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Sean McVay: I'm not in the same category as Payton

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With every passing minute, we draw closer to Sunday's much-anticipated Sean-Off.

That's right: Sean Payton's high-flying Saints (8-2) against the upstart Rams (7-3), a rowdy, points-generating operation conducted by first-year head coach Sean McVay.

Both stand out as Coach of the Year candidates, but McVay doesn't want people comparing him to Payton, the Super Bowl-winning offensive architect with a decade-plus of head-coaching experience.

"I think he's accomplished so much I don't think it's fair to put me in the same category as Coach Payton," McVay said, per The Times-Picayune. "I think hopefully if you achieve even close to what he has in this league then maybe you start to get mentioned.

"I think in terms of looking at the trajectory and being around some of the same people, it's certainly flattering words, but I definitely have not done enough to be mentioned in the same sentence as Coach Payton."

It's easy to point out parallels with both coaches serving as celebrated offensive minds who brought quick success to their teams. Payton and Drew Brees descended on New Orleans in 2006 and turned the franchise around, while McVay, at the tender age of 31, has spun magic with Jared Goff and the previously unwatchable Rams.

Coaches don't spend much time comparing themselves to fellow coaches, but Payton played along when asked Sunday's head-to-head duel.

"The first similarity would be S-e-a-n," Payton said. "Now, outside of that, he went to Miami of Ohio. I coached there.

"There are a lot of good friends on his staff I know -- (offensive line coach) Aaron Kromer, (defensive line coach) Bill Johnson -- guys that've worked here. I think there's confidence you build. You go set up shop, you get your opportunity but I've never had a chance to work with him outside of that so I wouldn't know. But he's doing a good job there."

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