Sean Payton spent a few days in Southern California at the very beginning of April, where he would go to observe the Southern California Pro Day. While he was in the area, yours truly was able to ask the leader of the Saints a few questions.
I was going to hold off until later in the summer, but I have a paper for my Quantitative Methods class due tomorrow, and I haven't even started. I am freaked out about it and have no clue how to write the thing.
So here's my interview with Coach Sean Payton:
Me: Thanks Coach for taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions for the Saints followers on Bleacher Report.
SP: Well thank you for having me. I must say I'm a fan of yours.
Me: You are? I don't see you on my profile as a fan.
SP: Well, that wouldn't look very good if I showed up as a fan on B/R, but I read all your articles. In fact, I use some of your ideas.
Me: You do?
SP: Yeah, that article about finishing that you wrote, we're using that now.
Me: Wait, it took you this long into the offseason to figure that out?
SP: Yeah, I hadn't thought of that before.
Me: WOW! Are you sure you shouldn't be doing something else right now?
SP: No, I always have time for the media.
Me: Well, do you mind if we get to the actual questions?
SP: YEAH LET'S GO! (Clapping hands and yelling)
Me: Coach, I'm not Charles Grant. You don't have to encourage me to get going. I'm a self-motivator.
SP: Really? Interesting. Can you play D-End for us?
Me: Uhhh, I mean I do have good height, but I'm just as slow as Charles and have little experience.
SP: Well, you'd probably be just as productive. Besides, we give Kenny a tryout every summer.
Me: Well, I was going to bring this up later, but since you mentioned it, here goes. Is that something you're going to do again this summer? I mean, the last two years it hasn't worked real well, as far as your record that season.
SP: That's not his fault. He didn't end up playing on the team.
Me: Right, but he is 42-years old. He's 5'7", with about as much experience playing as me.
SP: We're always looking for talent. We believe it can come from anywhere. Plus, it's something I do for Kenny since we're such good friends (editor's note: really pseudo-friends). I mean he looks forward to this all year.
Me: You make it sound like he's your little brother. I mean I know you two are pretty close in age, and look kind of similar. Oh yeah, is Daniel Craig also your brother?
SP: Haha. Yes, they both are my brothers. My parents had Daniel in England and left him there for adoption, but he truly is my brother.
Me: No wonder you love the media so much. It must be in the genes.
SP: Oh yeah!
Me: Well, back to my original first question. One of the more frustrating situations last season was when you called a reverse on fourth down early in the game versus Tampa Bay and it didn't work. Would you make a different call in hindsight?
SP: No, I wouldn't. See most coaches would've kicked a field goal there, but I'm not most coaches. I try to go against the grain every time I can, if at all possible. I mean if that play goes for a touchdown, than our team gets on SportsCenter and we probably win that game.
Me: Good point. But if you kick the field goal, you may have won as well.
SP: True, but that's boring. I hate field goals, and kickers in general.
Me: Herm Edwards was once quoted as saying, "you play to win the game." Do you not agree?
SP: I love Herman, he's a good friend, but look at his career record. Look where he is now; he's working for ESPN. See, it's pretty clear Herman was just upset about having his offense not play well that day.
Me: Um, I think he was upset about not winning the game.
SP: No, only winning coaches think that way.
Me: So, does it bother you that you went 8-8 last year and finished in last place?
SP: Not really. I mean we finished first in the most important statistic. We had the number one offense. We had the best quarterback in the league. And heck, we did improve to 8-8. That means we should go 9-7 this year, and make the playoffs.
Me: Well, I hope the playoffs is accurate. I hope not 9-7. That might get you canned.
SP: I'm sorry, I was too busy dusting off my Coach of the Year Trophy.
Me: Really, you keep that with you?
SP: Sure, that's the reason I have such a good approval rating.
Me: You know fans and GMs expect wins.
SP: Yeah, but I just signed a new deal before the Washington game.
Me: Which you lost by the way. Well thank you Sean for taking some time out of your busy schedule.
SP: Thanks Will. Oh yeah, Drew's going to throw for 5500 yards this season, just so you know.