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Sean Payton opens up about life away from Saints

Don't expect to see Sean Payton much over the next year. The suspended New Orleans Saints coach has turned down all TV work, and is content to be closer to home during his forced time away from the game.

In a wide-ranging Q&A with Mike Triplett of The Times-Picayune, Payton discusses the Saints, the "bounty" scandal, and his plans for the year ahead. Triplett will appear on Wednesday's edition of NFL Network's "NFL AM" at 7:25 a.m. to discuss his interview with Payton.

On how difficult it's been to stay silent as the "bounty" story has played out:

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"Listen, it's hard to do. And we're in a much different position than the players, in regards to players having a union. I think ultimately our goal is to get reinstated at the right time. Yeah, it's frustrating at times to sit back and hear a lot of things that have been painted in a certain way that you know aren't true. But that being said, I support every one of those guys and pay close attention to what's going on with Jon and the rest of those players and Mickey (Loomis) and Joe (Vitt) and everyone."

On his regret about the events that led to his suspension:

"When you're the head coach, you've got to pay attention to all areas of your football team. I'm going to leave it just at that. And I think right now the bigger picture is what's in front of us -- I say us, I mean our team, and not so much what's behind us. Certainly you learn from mistakes and certainly you learn from what's happened. There's a lot that went into this, and I think fortunately there's a lot more that's come out after the fact and I think will continue to surface."

On how close he's following football:

"There's so many avenues now between all the different networks. I really try to stay on top of the news and transactions, especially paying close attention to our team. And I've taken out a few pads and papers, making notes. You obviously get a much different perspective watching games on TV and film than being on the sideline and actually being in them. When you step away, you can see things you might not have seen otherwise from sideline."

On the "Do Your Job" poster of himself hanging in the Saints' practice facility:

"I really appreciate Mr. Benson's leadership. He's been fantastic. And the support, not only from him, starting with him, but throughout the community and the rest of the country has been somewhat overwhelming. I had a chance to visit with him shortly after (the poster went up), and I made him promise that as soon as I come back, it comes down. But we've always looked for ways to motivate and get our message across. And I appreciate his support more than anything in the world."

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On if he'd take it personal if the Saints go 15-1 and win a Super Bowl:

"No, I'm going to be on the edge of my chair rooting for them every game. This is our team. Not any individual. A group of people have worked very hard together to have success. We've always preached about eliminating the 'Is' and 'mes' and creating a team element to the sport. Coaches, offensive line, defensive line, the whole building. Everyone's got a part in it."

If he believes his suspension could be lessened or extended depending on his level of cooperation:

"No, that's nothing that I'm aware of or that I'm anticipating."

On running the offense of his son's sixth-grade football team:

"We have 12 plays on the wristband. The terminology is the same as we used in New Orleans. The kids said, 'This looks hard.' But I said, 'I've seen your homework. That's a lot harder.' And they've done a great job with it."

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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