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Optimus Prime

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No idea. They're in good position to win the division, so I'm hoping for a 12-13 win season. Given the moves they've made and the way the staff has been kept in tact, that seems well within the realm of possibility.

I think that's what they would have been last year if not for the apocalyptic string of injuries.
Thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions

Was there any scenario where Sean Payton is still Saints coach in 2022?

If we didn't have all those injuries and won those 12-13 games?

even with the injuries, if we had made the playoffs and won a game?

Or do you think he was he leaving no matter what?
 
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TCUDan

TCUDan

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Thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions

Was there any scenario where Sean Payton is still Saints coach in 2022?

If we didn't have all those injuries and won those 12-13 games?

even with the injuries, if we had made the playoffs and won a game?

Or do you think he was he leaving no matter what?

Not doing the AMA anymore, but I do want to answer this question.

No. I don't see a scenario where Payton stays this season. And I'm not saying that because I have some inside information or anything like that... it's just my perspective as a coach (as an HC, specifically).

The burnout in football is real. Coaching at any level, it completely consumes your life. Payton just got remarried. His kids are growing up. He's probably already missed a ton of time with them over the past 16 years (even more, if we go back through his entire coaching career). I imagine that he would like to be a little more mobile and available, and I think the rumored 'allure' of coaching in Dallas was ALWAYS about being closer to his kids.

It goes without saying that we're all human at the end of the day, even NFL coaches, and in my experience, if you're going to take a break, leave a team, retire altogether--you've usually made that decision months in advance. It doesn't happen spur of the moment. Sure, you take some time after the season to reflect, consider, seek counsel... but you usually already have your mind made up.

I've turned down a good money and walked away from players/coaches who I absolutely love with every beating fiber of my heart because of some trigger during a season (usually a series of them) that made me decide that a particular stint with a team would be my last. You can't put a price on your life and happiness, and I'd imagine with Payton being the reflective, thoughtful man that he is, he had his mind made up well before the season ended.

And no, it doesn't affect your performance and work ethic if you're a professional. Even when I was set on moving on after the season, I never could have phoned it in and still been able to look my guys in the eye. No way, no how. You still do your job, and you treat it as any competitor would.
 

Jive Saint

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OK... I'll try to answer this thoroughly w/out too much rambling :)

Well success is a bit relative... so there are of course general, baseline requirments such as 1) possess the combination of athletic and mental traits to play the position, 2) learn the playbook, 3) execute your responsibilities at a satisfactory level.

Digging a little deeper, RB is a unique position because the players come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. So a player who has a little less wiggle can compensate for with power, and vise versa. If you're asking what the most important non-negotiables are for me, I'd break it down to these three:

1) Timing; 2) Efficiency; 3) Mental athleticism

The first is needed to develop a feel for getting through those first and second level creases at the NFL level. Sometimes a RB (especially one who is extremely gifted, athletically) can get away a lot at the college level running behind an OL that is just blowing defenses off the ball. Those creases are much tighter in the NFL, and timing/anticipation plays a huge part in running the ball successfully.

In terms of efficiency, I'm talking about footwork. Don't take 3 steps when you only need one. I want a guy who slashes, doesn't chop. You always hear announcers talking about a "one-cut runner". Well, at the first and second level, there's a script a RB more or less follows. The design of inside zone, outside zone, power... it doesn't change based on the back. They have an aiming point, a landmark, a crease to hit. They have to read it, of course, but those first 5 yards, you aren't improvising. You save that for when you get one-on-one with the safety (of course, there is leeway to be had here, but I'm speaking in basic terms).

With "mental athleticism"... a lot gets made of "this back runs a 4.3" or "this guy is a nightmare in the open-field." But Emmit Smith ran like a 4.7. It was his anticipation and understanding of angles (what's often given the catch-all term of "vision") that made up for his relatively pedestrian foot speed. A back who can feel the angle/timing of a block while his eyes are on the next defender. Who can commit to his move and know he's beat the defender before he's even cleared him, and again has his eyes to the next obstacle. That's mental athleticism, and it is something you can only gauge by watching a TON of film on a guy.


Now... with regards to the current backs on the roster. Tony Jones has foot speed issues and it shows up on film. Slow first step, slow through the hole, slow into the 2nd and 3rd level. Pierre Thomas was not fast, but he had a change of gear/burst that got the job done. Jones doesn't hit the hole as much as kind of plod through it. He's a fluid athlete, it's not ugly... it's just easy for a defender to squeeze that gap and get a bead on him because there isn't the suddenness there.

I like Tony Jones, I just see him as a 3rd down RB. He can catch out of the backfield, and despite the speed, he's pretty decent in space (because he's shifty). He seems intelligent and to understand pass pro. But the drop off in rushing production with him will be significant vs. Kamara or Ingram.

Dwayne Washington is kind of the opposite. He has the athletic skills, good foot speed, but seems to be running a little more blind when compared Jones (as well as the rest of the RBs). Runs a little out of control, a little to high--not where it's a style, but more just him running like a banshee. It's good at times, but he definitely makes me nervous when he runs.

I think that's the issue with him. There is never going to be a strong level of confidence in with the ball in his hands because he's not trusting his technique. He's just going. As a coach, you want someone who understands the position a little better (or at least shows it on the field). If Washington and Jones could be combined into one player, it'd actually be a pretty damn good NFL RB.
This is communicated as a considerate simple truth.

Thank you for helping me be a little less ignorant.

You’ve made a smile.

I’m rooting for RB Dwayne Washington to develop the “Mental Athleticism” of EMMIT SMITH and combine it with his physical athleticism.

Know the angles and trust the reps. This could be his best chance at RB.

The Saints special teamers are earning options. Fun to sing the song of the unsung.

Thanks again for the Head Coaches POV. Travel well.
 

sfidc3

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I’m rooting for RB Dwayne Washington to develop the “Mental Athleticism” of EMMIT SMITH and combine it with his physical athleticism.

I'm with you, I would like Dwayne to get a few touches a game at RB....maybe if has a good TC with the AK suspension he has a chance...we will see....
 

Jive Saint

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I'm with you, I would like Dwayne to get a few touches a game at RB....maybe if has a good TC with the AK suspension he has a chance...we will see....
I agree. After Kamara, RB by committee is filling roles.

We know RB Dwayne Washington wins toss plays. Does he have the mental athleticism and consistent hands to win bubble screens?

Versatile RB’s are always a fun to put in a winning position. Lots of options to win.
 

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