Singer Joni Mitchell, and later the Counting Crows, belted some lyrics from the song “Big Yello Taxi” that fans of the New Orleans Saints have been relating to since Sunday:
"“Don’t it always seem to go..that you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone…”"
The saga of head coach Sean Payton continues in earnest and we should know an answer when he gives his end of the season press conference today…well maybe.
Payton is supposed to do it today however even that might get pushed back according to some of the local media.
NOLA.com’s beat writer Larry Holder even jokingly told ESPN’s 100.3 FM Sports Hangover host Gus Kattengell that Payton may even phone the session in via conference call as he became accustom to doing so during this past season.
Jul 28, 2014; White Sulpher Springs, WV, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton speaks to the media following training camp at The Greenbrier. Mandatory Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports
Either way, Who Dats are getting ready for whichever way the pendulum swings in what many have dubbed “Payton Watch”.
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On one side, fans are preparing for Payton to stay in New Orleans due to the fact that only speculation has been reported up to this point, as far as interest goes in acquiring his services from the Saints.
He has been associated with just about every team that has a head coaching vacancy except the Cleveland Browns, which you really can’t blame that scenario for gaining steam.
The two strongest links that have arrived for him have been the San Francisco 49ers and the Miami Dolphins, yet there hasn’t been any concrete buzz so to speak.
What I mean is that there was a reported meeting between Payton and Saints general manger Mickey Loomis on Monday according to Fox Sports Jay Glazer, but that’s about it.
Glazer further went on to say that Payton leaving isn’t for certain, but some “changes” are possibly being discussed in order for him to stay.
The fact that quarterback Drew Brees is staying in New Orleans for at least another year, as well as saying he wants to remain a Saint, is leading to optimism that Payton wouldn’t want to leave the franchise that has a future Hall of Fame signal caller that helped him win a Super Bowl.
Oct 5, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) talks with head coach Sean Payton prior to the kickoff of a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Offensive lineman Zach Strief even mentioned following this past Sunday’s game that he doesn’t envision either one leaving without the other.
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Payton has also always thrown his support behind the owner Tom Benson as well as the city itself; and even stated just a few weeks ago that he sees himself coaching the Saints “long past this season”.
Besides, the idea being floated out there that if Payton were to be traded to a team, then he would only net the Saints a second round draft pick.
If Loomis were to do that; then as Saints Happy Hour podcast host and WWLTV.com contributor Ralph Malbrough said on Monday: it would be “Occupy Airline” Drive.
But on the other side of the fence, followers of the Black and Gold are also realizing that there is a very real possibility that at 1:00 p.m. today, we could here Payton thanking the organization for the time he’s spent here in New Orleans in a farewell speech.
Why is there a possibility you may ask?
For starters the so called “splash reports” that we’ve all be scoffing at and making fun of, actually do have some validity of truth to them as some of the local beat media have contended.
Sure we throw some significant shade towards ESPN or people like CBS Sports Jason La Canfora as trying to generate click bait, but when members of the press who cover the team locally are saying that these reports aren’t being made up, then there is some weight to it.
Aug 30, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson talks to general manager Mickey Loomis before a preseason game against the Houston Texans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
It’s unclear exactly but both the Saints organization as well as people in Payton’s camp have been said to be putting the proverbial feelers out there, to possibly gauge interest from other NFL teams.
And as anyone knows, you don’t whimsically put an ad in the paper to sell something unless you are truly thinking about doing it.
Fans that were on the fence already about Payton’s future here have hopped off and preparing for the ultimate worst, when he takes the microphone today.
Worst being the fact that without Payton, will the Saints be able to find another head coach that can lead them to their winning ways?
The list of candidates that have been associated with possibly taking the helm if Payton departs, like Doug Marrone, aren’t leaving many with smiles on their face to say the very least.
Sep 13, 2015; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars assistant head coach Doug Marrone in the fourth quarter of their game against the Carolina Panthers at EverBank Field. The Carolina Panthers won 20-9. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
If you’re asking me, then I’ll throw my hat in the ring for Payton to stay in New Orleans and do what has been speculated the Saints will do with Brees; which is sign an extension to stay with the team for the foreseeable future.
While this may not be the most successful barometer that’s predicting the weather, I just feel that if something were to happen we would have heard by now.
Other teams are conducting or have conducted several interviews to fill their head coaching vacancies and all, has been quiet for the past 24 hours in regards to Payton going anywhere.
But if Payton does leave, then cherish the 2009 season with all you’ve got — and be thankful that he was able to give New Orleans that special memory.
If he stays, then count your blessings that he’s committed to hopefully leading the franchise back to it’s championship winning ways for years to come.
Just don’t call him Grandpa Sean anymore….