Sean Payton is in a relaxed state as he recharges for his next job, but he’s afraid he won’t come back

Harrison, Idaho — After hitting his best shot of the day — driving a straight line soared at least 200 yards — Sean Payton danced. or something like that. And he talked about trash.

Pat Burrell, the former league player standing nearby, was not amused.

“You’re dancing on tees now and you’re not a bird?” Borrell criticized, incredibly.

Birds were certainly few and far between for Peyton, but he was eager to party, nonetheless.

“I’m the only coach in the NFL who can perform The Griddy,” Payton declared while showing his version of the folk dance. “It is certified!”

Check it out, Sean. I was The only coach in the NFL…

Payton, 58, is officially on hiatus, in January staying away from his 16-year gig with New Orleans Saints and looking to renew himself for the prospect of eventually returning to the sideline. He stays connected to the league by working on weekends as a studio analyst for Fox Sports, but in many ways, this new NFL season presents an opportunity for intense workaholic separation.

NFL newsletter: Subscribe now to get exclusive content sent to your inbox

Newsletter Article: Choosing Sean Payton to win the NFC South? Of course, not Tom Brady’s team.

Sean Payton is enjoying his year off football. Here he is with the trophy presented by Wayne Gretzky that reads “Newbie of the Year”.

While Peyton and his wife, Skyline, still own a home in New Orleans, they have primarily inhabited the home purchased in May 2020 in an exclusive golf and lakefront community in northern Idaho.

It is a relaxing wallpaper with a flavor of the lifestyles of the rich and famous. As Payton was heading to breakfast recently in his golf cart, Justin Bieber waved as he embarked on his morning walk. Other neighbors include Mark Wahlberg, Reese Witherspoon and Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Cooper. As Payton gazed over a ridge with a view of Lake Coeur d’Alene, he pointed to the vast tract of land he said the Kardashians had bought.

You happen to have his group playing golf The greatest hockey player of all time, Wayne Gretsky – which fueled the cozy atmosphere with many individual liners.

Of course, it’s been a long time since Payton started his NFL season with minimal stress. It’s natural to wonder if Payton – who doesn’t indicate any health issues but emphasized, “I want to be in better shape” when I get back – has been exhausted.

Sean Payton was working on his golf while away from the NFL.

Sean Payton was working on his golf while away from the NFL.

the decision

Payton remembers sitting with Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis, one of his best friends, and crying discussing his passing, something he’s been thinking about since the middle of last season. Saints owner Gael Benson urged him to get out of town for a week before making his final decision.

“I went back and thought about it and I still feel fine,” Payton said. “That’s not to say I don’t miss them. At the time to me, I felt he was right. That might be ‘tired’. Now, I have a feeling the term might be more definitive. But ‘tired’ is a good term.”

“Some people will say, ‘Well, it’s not working efficiently. He doesn’t need those long hours. For me, I needed more time during the week to watch the movie. And drinking Coke or Pepsi late at night, two o’clock in the morning, I enjoy it. It doesn’t look like work. And man, there is nothing better than winning.”

Payton is the winning coach in Saints history (161-97, including post-season), with a resume that featured a Super Bowl XLIV victory and seven division titles.

Despite the credentials, it’s shocking to hear him admit perhaps his biggest fear.

“You’re afraid you won’t come back,” Payton said.

It’s hard to fathom, considering Payton checks many of the boxes that NFL owners seem to have in mind when it comes to hiring coaches, usually at least half a dozen major coaching jobs that open each hiring cycle. Besides, Payton, who is still under contract with the Saints, was undoubtedly on the radar of Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. Although the Dolphins refused permission to speak to Payton after he stepped down from the Saints, Ross in August was fined $1.5 million and the Dolphins docked in the first and third round of picks. for violating anti-fraud policies in the pursuit of Payton and Boxer midfielder Tom Bradywho share the same agent, Don Yee.

In June, it was I mentioned the South Florida Sun SentinelCiting an unnamed league source, the Dolphins were willing to make Payton the highest-paid coach in the NFL with a five-year offer of $100 million. However, to seal this deal, Miami first had to swing trade with the Saints.

“When I got away, I got away,” Payton said. I heard the story that they asked for permission, and it was refused. I can’t control that.

Sean Payton wins Super Bowl XLIV with New Orleans Saints.

Sean Payton wins Super Bowl XLIV with New Orleans Saints.

“Look, you want to be wanted, so that feels good. However… my agent, he knew I was going away and took a year. Would that be something you’d be interested in? Yeah. Tom Brady’s involved and everything? Sure. It was about me but he’s It didn’t include me.

“I was over in Mexico or was about to come here. My focus was not so much on collaborating with Tom as on beating them.”

Cowboys

There is also speculation that Payton may be the next coach for the Dallas Cowboys. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that Mike McCarthy in a hot seat This could explode if the Cowboys didn’t advance deeply in the playoffs (kids, this used to happen all the time). Peyton, who worked with his mentor Bill Parcells in Dallas before becoming a Saints coach, has a good relationship with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

“Bill and Jerry were just fine,” Payton said. “They communicated. And there’s one thing about Jerry always: he’s excited to win,” Bell has always said. It can be sold on something. You can move it. “

When it was suggested that Jones routinely seeks opinions before making big decisions, Payton replied, “Does he listen to a lot of people?”

Time will tell if Payton will eventually play the cowboy.

“Someone is going to look for a coach.”

Even if he proves to be a smash hit for the Fox Sports crew, Payton is approaching his TV role – at least for now – as a one-off adventure. He has been consistent in claiming that he is recharging for a purpose.

“Look, 98% of coaches train until someone knocks on the door and says it’s time to go,” Payton said. “Periodically, a guy like Bill Coyer decides he doesn’t want to train again. A guy like Parcells, on his own terms. These are exceptions, not the rule.”

“My point of coming back is I don’t take it for granted,” Payton said, citing fear that somehow he won’t train again. But I think there will be some interest. I think someone will be looking for a coach.”

The last time Payton took a year off from training in the NFL, he was forced. It was Suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for the entire 2012 season to allow the Saints to operate the reward system (which was largely fueled by then-Defensive Coordinator Greg Williams).

Payton eventually came back strong after the comment, which he says allows him to get “100 percent” of that experience for a point of view coming back next time.

“I know how I felt when I came back,” he said. “Man, I was ready.

“Look, I don’t think anyone could plan that, but if the opportunity presents itself and you’re in a position, I don’t think a break is a bad thing.”

Especially if Payton returns to a situation that will inspire him to dance The Griddy.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Sean Payton, a former Saints coach, is in a relaxed state but admits to a great deal of fear