ATL: Don't believe the hype
This time of year every player looks great but don't believe everything you hear. Gregg Rosenthal writes. More ...
"How would Pittsburgh react if Chuck Knoll was gone? Or how would Dallas react if Tom Landry wasn't there? Or San Francisco without Bill Walsh?" interim head coach Joe Vitt said via Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "Sean's put those kinds of numbers up. He has that kind of recognition in the league. Nobody can take his place."
If nothing else, Payton often won't be far away. The suspended coach has a new downtown office in Benson Tower, which is essentially right next to the Superdome. Payton required league approval to rent the office. (We're sure Saints owner Tom Benson will give him a good deal.) If Payton wants to talk to a team official about a non-football matter, he has to do so by speaker phone in the presence of Saints legal counsel.
"We miss everything we know about (Payton)," offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael. "He's special. He has some magic to him."
Payton won't soon be forgotten by the 2012 Saints. The team is going to leave Payton's chair empty on the team bus and plane all season. They are doing the same thing in team meetings.
That's an idea that Payton would surely approve of.