Albert Breer, the Indiana..."/> Albert Breer, the Indiana..."/>

Colts Are One of ‘Most Likely Landing Spots’ for Saints Sean Payton


According to’s Albert Breer, the Indianapolis Colts  are one of the most likely landing spots for New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton–should he become available:

Of course, it’s not the first time that Payton’s name has been linked to the Colts, as potentially their next head coach. He’s one of the big name head coaching candidates that has potentially piqued the Colts interest along with the University of Alabama’s Nick Saban.

However, Payton still has 2 years remaining on his coaching contract with the Saints and at this point, plans on remaining in New Orleans:

"“Well, I said this earlier in the season,” said Payton via ESPN. “This is my ninth year coaching here in New Orleans, and it’s come up every, I’m going to say, two to three years. And I guess … listen, it comes with the territory. This is where I call home. I just finished building a home here. I’m close enough to my son back in Dallas where I’m pretty much back there once a week or he’s over here; my daughter is off in college now.”“So, I see myself coaching this team long past this season,” added Payton."

That being said, there’s been prior speculation by CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora that while Payton may not be fired by the Saints at season’s end, he could be traded to another NFL team for draft picks. Only adding fuel to the fire is the fact that star quarterback Drew Brees is turning 37 years old in January and is set to have a cap hit of $30 million against the Saints salary cap for next season.

For the Colts, this season reeks of 2001, when the Colts went 6-10 and head coach Jim Mora was fired at season’s end as owner Jim Irsay made a big coaching splash by hiring highly regarded head coach Tony Dungy. Coincidentally, that was the end of Peyton Manning‘s 4th season, and this also happens to be Andrew Luck’s 4th season in the NFL as well.

With the Colts just 6-8 and Chuck Pagano seemingly on the way out, it would appear that Irsay could have significant interest in Payton as his team’s next head coach–should he actually become available.

The 51 year old has consistently led one of the NFL’s best offenses during his 9 seasons coaching the New Orleans Saints. His offenses have finished in the Top 10 in total points per game and Top 5 in total offensive yards per game in 8 of his 9 seasons respectively:

 Not only is Payton a Super Bowl Champion coach–having beat our very own Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV, but he’s also highly regarded for his ability to coach the quarterback situation. He has a proven track record, having helped to develop Brees into one of the NFL’s truly elite quarterbacks under his tutelage.

Dec 21, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton in the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

As a former quarterback himself–having played for Eastern Illinois and later stops in the Arena Football League and CFL, Payton has a great familiarity with quarterbacks. Prior to accepting the Saints head coaching vacancy, Payton was also the quarterback’s coach for the Philadelphia Eagles (’97-98), New York Giants (’99), and Dallas Cowboys (’03-05)–further demonstrating his quarterback expertise.

For the Colts to become championship contenders, Luck must make the leap into a truly great NFL quarterback and have the proper coaching to fully develop his special talents. While the young quarterback is just one season removed from a league-leading 40 touchdown pass season, he’s clearly regressed this season.

While part of that can be attributed to physical injuries, Luck has 15 passing touchdowns to just 12 interceptions on the season and has a passer rating of just 74.9. To put that passer rating in perspective, that’s 32nd among qualifying NFL quarterbacks–right between the San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick (78.5) and Dallas Cowboys Matt Cassel (70.6) respectively.

With his quarterback prowess, Payton can help Luck develop into an elite NFL quarterback by helping him to better understand the nuances of the position while having him play under center in a highly successful offensive system.

As such, Payton should be a head coaching candidate that the Colts should strongly consider–should be become available. There’s good reason as to why the team is reportedly one of the most likely landing spots right now.