When news broke yesterday that New Orleans Saints head coach, Sean Payton, was banned from the NFL for all of next season I was not shocked that he got banned but I was a little shocked that he was banned for an entire season. It is the longest suspension for an NFL head coach in the history of the league and who knows how the Saints will fair without him.
Losing Payton is a huge blow for the Saints who have dealt with turmoil ever since their bounty scandal was revealed. Payton is the leader of this Saints football team; besides Drew Brees he might be one of the most important people in the Saints organization. Don’t get me wrong, the Saints are a very talented football team and I am sure they will have a decent season next season. But with all of the controversy surrounding them I know they will go through some slumps as the aftermath of “bountygate” will continue to take an emotional toll on them into next season. The team will no doubt lose focus at some point next season. When teams lose focus they can count on their coaches to give them some words of inspiration and motivate them, but Payton will not be the one to do that for the Saints next season.
Payton is a good head coach who made a bad decision. Payton knew about the bounty program and did nothing which is why I can understand the harshness of his punishment. As a head coach you are the leader of your team and you carry the main responsibility of your team and its actions. Furthermore, your players look to you in times of adversity and teams depend on their head coaches in tough times. Next season will be a tough season for the Saints and they will have to go through it without their leader, Sean Payton.