Monday, October 5, 2009

Well played, Coach Payton

Posted By on Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 8:42 PM

click to enlarge Mr. Man Payton Coach Person

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Photograph by Jonathan Bachman

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If yesterday's win over the Jets proved anything, the Saints now have a defense that can actually win games for them. Considering last year all one could do is hope the defense didn't lose games by giving up more than 30 points in a game (which they did with startling regularity), that's quite a turnaround. And who gets the credit? Gregg Williams, for sure, came in and put his stamp on this defensive squad. But credit Sean Payton for taking money out of his pocket to get Williams. Via Peter King:

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At the time, he really wanted to hire Gregg Williams as his defensive coordinator; Williams had a history of making chicken salad out of chicken feathers, and Payton knew his talent on defense was decent but limited, particularly in pressure packages. Payton knew where the Saints' offer was -- a little over one million (I can't be sure precisely what it was) -- but he also knew Williams was on the way to Green Bay after a great visit with the Saints, and he knew the Packers would offer him more than New Orleans did.

"So I had a couple of beers in me,'' Payton told me over the weekend, "and I start thinking, 'I make enough money. We really need this guy. I'm going to offer some of my own money to try to make this happen.' So the next day, I walk into [general manager] Mickey Loomis' office and say, 'Mickey, take $250,000 of my salary, add it onto our offer for Gregg and let's get this thing done right now.' Mickey called [owner] Tom Benson, they discussed it, and they agreed. So we upped the offer.''

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Yea, Payton has his priorities straight.

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