We already know that Sean Payton's success as head coach of the New Orleans Saints has been at least partly rooted in his headstrong attitude and determined decision making. The now famous on-side kick he called to start the second half of Super Bowl XLIV was as nervy as it was brilliant. Payton has modeled himself from the Parcells/Belichick style of coaching and natural self-confidence is a prerequisite for the position. Personally, I like that kind of attitude. It's not the only way to coach - for perspective, I would put former Colts head coach Tony Dungy on the other end of the spectrum - but I think it suits the game of football quite nicely.
Yesterday, the Times-Pic had an article about Tom Benson and how winning the Super Bowl has changed him as a person. Fortunately, Benson says he hasn't let it all go to his head...
"No, they've been working the hell out of me, that's all," he said with another laugh. "But it is really very nice, I guess you would say, that everybody's complimenting you about winning the Super Bowl -- and my comment is, 'It's a great thing for New Orleans and Louisiana."
Interestingly, though, he wouldn't say the same thing about his head coach, Sean Payton...
"I don't think so," he said when asked if he had changed. "I just noticed, you know, our coach is sort of walking a little high."
Not surprising really. After all, he's earned the right to gloat a little. Caymus-gate, anyone? But Benson's comments have got me slightly worried that the problem runs deeper and is more persistent than just some good-natured high jinks between two teams.
As stated earlier, I like my head coach to be of the headstrong variety. There's a fine line between dauntless and reckless, however. It's certainly not time to sound any alarms but Benson's remarks and Payton's actions do raise some interesting questions: Has all the success and attention of winning an NFL championship gone straight to Sean Payton's head? Could it have a negative effect on future coaching decisions he makes? If Payton was already a confident coach, is it possible he could become overconfident to the point of detriment?