New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is this week’s visitor to Talk of Fame Network and has plenty to say about his team, his playing days for the Leicester Panthers, Bill Parcells and trying to get his team back to the Super Bowl.
Payton, like a number of NFL coaches, tells Talk of Fame Network that 12 years into his tenure leading the Saints “there’s no place I’d rather be’’ than running OTAs in the Louisiana heat in June. Whether his team is coming off a Super Bowl win, as it did several years ago, or a crushing playoff loss, as they suffered last season, the feeling when the season begins is always she same.
‘There’s really no difference at all on opening weekend to 12 years ago,’’ Payton said. “You get challenged each year. At the start of the season there’s a pit in your stomach but it’s exciting.’’
Payton’s Saints have been exciting since he arrived in 2006 on the heels of Hurricane Katrina having torn New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast to shreds the previous season. He inherited a 3-13 team battered both by the after-effects of that storm and poor play, leading them to a 10-6 record and into the playoffs. Three years later Payton had built the Saints into Super Bowl champions. Much of that success, he said, was grounded in what he’d learned working under Parcells in Dallas.
“When (your team) hits a couple of bumps he had a great way of bringing you back,’’ Payton said of Parcells. “There was a level of confrontation there.’’
Sean Payton has had much to confront in New Orleans and the results speak for themselves. Six playoff appearances in 11 seasons, one Super Bowl victory and a heartbreaking loss last season in the divisional round to the Minnesota Vikings on a 61-yard bomb with 10 second to play and New Orleans in the lead. It is a play he and the Saints are not likely to soon forget nor … does Payton want them to.
“When the season ends in that fashion, you’re anxious to start the 2018 season…build on it,’’ Payton said.
Payton has more to say about that loss, this season and the future of his remarkable 39-year-old quarterback, Drew Brees..
Joining Payton this week is former Super Bowl coach Mike Martz, who is about to embark on a new coaching endeavor. While free to spend his time walking the beaches around San Diego and through the mountains of Idaho, Martz instead has opted to join the new Alliance of American Football’s spring league as head coach of its new San Diego franchise. Why we asked?
“The ability to present a platform for players coming out of college who are just not (yet) ready to hang it up,’’ Martz said of the new developmental league.
Each team will draw from the cuts of four NFL teams as well as having territorial rights to certain players whose college days have ended but are not yet ready for the NFL. The hope is this league will be a second chance for young players who still have the dream of playing in the NFL but need the kind of minor league seasoning baseball provides but pro football does not.
Steve Hatchell, president of the National Football Federation and overseer of the College Football Hall of Fame, also drops by to discuss this class of nominees and what separates the 997 players in the College Hall of Fame from the estimated 5.7 million players in the history of college football.
One thing you may find stunning is Steve’s explanation why two guys destined to forever be among the 5.7 million NOT in the College Football Hall of Fame are Tom Brady and Joe Montana. What?!
Tune in to hear Steve Hatchell explain why.
Talk of Fame Network took a few minutes to remember a friend of the show and one of the finest people ever associated with the NFL, former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver and front office executive Dwight Clark, who passed away at 61 last week after a two-year battle with ALS. Our co-hosts Clark Judge, Ron Borges and Rick Gosselin all knew and admired Dwight, who was a guests on the show several times, and they join former 49ers’ linebacker Gary Plummer to talk about Dwight’s career, the play he made that kick started the 49ers’ dynasty that needs only be called “The Catch’’ and the brave way he handled his final days.
Plummer visited with Dwight and many of his teammates at his home in Montana not long before his passing. They all knew they were there to say goodbye but Dwight made it far more than that. Tune in to learn how he did it.
To hear that and much more go to your local SB Nation Radio Network station or download the free podcast at iTunes or on the TuneIn app. You can also access the show at any time on our website, talkoffamenetwork.com. Thanks for listening.