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25 reasons to get excited about 2014 Saints training camp presented by Verizon: Sean Payton

Posted Jul 24, 2014

NewOrleansSaints.com will showcase one reason a day to get excited about the start of the 2014 New Orleans Saints Training Camp presented by Verizon. Today, No. 2 Sean Payton

Since he was hired as head coach of the New Orleans Saints in 2006, Sean Payton has established himself as one of the most successful coaches in the NFL. Since coming to New Orleans, Payton has led the Saints to five playoff berths, three NFC South division titles and the franchise’s first World Championship with a 31-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.

Payton has a 79-43 overall record (.648), including a 6-4 postseason mark (.600) after the franchise had won only one playoff game prior to his arrival. Throughout his tenure, Payton holds the franchise’s top winning percentage (.648) for a head coach and ranks fourth among current NFL head coaches (min. 50 games). The 2009-11 seasons under Payton marked the most successful stretch in team history, as New Orleans posted a 41-14 mark (.759) including the postseason, the most victories in the NFL.

Payton is one of just seven active coaches to lead a team to a Super Bowl victory. The others are New England’s Bill Belichick, Seattle’s Pete Carroll, the New York Giants’ Tom Coughlin, Baltimore’s John Harbaugh, Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy and Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin.

Payton’s presided over the NFL’s most prolific offense, leading the league in net yards per game in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2011 and finishing first in scoring in 2008 and 2009. These are the only four times the Saints have led the NFL in offense. In franchise history, the Saints have scored at least 45 points on 16 separate occasions with 12 of these outputs occurring under Payton’s watch. Defensively, New Orleans has finished in the top five twice (2010 and 2013). He has also sent a total of 31 selections to the Pro Bowl and earned the honor of coaching the NFC squad following the 2006 season.

In 2013, Payton helped guide the Saints back to the postseason with an 11-5 mark and by finishing 8-0 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the second time in three seasons. Ranking fourth in the NFL both on offense (399.4 ypg.) and defense (305.7 ypg.), New Orleans was one of the league’s most balanced clubs as they were the only team to rank in the top five in both categories. The defensive improvement of 134.4 net yards per game from 2012 was the biggest by a club since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. In opponent points per game, after surrendering 28.4 in 2012, the Saints gave up only 19.0 in 2013 as they improved in the league rankings from 31st to fourth. After reaching the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons, Payton led the Saints to the franchise’s first road postseason victory with the club’s 26-24 win at Philadelphia in the Wild Card round. Five Saints (QB Drew Brees, G Jahri Evans, TE Jimmy Graham, G Ben Grubbs and DE Cameron Jordan) were selected to the Pro Bowl.

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