Members of the news media finally got to question Coach Payton this morning on his year long suspension, levied as a result of his team's "pay for performance" program. Payton has often been criticized in the past for not treating the media with the respect they think they deserve, but it's hard to see how they could complain today. He came off as very accommodating, humble, and accepting of his imposed future exile. He said he hasn't yet decided on appealing the suspension, but will do so by the end of the week.
"I don't know yet, I don't know yet," he said, when asked what he planned to do. "The specifics of the suspension is one in which we're still trying to gather the information as well. But hopefully staying involved as best I can and then we'll be able to make that decision sooner rather than later. It seems like to me right now the checklist of things to do is what occupies my mind right now."
Make the jump for more quotes along with video from the press conference.
"I'm appreciative of the opportunity to appeal," Payton said. "I don't know if there would be a benefit."
on Bill Parcells:
"I kinda speak with him (Parcells) pretty regularly," Payton said. "My conversations with him to date have just been about the uniqueness with the situation."
"You're asking me what are his great strengths, and I would say to you, he's a great teacher," he said. "Certainly, I'm biased having worked with him. He's a Hall of Fame head coach. I would also say that there are some things probably set up in the framework of our program that would be exactly how he would have set those things up had he been the head coach back in 2006. So I would say there would be some carryover there."
on immediate plans for the team:
"I'm one of those check-list guys and so I've got a lot of 'to-do' things right now specific to football," Payton said. "It starts with leadership and starts with the staff. It gets into the draft. It gets into our players. The offseason calendar and everything has been basically planned up until the Hall of Fame game. Between now and then, there is a lot of little things that I will try to make sure we have covered."
On how Goodell has handled the situation:
"I think the commissioner has done a great job of communicating with us throughout this process," Payton said. "I think being in a leadership role myself as a head coach, certainly I understand the position he was in. I think he has made it clear for good reason we have such a good product right now that the idea with something of this magnitude is an important issue he wanted to address."
Bravo, Coach! Very smart to not say what you really think!
"Listen, there is a number of things just specifically in the report -- some of which I can't comment on," Payton said. " But I made this statement earlier, as the head coach, anything that happens in the framework of your team and your progam you are responsible for. That's a lesson I've learned. It's easy to get carried away in regards to a certain side of the ball when we're involved offensively or defensively . That's something that I regret."
Here's what appears to be the complete video: