Another NFL team needs a new head coach. According to multiple reports, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton informed the team that stepping away from the team. This doesn't necessarily mean he is retiring as he could take some time away from football and return in a year or two. This comes after Payton was reportedly not committed to returning to the Saints next season.
Payton has been the Saints head coach since 2006. During his 15 years with the team, Payton posted a 152-89 record in the regular season and a 9-8 record in the postseason. He led the Saints to a Super Bowl championship in 2009, and the team played in three NFC Championship games under his watch.
Sean Payton as Saints HC (2006-2021):— PFF (@PFF) January 25, 2022
⚜️152-89 Overall Record
⚜️5 Seasons with 12+ Wins
⚜️AP Coach of the Year (2006)
⚜️Super Bowl XLIV Champion pic.twitter.com/gX9Rqdyyal
Before Payton arrived in New Orleans, the Saints reached the playoffs five times from 1967 to 2005. In the last 15 years, the Saints reached the postseason nine times. Saints owner Gayle Benson recently spoke at a Mardi Gras-related event and was asked about Payton's future.
"We don't know," she said per ESPN. "You know, who knows? We'll find out soon enough, I guess." This past season, the Saints finished the year with a 9-8 record but missed the playoffs for the first time since 2016. This was the first season that Payton didn't have legendary quarterback Drew Brees on the roster as he retired from the NFL last year.
"This stretch has been, I don't want to say exhausting, but it's been one of those where you just get on to the [next task]. Nothing surprises you," Payton said during the final week of this season. "When you go all the way back to the start of the season, it feels like 2½ years ago we were evacuating to Dallas during the hurricane. I mean, it doesn't feel like that's part of this season.
"I'm trying to think of a good way to describe it. Like, there's a certain bar or temperament for news that you normally have. And then when it keeps coming and coming and coming via text or in meetings, then pretty soon that bar gets raised because you just keep getting hitting in the side of the head. And at some point, you've got to smile and then bow up a little bit and get ready for the challenge still."