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Saints and Falcons on opposite ends of coaching spectrum

The Saints have one of the NFL’s best head coaches, the Falcons...not so much.

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

If Sean Payton is not inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, it will be absolutely clear that Roger Goodell and the NFL has a vendetta against Payton and the New Orleans Saints. Payton helped the Saints franchise win their first Super Bowl, and although he only has the one ring to his name for now, if Bill Cowher can make the Hall, then so can Coach Payton.

Payton is without question one of the best - and most consistent - offensive coaches in NFL history, and he part of the duo along with Drew Brees that helped turn the Saints organization from perennial laughing stock to contender. It’s hard to know just how much of the credit should be split between Brees and Payton, but each one has admitted the other has been instrumental to theirs, and the team’s, success.

It should come as no surprise then that when Fantasy Pros ranked all 32 NFL coaches, Sean Payton came in among the very best in the league:

2. Sean Payton (New Orleans Saints)

He’s now coached for 13 years and has never had a season worse than 7-9, while racking up eight 10-plus win seasons. Payton is what I’d consider to be one of the greatest offensive minds who made the transition to head coach much easier than others have tried. It surely helps when you have Drew Brees, but he’s consistently designed his offense around Brees’ strengths.

Of course, if Payton wasn’t #1, there was only one name that could be ahead of him, and that was the Dark Lord Voldemort Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots, and considering Bill B.’s six Super Bowl rings, it’s hard to argue with this ranking.

But what is interest, and what should give New Orleans Saints fans an extra grin, is where the rest of the NFC South coaches appeared on the list. Tampa Bay’s Bruce Arians came in at #9, but it’s interesting to know how much of the Tom Brady-hype subconsciously increased Arians’s ranking on this list. Carolina’s Matt Rhule came in 24th, and it’s honestly surprising they would rank a rookie head coach above other, more experienced options. One such “experienced” option was Dan Quinn of the Atlanta Falcons, who made the bottom four, at 29th:

29. Dan Quinn (Atlanta Falcons)

It’s a miracle that Quinn still has a job right now, as it seemed like a near lock that he was getting fired in the middle of the 2019 season. The Falcons roster is very talented and though Quinn was brought on to improve the defense, it’s been the offense that’s been the strength of the team. After finishing with a sub .500 record in both 2018 and 2019, Quinn is firmly on the hot seat in 2020. It seems like everyone else has taken the fall to this point, but Quinn remains.

I too am shocked Quinn still has a job, but if the Falcons can string together their third 7-9 season (wouldn’t it be nice?), I imagine Quinn will be looking for work somewhere else in 2021.