Can you discuss the process of the contract extension?
“It just kind of happened. It takes a little while to work out details. I can say we’re excited about having Sean continue as the head coach of the New Orleans Saints. We’re looking forward to a lot of great seasons.”
Can you give a hint of where this puts him on the pay scale of other coaches?
No, I couldn’t’. It’s a good deal for Sean and a good deal for the club. I’ll leave it at that.”
Were there any kind of incentives in the deal?
“I don’t want to get into details about the contract other than it’s through the 2015 season.”
When you have a guy of this caliber coaching your team how important is it to make sure he’s not coaching someone else’s team?
“It’s important clearly. Sean is a large part of the success of our club the last five years, but I don’t think going to another team is part of the consideration here at all. Sean clearly wanted to remain the head coach of the New Orleans Saints. We clearly wanted him to remain the coach of the New Orleans Saints. It was just a matter of working out details.”
“Clearly we’re in discussions with Drew and his guy. I think I’ll just leave it at that.”
How important is it to have the same continuity of the general manager, coach and quarterback for a long period of time?
“I don’t know about the GM, but certainly the head coach and quarterback are important pieces in your success. I think we have two of the best in football. To keep both of those guys here going forward is probably the most important thing to our club.”
Do you put it in perspective that what it means in the context that you gave Sean Payton his first head coaching job and with you and him the club has experienced success it never experienced before?
“The relationship that Sean and I have is pretty strong. I value it a lot. I’m obviously happy for the success we’ve had here. I’m really happy with the job he’s done clearly. It’s hard to describe. I’m excited for him and his family. I’m hoping it continues for a long time, not just the extension but for years beyond it.”
Do you feel like the two of you have built an annual contender?
“There are a lot of people that deserve credit for what’s happened to date. Scouts, assistant coaches, most importantly ownership here and it’s not just the head coach and just the quarterback, but it’s a lot of folks here in the building even though they’re important pieces. As long as we can keep this group together I think it’s important to our success going forward.
If Mike Shanahan can exhaust his tenure anything can happen, does it become our time?
“Yes although, how long was Don Shula in Miami. He was there for a long, long time.”
But you don’t have Don Shula’s and Tom Landry’s?
“That remains to be seen we’re working on year six here, so let’s get year six under our belts, seven, eight and move forward. That’s kind of how we look at it. Each year’s unique, begins anew. We just want to continue it.”
by Ed Staton
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