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Saints' Payton had to take the fall for bounty program


It's no surprise that former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will not coach in 2012 and possibly beyond.

The NFL world is shocked, however, that Saints coach Sean Payton will also sit out the season after being suspended without pay starting April 1. Payton told Fox Sports Insider and NFL Network contributor Jay Glazer that he's "stunned" by the result.

He shouldn't be.

The buck stops with the head coach in the NFL. It wouldn't have made sense for Williams to pay a heavy price while his former boss, Payton, got off lightly. Payton is responsible for everything that happens on his team and the Saints' cover-up of their bounty system ultimately proved to be Payton's undoing.

NFL Network's Steve Wyche reported Wednesday there was documentation that Payton told his staffers to get their "ducks in a row" while the league investigated in New Orleans.

The Saints were found to have willfully obscured the league's investigation, and then ignored the warning. The team continued their bounty program in 2010 after the league had previously spoken to the organization.

The Saints were Payton's team. It was his job to know everything that went on, and he did that job well. It defies belief he would have been in the dark on such a widespread problem.

When the team won, Payton got much of the credit. When they lost, he had to take ultimate responsibility for the blame.

Payton suffered the biggest loss of his career Wednesday. He had to take the fall.


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