He has a good reputation as an offensive mind.
His win and loss record is very good at 152-89 including one Super Bowl Championship.
Despite this, he is overrated.
Here are three reasons why.
1. Playoff Successes Are Few
His record in the playoffs is not great.
At 9-8 with future Hall of Famer Drew Brees as his quarterback, it feels like the Saints should have won more.
The Saints qualified for the playoffs 9 out of his 14 seasons.
Of those 9 playoff appearances, the Saints entered the playoffs as the NFC South champions 7 times.
They run into issues in the wildcard and divisional rounds because they have only advanced to the NFC Championship 3 times.
While it is true the referees likely took away their 4th appearance with the non pass interference call in 2019, the point remains the Saints have not performed well in the playoffs given the talented teams they have assembled during Payton’s tenure.
Case in point, he has only led one team to the Super Bowl, and they won the title.
2. Doesn’t Follow Rules
Another reason Sean Payton is overrated is because he does not seem to adhere to NFL rules.
The most flagrant of those cases will be discussed in detail under number 3.
A minor example happened during the 2020 pandemic season.
Payton violated the mask wearing rule during the Saints Week 2 game.
No, he was not the only head coach to violate this rule, but that does not make his actions right.
The NFL fined him $100,000.
3. Bounty Scandal
Sean Payton was involved in one of the worst scandals in NFL history from the 2009-2011 seasons.
His coaching staff (namely DC Gregg Williams) knowingly offered defensive players money to knock opposing teams’ quarterbacks out of the game.
As if that was not bad enough, Payton orchestrated a cover-up to stymie the NFL investigation.
Instead of admitting guilt and accepting the penalty, he appealed the penalty.
His appeal was unsuccessful.
Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season without pay, and the Saints had to give up draft picks and pay a $500,000 penalty.
It is clear the ownership of the New Orleans Saints likes and believes in Sean Payton.
His current contract runs through the end of the 2023 season; his annual salary is $9 million.
He is the second longest tenured coach with an NFL team behind Bill Belichick who joined the Patriots in 2000.
His accomplishments pale in comparison to Bill Belichick’s.
That may be an unfair comparison given that Belichick had the GOAT Tom Brady for his entire coaching tenure until 2020, and things did not go nearly as smoothly without him.
Regardless, part of what makes a coach admired and respected is character.
Sean Payton failed the character test more than once but most significantly with the bounty scandal.
By engaging in the behavior and then attempting to cover it up speaks volumes.NEXT: Should The New Orleans Saints Re-Sign QB Jameis Winston?