It’s uncommon to learn scuttlebutt about which job a coach desires. The job marketplace for unemployed coaches usually works the opposite manner round. Jobs open up, a slew of teaching candidates cram into the interview foyer. Sean Payton is in a novel place the place he can name the photographs.
Payton is a transcendent offensive mastermind. Throughout his time in New Orleans, the Saints completed first in complete offense six occasions in 16 seasons, twice they led the league in scoring and 4 occasions and top-three scoring offense. Between 2006 and 2018, they gained extra yards than any group in NFL historical past over a 12-year span. Then, just like the Avatar, he was gone.
In his stead, the Saints offense has cratered. He ascended to quarterback heaven, as a studio analyst for FOX. However in contrast to most retired coaches, we by no means buried Payton’s profession. It was presumed he’d finally return after a sabbatical, probably as quickly as 2023. He allegedly tried to fill the emptiness in Miami and lure the “retired” Tom Brady to city however that plan fell via. Since then, he’s opted for spilling insider soccer data on Colin Cowherd’s sofa as a substitute.
That couldn’t final although. In response to ESPN NFL reporters Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler, Payton has narrowed his focus on the Los Angeles Chargers and Arizona Cardinals. Someplace in downtown Dallas, a gust of wind swept via city from Mike McCarthy respiratory a sigh of reduction.
Payton has choices and he’s properly fixated on groups with franchise quarterbacks. Los Angeles has essentially the most steady quarterback scenario. Nonetheless, they’re sorely missing in offensive ingenuity and mismanaging Justin Herbert. Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi has defanged Herbert. After being hailed for his deadly downfield passing throughout his first two journeys across the NFL solar, he’s immediately developed the passing profile of Chad Pennington.
Arizona’s issues are well-documented and Kliff Kingsbury’s offensive genius is overstated. He doesn’t take benefit of pre-snap movement, his groups disintigrate within the second half of the season and the connection together with his quarterback is tumultuous. Nonetheless, the offensive personnel on Arizona is woefully underutilized. Murray’s measurement could also be a slight hindrance, however Payton confirmed throughout 15 seasons with Drew Brees what he might do with a diminutive sign caller. If the Cardinals are going to speculate $230 million in Murray, they may as properly splurge on all of the accouterments.
Kingsbury’s paint-by-numbers unfold offensive scheme isn’t reducing it, however Payton is a grasp tailor. The bespoke offense he’ll design for Murray ought to have sufficient doohickies to maintain defenses trustworthy and get the Cardinals playmakers in open area or open downfield.
There’s one impediment, nevertheless. In return, the group that finally hires him will owe compensation to the New Orleans Saints within the type of picks. Herm Edwards and Jon Gruden are essentially the most prolific coaches to be traded whereas underneath contract. In 2006, Edwards was launched from his contract to grow to be the Chiefs head coach. The Chiefs forwarded a fourth-round choose. Then, in 2002 the Raiders traded Jon Gruden to the Buccaneers in trade for Tampa’s first spherical picks within the subsequent two drafts in addition to second rounders in 2002 and 2004. Tampa received a Tremendous Bowl in yr one.
The Payton studies ought to have Brandon Staley and particularly Kingsbury feeling uneasy. Staley’s Chargers offense is struggling this season, however he’s generated extra goodwill in Los Angeles than Kingsbury has in half the time. Kingsbury was employed as offensive guru, but the Cardinals have by no means been a top-10 scoring group.
Payton’s identify was beforehand hovering across the Dallas job. From the sounds of it, Payton noticed the Cowboys blow the VIkings to smithereens and realized he ought to have a backup plan.
Nonetheless, #PaytonWatch has hovered round susceptible coaches all season lengthy like some form of spirit haunting groups on the brink. Endure a two-game dropping streak and also you’ll really feel Payton’s presence within the room regardless that he’s lengthy since handed on from the lively NFL teaching world. This might drag on for one more yr, as a result of Payton is underneath contract with New Orleans till 2024, however lively coaches are hoping a training sacrifice is made on the Sean Payton altar and switch the warmth down on the remainder of them.