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By Mike Triplett | ESPN Staff Writer
METAIRIE, La. -- Now that Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints are back on top as the NFC's No. 1 seed, it seems almost crazy they considered splitting up three years ago after three straight 7-9 seasons.
But then again, this renaissance over the past two years is rare in NFL history.
During the Super Bowl era, only six coaches have lasted more than 10 years with the same team and had at least two 11-win seasons after that first decade was over: Bill Belichick (nine), Tom Landry (eight), Don Shula (six), Payton (two), Bill Cowher (two) and Marvin Lewis (two).
Coaches simply don't last in the NFL, where they have to keep their message fresh, keep hitting on the right players in the draft and in free agency, keep adapting their schemes and keep both their bosses and fans happy.
Over the past five weeks, we've seen Lewis fired after 16 years as head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals and Mike McCarthy dismissed during his 13th season as head coach of the Green Bay Packers. ...
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