- Aug 1, 1997
- Reaction score
- Sunset, La
By NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
The Times-Picayune's New Orleans Tricentennial project, 300 for 300, continues with a look at the hiring of Sean Payton as New Orleans Saints coach a decade ago.
The Saints had just returned to New Orleans after being displaced to San Antonio, Texas for the 2005 season because of Hurricane Katrina. Their future -- like that of the city -- was still very much uncertain as they entrusted the reins of the team to a young Dallas Cowboys assistant.
Sean Payton has coached with the Saints longer than almost any coach in the NFL. Only two -- New England's Bill Belichick (2000) and Cincinnati's Marvin Lewis (2003) -- have coached their current teams longer.
- Payton was one of five candidates to interview for the Saints job. The others were former Rams head coach Mike Martz, former Packers head coach Mike Sherman, then-Jets defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson and then-Browns offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon.
- After the recent shakeup, only one assistant coach remains from Payton's original staff: offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael.
- Linebacker Scott Fujita was the first free agent to sign with the Saints after Payton was hired. One day later, he was joined by a quarterback named Drew Brees...