees led the Saints to the team's first NFC Championship game appearance. Three seasons later, the Saints won their first Super Bowl in franchise history. They went on to reach another NFC Championship game in 2019 but lost to the Los Angeles Rams due to a very controversial call.
Brees retired from the NFL after the 2020 season and ended his career with 144 wins with Payton. According to Sportskeeda, the 144 wins by Payton and Brees are tied for the second most in NFL history by a coach and quarterback. The most in NFL history is 249 games which were done by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. With Payton and Brees no longer in New Orleans, the Saints are entering a new era led by head coach Dennis Allen and quarterback Jameis Winston. Brees believes that Allen will keep things rolling because of what Payton built over the last 16 years.
"I think Sean's a guy who loves the game of football and I think he's going to be around it for a while in some capacity," Brees said. "But yeah, I think the fan base is very appreciative to Sean Peyton for certainly his contributions and what he helped to create there. The culture change really, from back when we all got there in 2006, until now, and I think the road that they're on now, to have continued success."